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Artist Under Development

Artist

Exhibit Date :: November 10, 2022 - January 8, 2023
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 10, 5-8pm
In Gallery & Online
“Art Made with Light: Photograms by Melissa Wilgis” Exhibit

“Mushroom Coral” Cyanotype on paper

Art Made with Light is a new collection of cyanotypes by photographer, Melissa Wilgis. Melissa is a fine art photographer specializing in photograms. Her cyanotypes on silver gelatin are a three-step process that requires thoughtful planning and time spent both in a traditional darkroom and outside under the sun. For this body of work, sea whips gathered from local beaches are combined with seashell x-rays and other collected items to create images that are eye-catching and unique.

Join us in the gallery on Thursday, November 10th from 5-8pm for a special Opening Reception for this body of work! On view along with this exhibit is Collaborating with Nature: Fiber Art by Rebecca Yeomans”.

Click here for a preview of the work that will appear in this exhibit! 

About the Artist

I’m a fine art photographer specializing in photograms.  I made my first photogram in 1986 in Mr. Fecik’s photography class at Boardman High School.  I don’t recall the specifics, but I’m fairly certain a clear cassette tape was involved.  At the time, making photograms was simply a way to learn my way around the darkroom.  It taught me how to use an enlarger and what the various chemicals do.  Leaving photograms behind, I pursued photojournalism throughout high school and college.  After graduating with a BA in English from NC State University, I started working for a branch of Eastman Kodak called Qualex.  I was in tech support, helping one-hour-photo lab operators fix their problems via telephone.  Over the next several years, I moved further away from photography and became further entrenched in corporate America.  I finally came to my senses and left that world.  I found some film photography classes at the local community college and took a few to get back into the swing of things. Soon I started working there as the darkroom assistant.  Four years later I became pregnant with my daughter and left my job at the community college to focus on being a mom.  When my daughter was about a year old, my husband completed the darkroom in our garage.  The baby-monitor picked-up a signal out there, so I was able to go into the darkroom during naptime, in addition to occasional evenings and weekends.  Making photograms gained traction for me during this time because it was photography I could do without wandering too far from my young daughter.  She was and still is my regular, full-time job.

I initially began making photograms using what I refer to as my “critters”; seahorses, crabs, butterflies, dragonflies, sea whips, wildflowers and other found curiosities.  My husband works in marine biology and helps me gather specimens.  No animals are ever harmed—they’re gathered after they’ve passed.  One day my husband came home with a deceased baby stingray.  He had been out in the field and noticed some fishermen getting ready to toss it back.  He asked if he could have the ray and they agreed.  So, the joke now is that it’s all fine and good if your husband brings you flowers.  But it’s exciting if he brings you a dead baby stingray.  Eventually, I knew I needed to expand my photogram creations beyond critters.  I’m a thrift store junky and made it a priority to search out photogrammable objects at the charity shops.  I’m drawn to antique garments, lace, and glass baubles.  My photogram compositions are simple.  This simplicity allows the viewer to find their own story, be it politics, feminism, gender, sexuality, body-image, materialism, culture, economy, history, family or simply nostalgia.  To me, they’re first and foremost, a reminder to always try to see things in a different light.

Exhibit Date :: December 11, 2020 – January 24, 2021
“Artistic Photography: Frank Fierstein”

“Out of the Mist”

This month’s photography feature is focused on artistic photographer, Frank Fierstein. The exhibit opens on Friday, December 11 and and continues through January 24, 2021.

A friend of  Frank’s, a world renowned doctor of pharmacology, once asked him a question with regards to his artistic photography; “What is your purpose?“. For decades, Frank has tried to understand, answer and pursue what that purpose has been. “To visually see my feelings in images, that represent myself as a child and young adult, has given me a  better connection, a deeper understanding, and a clearer meaning  in my personal life. Even as I have become a photography dinosaur, still working in my “chemical darkroom” and still using film for all of my artistic work, I continue to seek images that represent and connect with my heart and soul. Making prints that emit light from the silver they are made from is as important today as it ever was in this digital age of ink and sensors. After being given clear guidance by a great teacher about creating art with my photography, my artistic quest to find wonderful images has never ceased and to this day remains amazingly strong.”  Currently, Frank teaches a class in Artistic Photography at Brunswick Community College, where he encourages his students to connect with who they are through their own photography.

Click here to view the work that will be featured in the exhibit.

Now you can view and shop the gallery virtually!

 

Exhibit Date ::
Rebecca Yeomans – Fiber Artist

Rebecca Yeomans has lived her entire life centered around making. She learned to knit at eight years old and was considered the “class artist” in school. She studied studio art at UNC-Chapel Hill, receiving a BFA in 1974. After earning an MFA from Auburn University in 1979 she taught there for several years. Rebecca and her husband Tom moved to Wilmington, NC in 1984 and she worked as a scenic artist in the film industry. She was a founding board member for DREAMS of Wilmington and later taught classes. Her fiber jewelry can be seen at the CAM gift shop. After she and Tom raised two artsy daughters, Rebecca quickly moved into full time artist mode. Her current work combines botanical printing, knitting, and stitching with a painterly feel.

Artist Statement

The botanical printmaking process is almost always the inspiration and starting point for my work. Eco or botanical printing is the art of transferring color from natural plant material on to fabric or paper using pressure, moisture, and heat. Beautiful contact plant portraits are captured by bundling vegetation and fabric, either by rolling around a pipe or stacking in layers and binding tightly. The bundle is then steamed or immersed in simmering natural dye coaxing the pigment out of the leaves and on to the cloth. Results depend on many variables: type of fabric, water source, plant species, season, climate, and type of vessel used to name a few. Thus each piece is unique and always a surprise. The process involves many steps: scouring, mordanting, pre dyeing, printing with plant material, post dyeing, rinsing, and perhaps printing again. I enjoy the relationship with the natural world inherent in the process: foraging walks, growing my own dye plants, the aroma of cooking eucalyptus, and the opening of a bundle to reveal what gift Mother Nature has given. When a piece of printed paper or cloth excites me, I begin the slow process of embellishing. This involves tearing fabric, arranging and rearranging, pinning, basting, and deciding on a place to start. I approach this process intuitively, reacting playfully, exploring this or that, asking what if? The piece evolves and its story unfolds. Hopefully a lovely whole is created by the intricate details. In a nutshell, the beauty of the materials and the process of making are what my artwork is about. I am co-creating with Mother Nature and collaborating with the fabric, yarn, and thread.

Exhibit Date ::
Pam Toll – Painter and Mixed Media

Pam Toll, an Associate Professor at UNC Wilmington, received a BA in Art and English Literature from UNC Chapel Hill and has been painting since childhood. Her studio is located at Acme Art Studios (Wilmington) which she co-founded in 1991, as a work and exhibition space for artists. She also co-founded No Boundaries International Art Colony (Bald Head Island, NC) in 1998, a residency program that in the last twenty years brought over 200 artists from around the world with the goal of creating a cross-exchange of cultures and artistic practices to share with our local community.

Exhibit Date ::
Barbara Bear Jamison – Painter
Exhibit Date ::
Jameka Wrisbon Purdie – Jewelry Artisan

I put a lot of time, effort, and care into crafting necklaces, earrings, bracelets, hair accessories and more. All of my creations are assembled using quality components sourced from all around the world. Most of my designs are one-of-a-kind, but even duplicates are each unique with the character only handmade items possess.

I find jewelry making to be a creative outlet that allows me to step away from normal daily activities and become something more than myself. I believe the individuality and boldness of my designs can do the same for those who wear them.

We all need an ALTER EGO sometimes!

Exhibit Date ::
Virginia Wright-Frierson – Painter

Virginia Wright-Frierson has made Wilmington, North Carolina, her home for over 40 years.  She travels extensively for inspiration for her painting and frequent visits with family across the United States.

She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, with additional training at the Arts Students’ League in New York City and the University of Georgia Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy.  Virginia has lectured and taught many workshops and classes in painting and drawing and on illustrating children’s books.

