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August 2011

Central Carolina Community College Student Gallery in Siler City, NC, Offers Exhibit of Stone Sculptures

The Central Carolina Community College Student Gallery in Siler City, NC, will present an exhibit of works by students taking the CCCC’s Professional Arts and Crafts: Sculpture courses, including: Debie Englund, Brian McGowan, Trish Welsh, Greg Bailey, and Darren Powers. The exhibit will be on view from Aug. 19 through Sept. 9, 2011. A reception will be held on Aug. 19, from 6-9pm.

The students participating in the exhibit have submitted statements about their works including:

Debie Englund offers, “I have really enjoyed stone carving. When carving the black soapstone, I used curved shapes as well as straight edges to create variety in the piece. I left raw edges at the top and bottom of the stone to provide contrast with the smooth areas. I especially liked finishing the piece; smoothing the surface to bring out all the natural color and grain lines in the stone. “

Brian McGowan offers, “I had a number of pieces of raw stone to choose from. I chose one because it was very different from all of the others. Narrow and wedge shaped. It really did call out to me because of that difference.”

“After I had made my choice I set the stone on a table and just looked at it for a while walking around it, studying from all angles. I knew that I wanted to leave areas of the natural surface untouched. I was going to treat the worked surfaces to bring out the deep luster of the stone, to help create an even more striking contrast between the worked and natural surfaces.”

“I finally decided that I wanted to make the piece seem bigger than it was, to add volume, to let the inside out. I wanted to be able to see more than what was there, so I decided to open up the piece, but I wanted to do it in a way that would make the inner space as much of a focal point as the exterior.”

“The connection between the two sides was a way of joining all the surfaces together in one continuous flow and directing the eye to move around and through the final work.”

Trish Welsh said, “I had never worked with stone before and absolutely loved it! I loved the carving and the process of deduction. This piece started out as peas in a pod but evolved into something abstract. The process was lots of work and lots of fun!”

Greg Bailey offered, “From the pebbles in the streams I wandered at as a child, rocks broken or stacked in walls as a young man, or drafted in my career into facades of marble and granite: the sensuality and beauty of stone has instilled in me an abiding love of the ‘bones of the earth’. My avocation has allowed me opportunity to study and analyze many works crafted from that marrow and marvel at those whose hands created them through the ages. These pieces represent a humble attempt at the reinterpretation of those studies synthesized with modern techniques and language.”

Darren Powers offered, “What I love about working with stone is how I can get completely lost in it. When I am working with clay or metal, the process includes creating lots of small individual components and building them on top of each other to create depth and design. Like a chess game, my mind is constantly thinking at least three or four moves ahead as I build my way to the finished sculpture.”

“With stone carving, the process is strictly subtractive and to create texture and layers, I have to take away from the stone. However, I only take what the stone will give me and I determine this by following its natural shape and grain. The result is very different from what I’m used to because I’ve given in to my medium almost completely. The result is very organic and I like to think that the stone’s actual soul is now willingly exposed for the world to see.”

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call Sandra Martin at 919/742-4156 or visit (


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