“Renewal” highlights exciting works from five new co-op members
This week marks the beginning of an exciting season for one of Chattanooga’s most prestigious galleries. On Friday, Nov. 6, the In-Town Gallery presents its biannual “Renewal” show to kick off the holidays. Twice a year, members say goodbye to their previously displayed art and replace all of it with fresh eye candy. They cover the windows of the gallery with paper until the opening, when the new art is unveiled to the public. This unseen body of work from 33 regional artists will spotlight new co-op members Ann Currey, Laurie Graham, Martin Rice, David Salerno and June Teuscher.
Ann Currey is a lifelong student of the arts who now works primarily with oil paints. Her painterly style beckons the viewer to join her on adventures to scenic destinations around the world. Currey takes the observer with her to rare vistas, using bold brush strokes and vibrant colors to capture the scenes. Her studio work is often informed by her plein air work, and it feels like the place, whether the inspiration came from a majestic American landscape or a tiny European villa.
She says, “I study light, shadow and nuances outside and use that information for all of my paintings. The paintings for this show are from my travels and from our beautiful area. There are so many incredibly beautiful things in my everyday life, it is difficult to paint enough to express my gratitude through art for the beauty that surrounds me.”
Laurie Graham’s exquisite ceramic pieces are inspired by nature. “I love taking a walk outside and filling my pockets with leaves, pine cones, acorns, and whatever I can find that might make an interesting texture in the clay,” she says. “I am probably a bit like a child picking up things in the dirt that our mothers would tell us not to touch.” Most of Graham’s pottery begins with wheel throwing or hand building. She then utilizes a variety of techniques to give each piece a distinctive look and feel; carving, impressing, extruding and altering the clay. The organic textures are then brought to life by layers of glazes whose colors echo the natural world.
In addition to her fine tableware, Graham will be offering some seasonal art. “During the holidays I do a few sculptural angels, trees, and pressed ornaments. This year I hand carved my own image to use as a stamp to press into the clay.”
Martin Rice’s thoughtful watercolors are shrouded with a sense of peaceful mystery. He derives great joy from the act of painting, a feeling that shines through in his work. “When I paint, I often feel at one with the object or scene I’m painting,” he says. “Never do I see things so clearly and in such detail as when I’m painting. This immersion into my subject gives me the rare feeling of being both self and other at the same time.”
His subjects are depicted with a comfortable and experienced attention to light and shadow. In addition to being a consummate landscape painter, Rice has the uncanny ability to transform a run-down scene into a magical little world, saying that, “aged objects often acquire a patina of beauty.”
David Salerno’s oil paintings are simply phenomenal. Whether he’s inside working on a still life that challenges the Renaissance masters, or outside painting a scene that would make Monet jealous, Salerno is up to something impressive (no pun intended).
He tells us, “It’s the beauty that the world displays all around us that calls to me. I try to capture scenes of light and color that trigger a strong emotional response in me. I strive to create paintings that elicit the same emotion in the people who see them. We live in a stressful and complex society—I hope that my paintings can provide a source of serenity and simplification.”
June Teuscher’s gorgeous landscape paintings represent the cutting edge of American impressionism. Her compositions accomplish a high level of realism while retaining the quality of plein air.
She says, “I have found painting on location to be filled with fast-paced challenges. I am becoming more impressionistic and spontaneous as a painter. I’ve realized over time that I don’t have to paint every bit of detail, leaving some things to the imagination. It is very important to me to be enthusiastic about a particular place or scene. Living in Chattanooga is fantastic, as there are so many beautiful places to paint.”
• • • •
“Renewal” opening, Nov. 6, 5-8 p.m.
In-Town Gallery, 26a Frazier Ave., (423) 267-9214, intowngallery.com