She is widely known for her design and construction of the Minnie Evans Bottle Chapel and Sculpture Garden at Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, a structure built with mortar and thousands of glass bottles, inspired by the art of the visionary artist who worked in the garden for many years as a gatekeeper.

In 2000, Virginia donated the sweeping mural which is permanently installed on the ceiling of the new atrium at Columbine High School after the tragic shootings there.  It is comprised of twenty painted panels which lift the eyes to a perspective of a Colorado forest of evergreens, aspen and sunlight.

She has written and illustrated many children’s books, including three John Burroughs Nature Book Award winners:  A Desert Scrapbook, An Island Scrapbook, and A North American Rain Forest Scrapbook.

Her most recent work has included a one-person exhibition of 120 road trip oil paintings at the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, and a “pop up” exhibit of new oils and watercolors at 216 N. Front Street sponsored by Art in Bloom Gallery.

At Art in Bloom Gallery, Virginia exhibits a variety of oil and watercolor paintings and lino prints inspired by nature, the figure, landscape, color and light.

Virginia’s website can be found at:  virginiawright-frierson.com

Exhibit Date ::
Melissa Wilgis – Photographer

Art Made with Light, Artist Statement

I made my first photogram in 1986 in Mr. Fecik’s photography class in high school.  At the time, making silver gelatin photograms was simply a way to learn my way around the darkroom.  It taught me how to use an enlarger and what the various chemicals do.  Leaving photograms behind, I pursued photojournalism throughout high school and college.  After graduating with a BA in English from NC State University, I started working for a branch of Eastman Kodak called Qualex.  I was in tech support, helping one-hour-photo lab operators fix their problems via telephone.  Over the next several years, I moved further away from photography and became further entrenched in corporate America.  I eventually realized that wasn’t where I was meant to be, and left the corporate world to pursue more creative endeavors.  I took some film photography classes at Cape Fear Community College to get back into the swing of things. Soon I started working there as the darkroom assistant.  Four years later I became pregnant with my daughter and left my job at the community college to focus on being a mom.  When my daughter was about a year old, my husband completed the darkroom in our garage.  The baby-monitor picked-up a signal out there, so I was able to go into the darkroom during naptime, in addition to occasional evenings and weekends.  Making photograms gained traction for me during this time because it was photography I could do without wandering too far from my young daughter.  She was and still is my regular, full-time job.

I initially began making photograms using what I refer to as my “critters”; seahorses, crabs, butterflies, dragonflies, sea whips, wildflowers and other found curiosities.  My husband works in coastal science and helps me gather specimens.  No animals are ever harmed—they’re gathered after they’ve passed.  One day my husband came home with a deceased baby stingray.  He had noticed some fishermen getting ready to toss it back.  He asked if he could have the ray and they agreed.  So the joke now is that it’s all fine and good if your husband brings you flowers.  But it’s really exciting if he brings you a dead baby stingray.

When Hurricane Florence dumped nearly 30 inches of rain on us, a good bit of that went into my darkroom. Sadly, I wasn’t able to work in there for close to eight months.  Being in the darkroom is like therapy, so I had to find a substitute.  I started making cyanotype photograms in the yard, using UV light from the sun.  As my mind wandered while I was working, I wondered if I could combine cyanotype photograms and silver gelatin photograms.  I did a small test with some old silver gelatin photograms I had.  The results weren’t great, but they were good enough to convince me to pursue the process further.  In 2019, I received recognition in the Denis Roussel Awards for an outstanding body of work for a series done in the cyanotype on silver gelatin process. Juror Jessica Ferguson said, “This photographer invented/developed a technique involving cyanotype printed onto black and white gelatin silver paper. The statement reveals great resourcefulness in working without a darkroom in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.”

Art Made with Light is a new collection of cyanotype on silver gelatin photograms. The three-step process requires thoughtful planning and time spent both in a traditional darkroom and outside under the sun. For this body of work, sea whips gathered from local beaches are combined with seashell x-rays and other collected items to create images that are eye-catching and unique.  Framed photograms in the series also include the original, found sea whip that was used for the B&W portion of the photogram. Add the sea whip to an existing collection, display it as an object of décor or return it to nature for it’s next, yet unknown purpose.

As with all my photograms, this series is a reminder to always try to see things in a different light.

Watch a short video about Melissa’s Photogram Process

Exhibit Date ::
(Joe) P Wiegmann – Photographer

Years ago, a professional photographer gave me great advice, “Always carry your camera with you.” Over the years, I have cultivated my own philosophy to taking photographs and my advice is, “Vary your camera angle and the height at which you shoot your images.” The theme of my January 2022 Photo Show is, “Seeing Art Through The Camera.” I usually see the art of the image before I actually grab for my camera. Then I think about how to take the photo technically. I try various angles or staging heights to take the photograph. I hope that the image captured represents what I envisioned. Once the image is printed, I look forward to a printed piece that displays an additional richness of artistry. Not all photographs work perfectly but when they do, it is such a great high!

As far back as I can remember, I was always engaged in creative endeavors such as drawing and painting. Two years of Civil Engineering at the University of Maryland did not provide me with the means to express my creativity. When I changed my major to Fine Arts, it didn’t make my parents happy but they were supportive of my new goals. After 43 years in the graphic design field and serving as a Creative Director, I retired and moved to the Wilmington area. The beauty and natural energy of the places and artists here have rekindled my creative energy.

~(Joe) P. Weigmann (January 2022)

Exhibit Date ::
Roberto Vengoechea – Jewelry Designer

Art in Bloom Gallery is delighted to partner with Visions of Creations Gallery in Black Mountain, NC home of renowned jewelry designer, Roberto Vengoechea.  We have a selection of Roberto’s custom-made, fine art jewelry in Art in Bloom Gallery at 210 Princess St., Wilmington, NC.  Roberto also designs and creates commissioned jewelry upon request.

Artist’s Statement

One compliment I won’t forget was a few years after we moved here from Florida. A reporter penned an article about my work and titled it “Dr. Seuss meets Salvador Dali” and further described my work in the article. To this day, we still use this catch phrase as part of our advertising.

Jump forward 20 years – my work is very geometric, futuristic and out-of- the-box, words used by many visitors. When visitors come into our gallery and ‘drool’ over the jewelry, I now tell them that I came here from the 25th Century in a time machine and can’t get
back.

Inside my imagination, my respect and admiration belongs to Antonio Gaudi and Salvador Dali. I travel in parallel lines. I see through the same window but with a different vision creating pieces that are outside the box. This is why I named my business “Visions of Creation.” Those are the visions I see in the Creation. We recently celebrated 20 business years at our Gallery here in Black Mountain, NC. We created a photo collage of work from our opening spanning 20 years. When we first viewed the collage, we realized that those early pieces are as timeless then as they are now. You cannot tell the difference between the progression of time.

I consider my designs to be Avant-Garde – they defy traditional forms and genres, yet are practical in their form and fit. Like Gaudi, I like to fuse organic with architectural design in a futuristic manner, confounding the conventional and pushing the boundaries of ‘thinking outside the box.”

Exhibit Date ::
Kirah Van Sickle – Painter

Kirah Van Sickle is an adventurer at heart. Her early years set a foundation for travel, exploration and visual storytelling. Her acrylic and mixed media works explore incorporating found objects and papers with the paint glazes. These are deeply personal expressions of her memories and dreams. In addition to her studio practice, Kirah is a dynamic instructor and lecturer, leading custom studio courses through museum schools and local art associations, directed to both beginner and seasoned artists. She is an award-winning illustrator, graphic designer and studio artist, a certified Golden Artist-Educator, and active in community arts programming, preservation of cultural resources and enhancing arts education. Kirah lives on the Cape Fear Coast of North Carolina and is a staff instructor at the Cameron Art Museum, Johnston Community College, and Cape Fear Community College. Details on workshops, exhibits and work can be found at her website: www.kirahfineart.com

Artist Statement
The silence between words defines them, gives them meaning. This is Caesura…a notable pause. It is a threshold or vast sea over which one crosses, both literally and metaphorically on the journey to self. Visually exploring this theme creates a record of my travels, memories and dreams.

