Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Melissa Walker & John Humphries at City Gallery in December

Holes Drilled in Poseidon by John Humphries

Concurrent solo exhibitions by Melissa Walker and John Humphries will be on exhibit at the North Charleston City Gallery from December 1-30, 2011. Both artists will host a free opening reception at the gallery on Thursday, December 1, 2011, from 5pm-7pm. The public is invited to attend.

Evening in New Begun Creek by Melissa Walker
Course Corrections, new work by Melissa Walker will feature the artist’s most recent series of acrylic and collage paintings. Melissa’s work is influenced by abstract expressionism and incorporates many mixed media elements, such as nautical charts and silhouettes. Her pieces illustrate the essence of the ocean and the areas around it by depicting atmospheric conditions and times of day without creating a realistic view. The viewer is brought into the work with titles that repeat locations on the charts in many of the paintings. Each piece lends itself to the individual viewer’s interpretation. “Some will see the image as a bird’s eye view, much as you would view a map or look at the earth from an airplane,” she explains. “Others will see the same painting as a landscape, with the traditional sky, horizon line and water. It is up to you to choose how you view each work of art.”

Melissa Walker is a National Board Certified art educator with over 20 years experience teaching elementary, middle, high school and adult students. She received a BA in Art Education from East Carolina University and an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. She has continued to study painting with well known artists and instructors Robert Burridge, Bob Rankin, Joe Deguilio, Sterling Edwards, and Jack Shields. Melissa is a member of the Pastel Association of North Carolina and the North Carolina Watercolor Association, and is a long time member of the North Carolina Art Education Association. For more information, visit melissawalkerartist.com.

Drawn From Nothing features speculative design drawings in watercolour by Ohio based artist, John Humphries. Humphries’ drawings bridge the gap between architectural form and painting and combine delicate wooden constructions to maintain a tension between built form, sketches, and landform. Each piece strives to convey the character of the Midwest industrialized agrarian landscape full of built structures and machines overlain with textures maximized for crop growth, infrastructure, and the remnants of glacial and geological forces. According to Humphries, these drawings operate in three very important areas of architectural exploration. First, they address the process of making and discovering new forms and spatial relationships. Secondly, the drawings provide a way of seeing the world, particularly the most minute subject and exploring it. Finally, the physical artifacts demonstrate for the viewer a way of thinking about cities, landscape, design, and architecture in many ways, allowing the viewer to consider space and the role drawings play in capturing spatial ideas. “Concept drawings are essential to the experiences of design as love is essential to humans,” Humphries explains. “Love which, unlike sex, is not essential to propagation--one can live without it, but does not live very much. The hybrid landscapes in the drawings promise everything that is more than that which is necessary—everything that compelled immigrants to transform a wilderness and everything non-utilitarian in culture.”

Having completed degrees in Architecture and Design with a brief foray as a saucier and metal-smith, John Humphries is now a visual artist, gardener, and designer focusing on translating one media form to another. He currently directs graphic media at Miami University within the School of Fine Arts. His work has been exhibited nationwide, most notably at the Core Gallery for Biennale of the Americas (Denver, CO), Warehouse Gallery one (Peoria, IL), Dorothy Reed Gallery and Phyllis Weston Gallery (Cincinnati, OH), Gallery See (Atlanta, GA), Rosewood Gallery (Kettering, OH), and Arlington Museum of Art (Arlington, TX). For more information, visit his website at albatrossjim.com.

The North Charleston City Gallery is located in the Charleston Area Convention Center with free parking and admission during regular Convention Center operating hours 9:00AM – 5:00PM, daily.  The Gallery is staffed on Friday, Saturday, and Monday only.   Inquiries regarding artists or purchase information may be directed to the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843) 740-5854. For information on additional exhibits, programs, and events, visit the Cultural Arts section of the City’s website at www.northcharleston.org.

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