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September Issue 2002

WICKWIRE Gallery in Hendersonville, NC, Offers Varied Exhibits at Summer's End

WICKWIRE fine art/folk art Gallery, located in historic downtown Hendersonville, NC, proudly recognizes our nation's Labor Day Weekend and the time honored Hendersonville Apple Festival Celebration with events featuring the work of resident artists.

Featured are works by sterling silver jewelry artist, Linda Shores. Also being featured are artist Jo Thomas's sculptures in clay which portray family, history and spirituality. Both exhibits will be on view through Sept. 30, 2002.

Shores is a true "mountain artisan" and native to Hendersonville. She thoroughly rejoices in the tradition of Western North Carolina's Apple Festival Celebration and the beauty in the fall season with Harvest Gathering. Shores has exclusively designed a third in annual series -- sterling silver pendant/brooch, earrings and charm collection. Her apple basket design is inspired by the extraordinary abundance in the mountains during harvest season and is handcrafted and textured with detailed, natural apple shapes finely positioned in a precisely sculptured basket, all cast in fine sterling silver.

The new design is influenced by the summer days of Shores' childhood (the 1960's) spent on her family's apple farm in Edneyville, NC. "Peak season everyone worked hard," recalls Shores. She and her cousin packed apples in boxes to be sold while looking forward to the apple harvest celebration in downtown Hendersonville. She also remembers, "It was a welcome break and a day of family fun - apple treats, mountain music, parades, art and a variety of sidewalk sales. The celebration recognized the farmers and promoted North Carolina apples to tourists."

Shores is a direct descendent of the Jacob Lyda original settlers in North Carolina. "They came up to the mountains in the late 1700's - early 1800's," explains Shores, "my history is the area. I think it is rare to find an artist, a mountain artist from these hills and valleys whose expressions of them are real. I believe that (beauty) shows up in my work."

In the early 1950's Shores' mother, Shirley Lyda, was a member of the Apple Queen's Court. A local jewelry artist presented each of the finalists with a sterling silver "apple blossom bracelet as a remembrance of the event. Now many years later an accomplished jewelry artist herself and the keeper of her mother's bracelet, Shores proudly honors the history and craftsmanship of her mother's treasured gift. Her distinctive "Harvest Gathering apple jewelry design (in gold as well on request) is produced in limited number to enhance its sentimental worth and maintain its collectable value.

Creating original works of art in clay is a "natural evolution" for Jo Thomas. Many years of painting in oils, running her own gallery, working as an interior designer and even single handedly building a stone wall have all led her to a passion for sculpting in clay. The process of working in wet clay which evolves from rock, creating a unique figure, and then firing the sculpture to return it to rock is one of the oldest art forms in the world. Individually handcrafted, hand painted and completely original - Thomas' sculptures are not copies - no molds are ever used.

Thomas has created a unique market for her ethnic figures that portray the rich history of the south. Two of her SC Lowcountry figures received outstanding Merit awards in 2002 competitions. Her sculptures have been exhibited at the Spartanburg County Art Museum, in Spartanburg, SC, as well as at other art venues, galleries and museums in South Carolina.

WICKWIRE Gallery offers the opportunity to experience outstanding creativity priced affordably. Shirley Palmer-Hill, owner of the gallery explains, In sterling silver jewelry making, clay sculpting and the crafting of furniture, artists use astute abilities in design as well as execution. At WICKWIRE Gallery, handcrafted works of art are devotedly designed and offered to our customers for browsing as well as purchasing enjoyment. Throughout the year we feature artists and have shows such as our Third Annual Handcrafted Furniture Show to focus on the wonderful abilities of our talented artists."

The exhibitions Third Annual Handcrafted Furniture Show and Handcrafted Nature Papers by Gabrielle Starr will continue at the gallery through Sept. 27. Individually unique home, office or vacation cabin furniture by seven local and regional artists is artistically inspired, outstandingly crafted, and utilitarian. The natural woods that are used along with the original papers made by Gabrielle Starr are a texture and color combination that garner attention.

For more information check our NC Commercial Gallery listings, call the gallery at 828/692-6222 or e-mail at (wickwire@bellsouth.net).

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