My process includes painting en plein air, exploring the immediacy, unpredictable aspects of color, time and place, as well as commitment to my studio practice. I paint vast color fields of a muted, complementary palette, seeking the geological patterns etched in nature, and memory. Incorporating ephemera between layers of acrylic glazes onto canvas provides a mixed media process that hints at experiences, producing nuances of texture and color. By marrying both my foundational, representational style with a contemporary mixed media process, my paintings speak to the duality and journey as artist. Exploring my own contemporary narrative, these works reflect the hopes and desires common to this theme – bridging the unknown, ultimately finding meaning and connection to ourselves and each other.

Exhibit Date ::
Michael Van Hout – Sculptor, Painter, and Mixed Media Artist

Currently, Michael Van Hout has sculpted, painted metal fish and a sculpture, “The Garden Muse,” at Art in Bloom Gallery. In addition, Michael is working on commissioned art. If you wish to request commissioned art from Michael, contact him at vanhoutm@bellsouth.net.

Michael Van Hout started creating professional art over thirty-years ago after studying Forestry at NC State University and graduating with a BSA degree in sculpture from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1980.

His large installations of animals made of wire, copper, and other metals are in Airlie Gardens, The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, and Greenfield Lake Park in Wilmington, NC.  In addition to wire and metal sculpture, Michael creates wood sculpture, woodcut prints, mixed media, mobiles, paintings, and various commissioned pieces located in museums and in private and public spaces.

In 2004, Michael was a part of a team of seven artists, each of whom created their own sculptures for the Airlie Gardens Bottle Chapel, a tribute to renowned artist, Minnie Evans.  In addition to Michael, the Bottle-Chapel group included his sister, Brooks Koff; Virginia Wright-Frierson; Karen Crouch; Dumay Gorham; Hiroshi Sueyoshi; and guest artist Tejuola Turner.

Michael’s work has also created galimotos, dynamic wire sculpture with wheels that turn.  In 2016-17, he completed a 3-dimensional metal sign for Foxes Boxes Restaurant at 622 N. Fourth Street and art for a historic shirt factory recently converted into apartments.   The art includes wire sculpture in a pocket garden and a mural covering the entire wall of the entrance to South Front Apartments, 1510 S. Third Street in Wilmington, NC.

Michael’s studio is at Acme Art Studios, 711 N. Fifth Avenue, where he continues to collaborate with other artists and to encourage people of all ages to use their creativity.  He currently lives in Wilmington, NC with his wife, Marlisa, a mental health therapist.

Exhibit Date ::
Gayle Tustin – Ceramist and Mixed Media Artist

Artist Statement

Art has been part of my life for over 30 years. I am a nonrepresentational ceramist, sculptor, painter, collage and assemblage artist. My 3-D art includes hand-building vessel sculpture, relief wall tiles, and other three dimensional objects.  My 2-D art includes mixed media art with acrylic and oil paint, graphite, collage, sgraffito, sewing, found objects, birch bark, India ink, sailing charts, and more.

When I begin a piece, a progression of conscious and unconscious decisions start my process. Experimentation is important … feeling the force of my imagination along the way. Inspiration comes from my environment, travel, sketches, the great outdoors, books, conversations, museums, trash on the street, gestures, swimming, walking, antique stores and more.

Recently I finished a series of ceramic narrative vessel sculptures in a red earthenware clay body that I developed. My clay process has various steps with some pieces taking months to complete. The ceramic works are multi-kiln fired with terra sigillata (earth seal) and oxide patinas as well as silica glazes. They have a beautiful “ancient” look and feel about them. I spent years testing the possibilities of terra sig and oxide combinations to complete a library of 100’s of test tiles that I use as guides for color effects.

Currently I am finishing a series of nonfunctional, sculptural platters for the wall, tabletop or displayed on metal stands. In the meantime a variety of small sculptures with ceramic and found elements await my attention.   

Exhibit Date ::
Traudi Thornton – Ceramist

Biography

Traudi Thornton is a ceramicist currently showing Raku and Stoneware in Art in Bloom Gallery.

She was born in Czechoslovakia and raised in Germany.  Traudi first studied music at Creighton University before studying ceramics with Henry Soreco at Creighton, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and then moving back to Germany.  The artist relocated to Wilmington in 1983.  Additionally, Traudi completed a Raku workshop with Paul Soldner in 1974 at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

She wakes at 3:30 am to work on her ceramics.  She prefers not to rush, to take her time, to complete her work properly.

Artist’s Statement

Working with clay validates my existence.  During the plastic state, the relationship is that of master and a much beloved pet.  I tell the clay to stay and push it, but often I have to listen.  We have a rhythm.

Clay needs heat to be transferred to a hard material.  After the first fire everything turns from a state of grey to pink, and a slight estrangement takes place because they now look different than what they did before.

Glazes also look pink or white or grey before they are fired.  I imagine now how the optics will look in their final state, and after making choices the second fire takes over.  Total surrender is demanded by heat and flame.  After the firing is completed, the cooling period leaves my mood fluctuating between doubt and hope.  And, then only after removing the pieces from the kiln, can I say they belong to me.  They passed on into my consciousness.

For more information, view:

Johnson, Ashley, “A Garden Tour:  Ceramist Traudi Thornton to Show at Art in Bloom Gallery,” WILMA, June 2016.

Digital collection at New Hanover County Public Library.

Dittmer, Cole.  “Sticks and Stones,” Wrightsville Beach Magazine, December 2014.

Exhibit Date ::
Tim Smith – Guest Photographer

Tim Smith, a native North Carolinian, is one of those rare people who has known his direction in life from childhood.  As the provocative writer, Henry Miller, said: “The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”  Tim’s personal photographic direction in life has been to give close attention to and to photograph his world. His interest began around the age of 8 after becoming fascinated with his uncle’s Polaroid camera.  He completed his first formal photography course during high school in Asheboro, NC where he contributed many photographs for his yearbook.  After that came a photography degree from Randolph Community College and then six years with the NC National Guard as a photographer. He has continued his photographic journey as a fine art photographer while living in the Wilmington area over the past four decades.

Tim’s images, shown here in black/white, illustrate a keen interest in light and composition. His visual voice is often one of quiet reflection and introspection. He is skilled enough to give the viewer those same emotions.  His talents have convinced local and regional photo editors as well as the movie industry to use his photographs on their magazine covers, TV shows and movies, often as light-hearted and beautiful scenes. ~Jerry Blow, AIAP, Raleigh, NC

Exhibit Date ::
Gale Smith – Painter & Metal Artist

Having studied at UNC Chapel Hill, Gale considers painting as an ongoing study. Recently, she studied with Robert Longley at the Cape Cod School of Art in Provincetown, MA and also with Lois Griffel, the former director of the Cape Cod School of Art. The school is based upon the impressionistic teachings of Charles Hawthorne and Henry Hensche who were influenced by Monet and his observation of the ever changing effects of light on nature. She has also attended workshops with nationally acclaimed artists such as John Poon, Charles Reid, Morgan Samuel Price, Rick McClure and other fine instructors.

Gale has found a new interest in working with copper.  As a plein air painter, she began using copper panels as her canvas and loved how the copper made her colors warm and vibrant.

She experimented with different gauges of copper and mediums and discovered that inks and oils on copper made colors radiate vibrantly. Never quite sure where the colors and copper will take her, Gale paints, cuts and weaves two abstract paintings together to create a dimensional piece of art.  The soft gentle curves that she cuts into the copper, allows her to form the piece into soothing and thought provoking structural designs.  It is her desire that the viewer will experience a personal interaction with her art. Often, she writes small quotes, prayers or poems that relate to the piece of work on the back of the copper strips and weaves them into the design.  Gale donates a portion of the proceeds from her sales to various organizations and charities.

Gale is an award winning artist with her works exhibited in galleries, private collections and corporate installations.

