Art From Afar
Visit far flung places through a handful of local art exhibits
Written by Kate Lundquist
Experience Native American, Cuban, Polish, Inuit, and Balkan culture through the masterful brushstrokes and photography of artists showing in galleries throughout Western North Carolina this month. Here are three artistic showcases that celebrate and explore the beauty of these cultures.
Through August 3
Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum presents a showcase of limited edition prints by 10 Native American artists. Master printer Jack Lemon created “Lasting Impressions,” a unified collection of works from nine tribes across the United States. Artists representing current trends in contemporary Native American art include Melanie Yazzie of the Navajo tribe, Edgar Heap of Birds of the Cheyenne/Arapaho tribe, and Kay Walkingstick of the Cherokee. Oil and acyrlic, mixed media, and watercolor paintings offer a soft, modern edge to traditional symbols and geometric designs.
Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum, 199 Centennial Dr., Cullowhee; Reception Thursday, July 19, 5-7 p.m.; free; (828) 227-3591; www.wcu.edu/museum
Thruough August 26
AnTHM Gallery in Black Mountain highlights the creativity of Cuban artists when it kicks off “Arte de Cuba!,” a month-long series of events supporting the exhibit that celebrates Cuban culture through art, music, discussion, cuisine, and cocktails. Six artists from Havana and Guira de Melena present paintings, photography, and textile collages that touch upon topics of censorship, identity, and hope. The exhibit is reminiscent of Salvador Dali's surrealist paintings, the bright colors of Cuba, and abstract mixed-media art. Cuba "is a place full of memories and heritage. My characters come from here: flower-filled women riding in a cart, acrobats entertaining tourists, banana sellers in the back of a truck,” Dionel Degaldo notes in his artist statement. That sentiment offers a glimpse of what is to come. A schedule of the events, including musical performances, panel discussions, a film screening, and storytelling can be found at www.anthmgallery.com/arte-de-cuba.html.
AnTHM Gallery at Historic Monte Vista Hotel, 308 W. State St., Black Mountain; Saturday, 5-9 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; free; (828) 669-8870; www.anthmgallery.com/arte-de-cuba.html
Around the World
The Turchin Center in Boone is presenting the opportunity to explore three cultures with one visit.
Contemporary Polish art adorns the walls of the Turchin Center through June 2013 as five artists present photography, painting, installations, graphic art, and fashion. On Saturday, July 28, take a free 45 minute tour at 2 p.m. with a Turhcin Center staffer to explore the work of Polish born photographer Marzena Abrahamik, the first artist in the series of “21 Sztuka: Contemporary Art from Poland Series I-V." Abrahamik focuses the lens on people, animals, and landscapes that pose a single gesture to make a larger statement about the human drive to overcome personal difficulty within the chaos of the world.
The largest collection of Inuit art in the United States has recently been acquired by the Turchin Center and is now on permanent display. “The North Exposed: Inuit Art from the Collection of Dr. H.G. Jones” features four major themes: the Inuit people, legends and myths, transformation pieces, and animals of the arctic. Dr. H.G. Jones has traveled and written about the Arctic since 1971, and has brought back 350 pieces representing cool colors and simple yet geometrically perfected sculpture to his alma mater.
Through July 28, learn about the Balkan War zone with 42 beautifully dark paintings, “Ruined Landscapes,” by Laura Buxton. The subdued colors capture the sad truth of the war-torn countries. “As an artist,” Buxton says in her artist statement. “I felt this tremendous responsibility to say something that would be worthwhile, that other people could see. And even if they couldn’t understand, they could at least gain some insight from a different point of view.” Her art is part of the permanent collection at the Turchin Center.
Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, 423 W. King St., Boone; Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; free; (828) 262-3017; www.turchincenter.org