Exhibit Date ::
Catherine Porter Brown – Painter

Artist’s Statement

Dream Time Series:
For the past ten years or so, the source of inspiration for most of my paintings has been my dream work and spiritual work with a focus primarily on the human figure and its relationship to its internal and external environments.  The work in this show includes some of those figurative pieces.  My dream analysis has transformed my childhood nightmares and laid the groundwork for the exploration and integration of those dark elements into a better understanding of my emotions, goals, and spirit.  Through dream work I have learned to delve into the realm of the unconscious and freely and unselfconsciously play with the images and words from my dreams, by blending and juxtaposing those things.

Ex Ovo Omnia Series – (From the Egg Everything)
– Ovid’s “Metamorphosis”

The egg is a shape without beginning or end and represents, to me, a self-contained cradle of the new, the fresh, and the infinite continuation of life.  It is fragile, yet indestructible. I have used the shape of the egg as a symbol of the fragile moments of realization, wonder, and new beginnings.  The eggs are protected by soulful, archetypal human figures that hold, listen, and stare at the eggs with curiosity and, at times, rapt attention.  The eggs represent a moment of quiet awareness and the power of anticipation. There seems to be an almost endless symbolism and meaning for the egg; a microcosm of cosmic time and space, potentiality, the germ of creation, the life principle, scrambled, sunny-side up, or in an omelet of your choice.

The inspiration for my most recent work has come from more mundane subjects, simple things I pulled out of my cupboard or picked up while on a walk in the Colorado prairie or while hiking in the back country hills of New Mexico or while walking the beach in North Carolina.

I believe within all of my work there is a focus on the coming together of objects and ideas. I like the drama and rhythm of the edges of things; plastic and sand, flesh and egg shell, water and fog, with each edge having its own tension, grace, and gravity.  That is what inspires me.

 

Exhibit Date ::
Tim Schwarz – Woodworker

Born in Buffalo, NY my family eventually moved outside of the city to a small town which had an antique shop. I remember at the young age of 12 going in one day and being amazed by the unique one of a kind items including some of the antique furniture in various styles made from varying species. At the age of 15 & now living in Eastern North Carolina I started working my 1st job cleaning floors. I remember being excited to work not only to make some $$ but to learn a skill. I was never one to sit around twiddling my thumbs. I like to blame this on my father who set a great example of how to provide for your family sometimes working 2 & 3 jobs at times to make sure we had a roof over us and food on the table.

Anyway after about 9 years or working in about 6 different fields of work that really didn’t suit me. I started working for my father-in-law’s auction company which I enjoyed since I got to learn so much more about antiques and furniture. I learned how to repair and refinish pieces that came in for the auction. I learned the various styles from throughout the last 200 years along with the species & techniques used to make them. I especially fell in love with Mid Century Modern designs by Knoll, Eames, Jacobsen, Nelson especially the naturalistic style of the famed George Nakashima.

Eventually with my ever growing family of 7 I needed to somehow make some supplemental income. So in 2015 I started buying well used and worn out furniture as well as some cool vintage & antique industrial pieces that I could repair, refinish, recycle or up-cycle into one of a kind pieces I would sell at various local consignment shops. Working on those pieces one day out of the week. One day someone who saw my work contacted me and asked me to make a 10’ long custom entryway table from scratch using new materials. Something I had never done before and had zero experience doing. But if you know me you know I’m always up for a challenge. And from the completion of that table I was hooked with making things with my hands from local sustainably sourced woods and recycled steel.

What started out as a 1 day a week way to make some extra money to help support my family 3 years later it became a full time job where I can work from home and be close to my family and each one of them has at one time or another come out to the garage and helped me work on projects among other things making it a full family affair. I get to work with my hands using natural materials I have always had a special place for in my heart. I always tell people I don’t make the gorgeous materials I use. I can only enhance and show off the beauty our Creator has given us. And I take something that could have eventually rotted and returned to the earth and make it into something that will last a lifetime or longer.

Exhibit Date ::
H.M. Saffer, II – Painter

Born July 18, 1942 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, H.M. Saffer II launched his career by exhibiting his art at a public art show at the tender age of six.

Upon graduation from Temple University in 1965, he traveled to Paris, France to enroll in graduate economics courses. Concurrently, HM’s path took a different twist, as he soon leveraged his musical talent performing with notable French stars Hugues Aufray, Jacques Brel, Charles Aznavour, and many others. He was later hired by Barclay Records as a producer, and had several hit records in 1968 and 1969. During this period, he was also the chef / owner of two restaurants in Paris, and later a third located in Ibiza, Spain.

Remarkably, as engaged as he was, HM never stopped painting and exhibiting his works. Several of his shows – sponsored by his restaurants and music associates – “sold out” and were favorably written up by the press. Before returning to the United States in 1970, he completed selected studies at L’Ecole Des Beaux Arts and exhibited in Paris and Brussels, Belgium.

HM continued on with his music career in the United States at Warner Brothers Productions where he co-wrote the international hit song, “Look What They Done To My Song, Ma”, recorded by Ray Charles, Melanie and other performers. While at Warner he painted a forty foot mural in their Madison Ave., NY headquarters and exhibited his works in the firm’s lobby. In 1972 HM was hired by the dynamic songwriter/producer Bob Crewe as Senior Vice President for the Crewe Group of companies where he worked with the industry’s top names including Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Vicki Carr, and Oliver. Later that year, he established HMS Two Music Ltd. and spent his time writing and producing music for films, commercials, recordings and Broadway productions. HM’s work in the commercial field is familiar to us all with creations for Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Ford Motor Company, and Michelob among others.

All through this period HM’s art continued to refine and yet broaden in its scope. In 1981 he began to study the art of Japanese brush painting. He left for Japan in 1983 to study with Japanese masters, and there he met his wife, Hisayo. While in Japan, HM adapted his Sumi-e techniques by applying Western styles of painting.. He was represented by Galerie Musee and the Artbridge Gallery in Japan, and in Hong Kong by Alisen Gallery and the Kwai Fung Hin Gallery enjoying successful solo exhibits.

HM reentered the United States in 1994 and took residence in Upstate New York. His style of painting shifted from exclusively works on paper to include oils. He began melding his Oriental influences with his Western styles in order to create new and different path towards interpersonal visual expression, and his current works are a reflection of this mélange.

HM has instructed at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA, Berkshire Community College,  Columbia-Greene Community College, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), Art School of Columbia County (ASCC).  He currently has gallery representation both in the United States and Internationally.

 

Exhibit Date ::
Angela Rowe – Painter

Artist Statement “Homegrown”

The Homegrown series is about local food. The paintings explore the movement of food from farm and waters to markets and to table. The paintings also celebrate the beauty of these foods: the intricate colors in a bunch of collards,  the way onions can appear pearlescent. I have enjoyed exploring the colors and shapes in each and every one.

Woven through these pieces are my food memories and stories, a sort of autobiography in food. The food memories begin in my native mountains with the foods my grandmother grew and cooked daily. In 1979, I first came to the coast of North Carolina and have since spent more years here than in my native mountains. So the traditional foods of eastern NC are celebrated as well.

I hope this work sparks conversations about your food memories and our magnificent local food.

My current work continues to explore the beauty of simple objects and scenes, as well as the shared memories they can invoke.

About the Artist

Angela Rowe is a native of Pisgah Forest, North Carolina. Although she grew up drawing and making objects, she took other career paths,  working an architectural historian, in arts administration, and managing high complexity global projects for IBM.

Since 2013 Angela has focused on making art, maintaining a studio practice at ACME Art Studios since 2014. She received an AFA in Visual Art from Cape Fear Community College In May 2018.

Primarily a painter, she also works in mixed media, print making and ceramics.

Exhibit Date ::
Dick Roberts – Painter

Virtual Tour created by Matterhorn Media.

Artist Statement

The paintings are about the act of painting. Although individually the paintings possess different intensities, opposing levels of complexity and abstraction, and perhaps a vague adherence to a narrative, the core of the process of painting remains consistent. The paintings are a reflection of the process of painting them. Every process is unique.

The magic of painting can never be totally explained. I find joy in discovering the emerging world of a new painting. Although harmony of the mind and the heart is important, the metabolic process of converting color, form and line into the forces that drive the painting is absolutely necessary.

Artist Bio

Education:
Brevard High School
Brevard, NC – 1965
University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL,USA – Marine Biology, 1965-1968
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Charlotte, NC, USA – Creative Writing Program 1970-1972
Western Carolina University
 Cullowhee, NC, USA – BFA Ceramics and Painting 1979

Employment:
Science Museums of Charlotte
Charlotte, NC, USA –  Exhibits Tech 1979-1982
North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
Kure Beach, NC, USA – Curator of Design and Exhibits 1982 – 2008
Artist
Acme Art Studios – Wilmington, NC, USA   1979 – present
Poet
1970 – present

Affiliations:
WHQR Public Radio – Local Advisory Board
Wilmington, NC, USA
1996-2004
North Carolina Museums Council
1979 – 2002
Southeastern Museums Conference
1979 – 1985
Wilmington Railroad Museum – Planning committee chairman
Wilmington. NC, USA 1995
Acme Art Studios – co-founder
Wilmington, NC, USA 1991 – present
No Boundaries International Artist Colony – co-founder
Wilmington, NC, USA 1997 – 2010
Art Point Gumno
Sloestica, Macedonia 2005 – present
African American Heritage Foundation
 Wilmington, NC 2009 – 2011

Publications:
Southern Poetry Review
Saint Andrews Review
Kostroma Poetry Project (Russian translation)
Between the Lines – Poetry festival chapbook
Poems for Macedonia
Various chapbooks

More of his works can be found on his website.

Exhibit Date ::
Jessie Robertson – Painter

 

Artist Statement

Ever since I can remember, I have been filled with a great love for frogs and toads. Everything about them, from their bright eyes and wide grins to their powerful leaps and graceful strokes, amazes me. I try to capture the beauty I see in frogs in my artwork, and to express the love and joy I feel for them with those who see my pieces. More importantly, I hope to contribute to amphibian conservation efforts worldwide, and make a real difference in the lives of the thousands of frog species currently threatened with extinction. Frogs need us, and I believe we need them too.

While I have always enjoyed creating frog artwork, it became a true passion for me when I discovered SAVE THE FROGS!, an amphibian conservation organization, and the enormous threats that frog species face. Ever since, I have used my artwork as activism, including informative fact cards about species I depict and donating 10% of my sales to SAVE THE FROGS! I use a variety of mediums, including acrylic paintings, watercolors, sculpture, digital illustrations, and animation. My pieces tend to draw heavily from real life, both because I love animals as they truly appear and so that each species is distinctly recognizable. That said, I make my pieces lively by enhancing colors and giving all of my subjects a smile. Though frogs may be suffering dramatically in the world we live in, I want to live in a world where I can find them smiling everywhere. I work to help create that world in my art, and in real life.

 

Biography

Born in Memphis, TN, Jessie Robertson moved with her family to Wilmington in 2010. Since 2017, Jessie’s award-winning art has displayed in several group and solo art exhibits, including shows at Wilma Daniels Gallery, ACES Gallery, 216 N. Front Street, the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, and Art in Bloom Gallery. In 2019, Jessie graduated from Wilmington Early College High School as valedictorian and from Cape Fear Community College (CFCC). Today, she is majoring in both Studio Art and Digital Arts at UNCW and working as a part-time employee at Art in Bloom Gallery, where she edits their artist films. Jessie hopes that the more she learns and creates, the more successful she will be in achieving her goal of saving the frogs.

More of Jessie’s work can be found at: https://jessielrobertson.wixsite.com/portfolio

Exhibit Date ::
David Norris – Print Maker and Drawing

Wilmington artist, David A. Norris, has a BFA degree from the East Carolina University School of Art.  Long settled in the Port City, he finds the historic atmosphere of Wilmington and the natural beauty of the Cape Fear River and the coast provide limitless sources of artistic inspiration.

Most of David’s work reflects the landscapes of the places where he has lived or visited.  Through his interest in art history, his work has absorbed influences such as English watercolors, 19th century engravings, Japanese woodblock prints, Dutch Baroque landscapes, and Van Gogh’s reed pen drawings.

David recently has begun a series of monoprints that combine printing techniques with color pencils and lithograph crayons. They build on and compliment a long-standing series of regional cityscapes and landscapes done in watercolor and color pencil. He also works in other media ranging from black and white pen drawings to silverpoint, scrimshaw, linoleum block prints, and collage.

About the Monoprint Process

Monoprinting is a process by which the artist creates prints, but only as single, unique copies.

One variation, the “plexiglass print”, begins with a thin layer of block print ink rolled by a brayer onto a sheet of plexiglass or other firm, smooth material. The artist lightly places a sheet of paper face down on the glass. A guide sketch can be taped to the back of the sheet. Wherever the artist traces a line of the sketch — by pen, pencil, or even a fingertip — the pressure transfers a mark to the printing paper. When done, the paper is carefully pulled from the plexiglass and allowed to dry, leaving the new print.

The new monoprint can stay “as is”, or the artist can continue printing additional colors of ink onto the sheet. It is also possible to embellish the print by hand. The thick printmaking ink, when dried, makes a rich surface for color pencil or other drawing media.

Exhibit Date ::
Nancy Noel May – Guest Fiber Artist

2015 was a year of changes for Nancy.  After managing art galleries for over 20 years, she decided to retire to explore new opportunities. Nancy has expanded from painting exclusively in acrylics to experimenting with gouache, encaustic and oil with cold wax. She is now working in fiber art with corded stitch vessels. New chapter, new beginnings, always seeking…”live the life you dream”.

Award winning artist, Nancy Noel May has always loved to paint, starting with formal lessons as a young child in Hampton, VA.  The coastal influences of color and scenery have been with her from the start, having grown up in a small community on the Chesapeake Bay.

Nancy continued her studies with a degree in Art Education from Towson University in 1975. Her college education, along with numerous other courses and workshops, have given Nancy a varied and exciting background in different techniques and styles of expression.

Clear, vibrant colors and a strong source of light are the prime elements of her paintings.  In 2004 Nancy returned to acrylics after a long stint with oils, finding the quicker drying time forces her to be more spontaneous in her work.

A love of travel has lead Nancy to explore ways of packing her equipment to create plein air paintings, and she never travels without a camera and sketchbook to record her experiences.  Bringing back images to her studio helps to relive her travels through paintings. Moving to Wilmington, NC in 1984 brought Nancy back to the coastal influences with which she started. The easy going style, clarity of light and color continues to be a significant reminder that she is essentially a sea-level woman.

Exhibit Date ::
Joan McLoughlin – Painter

New York native, Joan McLoughlin, is a contemporary artist working in acrylics and mixed media, sometimes incorporating photo transfers into her abstract and semi-abstract paintings.  Her expressive and imaginative work uses vibrant, lush color.    Joan says, “I am, by nature, a very structured, by-the-rules, perfectionist type.  Art gives me the opportunity to be bold, confident and spontaneous.”  The joy of painting is evident in her work.

In 2000, after earning a degree in Studio Art and Photography at Notre Dame University of Maryland, she exhibited her work in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia.  Now living in Wilmington NC, she is represented by Art in Bloom Gallery and Eclipse Artisan Boutique.  She has also exhibited at Wilmington International Airport Gallery, Arts and Health at Duke University Hospital and numerous solo and group shows.  Her art can also be seen in the permanent collection of the Wilson Center at Cape Fear Community College, at her home studio and website www.joanmcloughlin.com.

Exhibit Date ::
Curtis Krueger – Photographer

Some of the Curtis Krueger’s earliest memories are of his father and him drawing at the dining room table. He was told our television broke down when he was in kindergarten, and his parents, although they could afford to repair it decided not to.  Curtis places much of his fascination with the art-world with their encouragement and direct participation. The lack of television as entertainment is another. Curtis studied art at Eastern Michigan University, earning a BFA, along with two teaching certificates. It was in school where he took a darkroom class and got the incurable photo bug.  For the last 25 years he has earned a living selling my photos at various art festivals and galleries across America. Traveling is a big part of his schedule. Half the year is taken up with either shows or photo gathering trips. On an average year, Curtis travels 30,000 miles and shoots 50,000 images.

Exhibit Date ::
Brooks Koff – Glass Mosaic Artist

Brooks Koff  “paints with glass” creating unique glass mosaics that beg for a sunny window to catch and transform light into brilliant color! Unlike traditional stained-glass work, her pieces are created without the use of patterns, giving her freedom to fully explore color and design.

For nearly twenty years, Brooks volunteered as an art teacher at her children’s elementary school, New Horizons. In 2004, she was invited to be one of the contributing artists to the Minnie Evans Sculpture Garden and Bottle Chapel in Airlie Gardens. She helped over 100 local students create the mosaic stepping stones that adorn the foundation and walkway into the chapel. She also created a tribute piece to Minnie Evans–a small mosaic wall around the back of the structure.

Her work has been featured in many local magazines – Encore, WILMA, Wrightsville Beach Magazine, SALT, and Haven (the Bald Head Island Magazine) – as well as highlighted on a nationally syndicated PBS show.  She participates yearly in the Heart Art Show at the Cicada Metals Gallery, Art for the Masses, and the Spring Flea at the Brooklyn Arts Center.

She’s an army brat and the self-proclaimed “well-adjusted middle child” from a family of eleven children! She and her husband raised their five children here in Wilmington—several of whom have grown up to be artists themselves.

 

Exhibit Date ::
David Klinger – Photographer

Dave Klinger creates original art.  Currently, Dave is showing unique photographic prints  at Art in Bloom Gallery. He works in varied materials enjoying the fresh possibilities that appear.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT

Each time the camera is picked up is an opportunity for a fresh experience. We really cannot know what is out there in the streets and valleys and we are invited to approach the day with openness. This is where the excitement comes from in my work.

Lately I’ve been enjoying the imperfect images … the ones that often seem to reveal  something beneath the photo itself. A hint of a stray flash of color. An unforeseen distortion of light. A jumbled focus that might prompt a sight we are surprisingly unaccustomed to.

I am indebted to the many teachers and exceptional photographers sharing their amazing work and prompting me to offer mine.

Exhibit Date ::
Doug Haas – Wood Turner

Doug Haas is a wood turner who creates exquisite, original works of art often from wood found on local streets.  He is a volunteer woodturning instructor and mentor at Topsail High School and an active member of the Wilmington Area Woodturners Association and the American Association of Woodturners.  Doug’s wood turning builds upon his previous experience and exploration in painting and design.

Doug graduated from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC with a BFA in Art with a studio major in painting and a minor in wood design. He also studied art at the Universidad de las Americas in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico.

In addition to his work in the arts, Doug has a 30+ year career including 20+ years as an area coordinator for the NC Division of Emergency Management and as an emergency management specialist for the US Marine Corps, in addition to other positions in training and development.

One of his favorite quotes is “Why not go out on a limb?  That’s where the fruit is.” Mark Twain

Exhibit Date ::
Jeri Greenberg – Pastel Artist

After many years as a fashion illustrator and sportswear designer, Jeri turned her love of graphic design towards advertising next. Having time to devote herself to painting again, and falling in love with the pastel medium, has led to a new and interesting “next act”, as a full time painter and teacher.

Feeling that “Pastels are an immediate tool to express feelings” and the perfect vehicle in which to “Make the Ordinary, Extraordinary and tell stories in her paintings, Jeri works to constantly get a deeper understanding of this wonderful medium. With her background in illustration, Jeri helps her students get a strongly drawn foundation down behind their color work.

Jeri loves painting still lifes, urban interiors, figures and fabrics, and the occasional landscape as well.Recently relocated, Jeri teaches weekly classes at the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington NC, and holds demos and workshops around the country, as well as jurying national and international pastel exhibits.

Check out Jeri’s newest project!
Restaurants + Art 2022:  Celebrating Wilmington’s Restaurant Scene Restaurants + Art is a joint project, celebrating our local Restaurants, via pastel paintings by artist, Jeri Greenberg in collaboration with Art in Bloom Gallery, Terry Espy of MoMentum Companies, and different restaurants and cafes in our community.

Jeri Greenberg – Restaurants + Art 2022

Exhibit Date ::
Laurie Greenbaum Beitch – Pastel Artist

When I was a young girl, my grand aunt, Julia Sonnabend Rice, would take me to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on Tuesday nights. It was not the glitzy, popular place it is today. It was kind of depressing. The restaurant, which was a grim affair in the basement, specialized in salad with brownish bits of apples and slightly wilted lettuce. The clientele was ancient, a blur of blue haired Brahmin ladies. Upstairs, we toured the various exhibits, my grand -aunt asking my opinion of the pictures we saw. She would take the time to explain what she thought was special about the pictures, and the artists that created them. I found the whole business exhilarating.

I still do. There is something so utterly exciting and optimistic about starting a new picture, especially with some gorgeous, velvety new pastels. It is like the first day of school. You check your pencil box to make sure everything is sharpened and in order. You anticipate the coming months with excitement and some anxiety. Eventually however, you may learn quite a bit, and even figure out why they included a protractor.

More than anything for me, painting is about the process. In my work, I try to evoke a mood, to create a feeling of light, of atmosphere. I experiment with different materials and techniques. Regardless of how the picture is resolved, I feel satisfied with having gone through the process of creating it. For some reason, which I have not yet figured out, I become unbearable if I have not painted in a while. Just ask my husband.

I am intensely interested in color. That is probably why I love pastels. There are so many seductive shades from which to choose. I work on-site, because I feel my color relationships will be more genuine and less predictable.

I hope to convey somehow my feelings of how precious these scenes are. I try to capture their beauty, tranquility, and fragility. With the sprawl of the suburbs, it is becoming more difficult to find these serene and magical places.

 

Exhibit Date ::
Georgeann Haas – Painter and Mixed Media Artist

Georgeann Haas has spent most of her life in southeastern North Carolina teaching and creating art. After completing her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at East Carolina University, Georgeann began her career as an artist and educator.  Her artwork was shown in exhibitions, competitions, and galleries across the state.  She taught art and later supervised the arts education programs in the New Hanover County public schools. Georgeann retired in 2015 and renewed her focus on painting. Currently her artwork resides in public and private collections and museums throughout the United States. She now lives in Wilmington, North Carolina with her husband Doug.

Artist statement:

Working on several pieces at once, the initial process of painting begins by layering paint, paper, ink, pencil – sometimes even old artwork is torn and added to a new work. The next step involves deciding which elements to keep, which to omit, and which to add. Creating depth and dimension among the elements is the challenge; discovering unexpected points of departure is the reward. Perhaps because images of the southeastern United States are so deeply ingrained in my psyche, the work often reflects a horizon and local landscape features.

Exhibit Date ::
Dumay Gorham III – Metal Sculptor

Currently, Dumay Gorham, III is working on commissioned art. If you wish to request commissioned art from Dumay, contact him at dumay@mail.dumaygorham.com or 910-612-1723.  As soon as we have more art by Dumay, the art will be posted to our Art in Bloom Gallery website.

A native of Wilmington, NC, Dumay Gorham, III, is an independent artist and specializes in custom metal designs and fabrication and works in copper, brass, steel, and stainless steel as well as fiberglass and urethanes.

In addition to being shown in local art shows, Gorham’s metal sculptures appear in businesses throughout the Wilmington area. He completed wall installation versions of business logos for Copy Cat Print Shop and Ford Design Co. He has also completed commissioned sculptures for The North Carolina Aquarium in Ft. Fisher, The New Hanover County Arboretum, The UNC-W Center for Marine Science, The City of Wilmington, N.C., and many private homes and gardens throughout the area.
Dumay has also designed and built metal furniture for The Blockade Runner Hotel and Resort in Wrightsville Beach, N.C. and Jeff Gordon Chevrolet in Wilmington, N.C.

Exhibit Date ::
Joanne Geisel – Landscape Painter
My love of drawing and painting began as a child. I completed a degree in Art Education. Then I enjoyed careers in human services and higher education, and received a Masters in Public Administration using my creative skills in program development, marketing and helping others with career and educational goals. Since 2006 I became a full time artist; painting, teaching, exhibiting and selling my artwork. My goals in creating oil paintings include capturing the feelings, sights and sounds of my subject. I continue to experiment with texture, edges, brushstrokes, and palette knife and the layering of color to create depth, luminosity and beauty. I am on the faculty of The Cameron Art Museum School, Wilmington, NC, and the Leland Cultural Arts Center and conduct workshops for many organizations.
Exhibit Date ::
Mark Gansor – Painter

Mark Gansor is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In the early 90’s while supporting himself as a church organist and freelance piano accompanist, he began experimenting with decorative painting as a hobby.  Soon it blossomed into a full-time profession.   He now devotes his time to rendering decorative finishes, faux effects, plasters, and murals.  He works in both residential and commercial settings and has painted in several buildings that are listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.   Completely self taught, he learned the painting craft through reading books and studying the work of others. He has been trained in the application of fine Venetian plasters and has taken master classes in Trompe l’oeil painting. He has painted in commercial and residential structures throughout North Carolina and the Grand Strand of South Carolina.

For several years he has been painting works on canvas and hopes that this can be his career in retirement. His work is available at Art in Bloom Gallery. He has also recently become the Organist at St Andrews Covenant Presbyterian Church in downtown Wilmington.

ARTIST’S STATMENT

“I have been painting for over 25 years but have only now begun to see things in full color. Art is a journey after all: perception is not just blue sky and green grass. Bright color, thick paint, landscapes, and Wilmington architecture are all things that stimulate me. My formal training is in music which was my career prior to painting. Over the years I have dabbled in painting canvases, becoming even more passionate about it since moving to Wilmington.  Transitioning from walls to canvases I believe that finally my personal style is beginning to develop.  My dream and goal is to become solely a painter, an interpreter of the beauty around me.”

Exhibit Date ::
Wm. Fridrich – Photographer

Wm. Fridrich: Photographs

Robert Hughes, referring to the DADA move­ment (and Marcel Duchamp in particular), said that “like his Bottle Rack, Bicycle Wheel and other ‘ready­mades’…the world is so full of interesting objects that the artist need not add to them. Instead he could just pick one, and this ironic act of choice was equivalent to creation.”

The camera is the definitive instrument for making these ironic acts of choice. Then the function of this device — to record what already exists — in the DADA belief, is equivalent to the act of creation.

Wm. Fridrich studied art, sculpture and photography at UCLA, motorcycle magazines and in the U.S. Army, as a combat illustrator. He then launched a successful graphic design career in the early 1970s.

Introduced to the Dada and Surrealist movements by his wife, art historian Marsha McKee, William became clinically obsessed with Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Joseph Cornell: he has not yet recovered.

More of his work can be found on his WEBSITE.

Exhibit Date ::
Susan Francy – Photographer and Scanography

“I’ve been a photojournalist, commercial photographer and art photographer for more than 35 years. The overall theme of my art images could be described as “ordinary beauty, closely observed.” These images are often from nature and although they are focused on still life subjects, there is a dynamic sense of movement and emotionalism in them. In recent years I’ve been playing around with scanning objects, as opposed to photographing them, creating “scanographs. Scanography is a process of image capture using a flatbed scanner as the image capturing device. I work from nature, scanning live flowers, etc. I then print out the resulting digital images on high quality, archival photo paper.”

Susan lives and works in Wilmington.

Exhibit Date ::
Carlos Flowers – Guest Photographer

Artist Statement

“They are examples of photography’s true gift, the power to immortalize moments that transcend the passing of time.” -Peter Fetterman 

Life is nothing but an infinite amount of moments that are in constant motion. Unfortunately it’s quite impossible to remember it all. My camera is my greatest tool because with it I’m able to collect and store passing moments that become memories to later reminisce. It gives me great honor to share those with you. Moments. 

Artist Biography

Carlos Flores is a contemporary photographer and filmmaker who was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the United States at the early age of two. In 2017, he discovered his passion for film photography. Ever since then, Carlos has been passionate about capturing moments to show the world what he sees through his lens.

His photography has been displayed at The ArtWorks Gallery Verrazzano, Gravity Records, Leland Cultural Arts Center, Leland Town Hall, Arts on Fire, and Art in Bloom Gallery.

Exhibit Date ::
Frank Fierstein – Artistic Photographer

A friend of mine, a world renowned doctor of pharmacology, once asked me a question with regards to my artistic photography; “What is your purpose?“. For decades, I have tried to understand, answer and pursue what that purpose has been. To visually see my feelings in images, that represent myself as a child and young adult, has given me a  better connection, a deeper understanding, and a clearer meaning  in my personal life. Even as I have become a photography dinosaur, still working in my “chemical darkroom” and still using film for all of my artistic work, I continue to seek images that represent and connect with my heart and soul. Making prints that emit light from the silver they are made from is as important today as it ever was in this digital age of ink and sensors. After being given clear guidance by a great teacher about creating art with my photography, my artistic quest to find wonderful images has never ceased and to this day remains amazingly strong. Currently, I teach a class in Artistic Photography at Brunswick Community College, where I encourage my students to connect with who they are through their photography and I too continue to ask them the same question; What is YOUR purpose?

Artist statement

Art is an expression of passion and creativity. As artistic photographers, allowing ourselves to open up and feel this passion and creative flow ties our art to who we are and what we see. This produces images that represent our emotions, our dreams, our fears and our life experiences.

When photographing, the focus is on a different kind of place than our own reality or existence. We try to connect with a place that we figuratively can’t see. It’s a world of sensing a presence, an entity that defies description. As artists, we are compelled to understand how to connect with this feeling and then follow and photograph it. We are driven to find the source, its power. When we do connect, there is a brightness far more brilliant than anything in this world and possesses a feeling like a river of water flowing through our soul. This is a love that can bring us to tears and soothe all of our fears, stresses and anxieties. It’s a moment of discovery that creates a calming like no other; your soul is at rest!

Then, in the very next moment, everything changes and another excitement comes. Although there is literally nothing there that embodies this feeling, an energy courses through our veins with a rush of adrenaline that literally leaves us breathless, yearning and hoping to just take one more wonderful image.

We have seen and taken a photograph that reaches us on an emotional level, a moment that touches us deeply and profoundly. This is the true language of artistic photography.

Exhibit Date ::
Dianne Evans – Ceramist

Local artist and potter, Dianne Evans, has had a passion for art since childhood. She was born and raised in scenic Indiana, Pennsylvania. Dianne developed an interest in art while studying under an inspirational high school art teacher. This experience also inspired her to want to become a teacher. Dianne earned a BS in Elementary Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1994. In 1995 she moved to Wilmington, North Carolina where she began teaching in several private schools. Although she is no longer teaching, she works at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Continuing her love of art, she took art classes at UNC Wilmington in 2009-2010 where she focused on sculpture and ceramics. A field trip to Penland School of Crafts sparked an interest in pursuing ceramics as an art form.

Dianne is an active member of the Coastal Carolina Clay Guild and participates in local art shows. She predominately works in the medium of clay focusing on hand-built pottery.

Artist Statement

My current work consists of minimalistic forms that make a statement on their own and act as a canvas for designs and patterns. The form dictates the design. My surface decorations are inspired by curves, organic shapes and repetition and the relationship between form and design.  The shapes and patterns interact with each other creating movement across the surface and draws your eye around the piece. My work is meant to bring people joy, peace and serenity through form, color and design.

Exhibit Date ::
Brian Evans – Ceramist

Artist Statement

My current body of work is inspired by contemporary and futuristic objects and architecture. My sculptural work reflects modern abstract designs that resemble architectural structures. These structures consist of curvilinear and geometric lines and shapes that move the viewer’s eyes around the piece. The negative cutouts and recesses in the sculptures resemble windows or doors that do not reveal the interior space. I am intrigued by how the light and shadow interplay while painting an interesting shadow on the pedestal or wall. The shadow is different depending on the angle at which the light approaches the piece.  The patinaed surfaces on my work reveal an aged or weathered look. I find the juxtaposition of present and past intriguing. I incorporate similar elements into my pottery with the intention of conveying modern designs with interesting lines and angles that draw the user’s eyes around and into the piece.

Biography

Brian Evans was  raised in Western Pennsylvania where he graduated in 1993 from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Studio Art where he focused in sculpture and painting.  He moved to Wilmington, North Carolina in 1995.  He began in ceramics through the Continuing Education program at Cape Fear Community College while searching for an outlet for artistic expression. Brian studied under a Japanese-American Potter named Hiroshi Sueyoshi. He immediately recognized the caliber of Hiroshi’s skills as an artist and took full advantage of his instruction.

From 2002 through 2008, Brian taught Pottery Classes through the Cape Fear Community College Continuing Education Program. He also became a full-time ceramic artist. Since 2002, He has received various awards at Fine Art Shows and Art Festivals. In 2003 and in 2005, Brian was awarded The Regional Artist Grant for New Hanover County, North Carolina. His work can be found in public and private collections across the nation and abroad. Brian is a founding member of the Coastal Carolina Clay Guild in Wilmington, NC which began in 2007. He is currently the Executive President of Orange Street Pottery Incorporated which is a 501c3 organization that includes Coastal Carolina Clay Guild. Brian began teaching at Orange Street Pottery in 2017 and is teaching there currently.

Exhibit Date ::
Emerald Estock – Photographer and Weaver

I was born in the small town of Oneida, TN. After being adopted, I grew up in the Nashville/Franklin area.  I’ve had some hearing loss since childhood and developed moderately severe tinnitus so having art as a focus has been very helpful way to cope with that 24/7 condition.

I was drawn to art from an early age. My second-grade teacher noted “he often becomes too involved in his art to keep his desk in a workable condition.” My studio space today is about the same. I enjoyed ceramics and oil painting in high school before I discovered my visual voice in photography. I continued to pursue photography in college, particularly printing.

Mostly self-taught, I read Ansel Adam’s books and looked for workshops to pick up more skills. I studied fine art printing with John Sexton and Craig Stevens, nature photography with John Shaw, and platinum printing with Sal Lopes. I like to travel and try to combine photography and travel whenever possible, especially hiking.

After 35 years of photography, I took a break. I studied basket weaving with Susan Laswell (Heartsong Baskets) and thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail. I also got hearing aids.  Adjusting to hearing aids and coming off the trail after five and a half months, were both important experiences for me. I was astonished with how busy the world is, how fractured our attention. All these endeavors recharged my creativity and influenced the direction of my art.

I returned to photography intrigued with uniting the tactile elements of basket weaving with my photographic prints. The added dimension invites the viewer into the image. I strive to instill a peacefulness in each piece. Nature photography is my primary source of inspiration, but shapes, texture, and light interplay in many places, majestic and ordinary. My images and baskets serve as meditation points, a way for the viewer to bring some contemplation and focus into their day.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT

I have always been an experiential learner with a passion for photography.

The photographic print has been my visual voice and I’ve explored multiple alternative printing processes, over the years including platinum and hand made substrates. I enjoy doing my own printing.

Creating an expressive print is both challenging and rewarding.

I began weaving as a break from photography, but soon found I wanted to bring the tactile quality of weaving to my photographs.

In my latest body of work, I am exploring the creative potential of woven images. I feel the woven texture helps engage the viewer, and draws them deeper into the image.

Exhibit Date ::
Elizabeth Darrow – Painter and Collage Maker

ARTIST’S STATEMENT

Elizabeth Darrow has made Wilmington her home since 1977. Born in Hartford, Conn. Darrow is a 1967 graduate of Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio), where she majored in painting. She has been working in oil and collage throughout her career, usually in the manner of Abstract Expressionism.

She works in a variety of styles depending on her medium, but never works “from life” in the traditional sense. Most of the imagery that comes to her seems to hatch of its own accord, emerging from the process. Darrow enjoys working with color, repeating patterns and embedding humor (and angst) into her work. Each piece takes her on a journey of discovery where she hopes to lose herself to the process.

Darrow’s works are held in many private collections locally and abroad. Additionally, her work can be found in the permanent collections of the Cameron Art Museum here in Wilmington, N.C., Duke University Medical Center, R.J. Reynolds, Lowes, Wells Fargo, BB&T Bank, SAS Institute, Sara Lee Inc., The Holiday Inn and Nations Bank.

Additionally, many of Darrow’s works can be found backstage at the Wilson Center, Cape Fear Community College’s center for performing arts. This group of work was donated to the Wilson Center in celebration of original art by anonymous donors.  Click here to view a slideshow of her work located at the Wilson Center.

Click here to view a slideshow of past and present art by Elizabeth Darrow.

Look deeper into the many phases and processes of Elizabeth Darrow’s art work in this documentary titled Elizabeth Darrow: Believing in the Process. the documentary was created by: Jessie Robertson, Robby Carl and Christina Capra 2019.

“Start With The Eyes” documents a new process for Elizabeth Darrow.  Once again she allows the process to lead her to the outcome, rather than working from a preconceived idea.  Elizabeth Darrow: Start with the Eyes, The documentary was created by: Jessie Robertson, and Christina Capra August 2021.

Exhibit Date ::
Karen Paden Crouch – Sculptor

After more than twenty years of trial practice, Karen Paden Crouch traded her law office for the welding shop and began learning direct metal sculpture.

She works in bronze, copper and steel to create organic pieces for the house and garden. An avid gardener, Karen grounds her work in the structure and movement of living things.

Her work was recently featured in Dwell Magazine, where Karen’s welded-bronze sculpture, “Abracadabra,” is photographed.  View the article in Dwell Magazine.

Artist Statement

I work because I must. It is my passion, and every day that I am allowed to make something is an unexpected blessing. I work for the pure satisfaction of putting things together.

From my teen years forward I wanted to write. I attended colleges and graduate school with that goal in mind. Instead I found myself becoming a scholar, partly because I was afraid and partly because I was young and had little to write about. I left graduate school in the middle of my dissertation after my revered and well-meaning advisor praised a paper rich with analytical insight although sacrificing some of the spontaneity of my earlier writing. That did not seem to me, even at 25 or 26, to be a fair trade, and so I went to law school where, as I saw it then, I would have a more direct experience, an experience not derivative from another person’s art.

For more than twenty years I successfully and passionately advocated for a client’s position. I was in the thick of things, but I was safe behind the cover of advocacy. My plea, no matter how gutsy, was for someone else. Now I am sculpting and writing. Nothing I have done has been so frightening because this is about something directly from me. Whether it is good or bad, understood or misunderstood, trite or significant, it has come from within me. It is put out there for any passerby to embrace, ignore, or dismiss. I am proud and excited to run new hurdles.

My metal sculptures are grounded in the structure and movement of living things. When I work in bronze, I begin with a flat sheet from which I cut shapes. I heat these shapes with a torch and beat them into contoured pieces which I then weld into the sculpture’s form. Files, various abrasives and chemical patinas give the sculpture its final finish. Although I begin with a vision, the sculpture takes its own direction; if I will listen it will be a better piece. The found metal pieces grow from collected shapes. Sometimes I have an idea; sometimes I just start juxtaposing parts until an image emerges. My studio mate Marshall Milton once told me that sometimes the very piece that sparked the idea will be the piece that gets cut out as the sculpture evolves. That is true, even though it is always hard to make that choice. But I have always lived by instinct and, with assembled pieces, as well as the bronzes, the sculpture will tell me where to go if I am patient and listen.

My work is dedicated to the memory of Bill Thorp and in honor of Pat Webster. More than ten years ago atop a high North Carolina mountain these two, my shaman, set me on the restless path to living. While I hope each sculpture stands on its own, every piece I make reflects some part of that precious experience. Thank you Pat

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Judy Hintz Cox – Painter

Judy started painting while living in Peru, SA, at the age of 26.  That was over 40 years ago.

Upon returning to the USA, Judy worked as an artists’ model, where she met established artists, who critiqued her art.  This was invaluable. She was taught how to “see” color, composition and expression.  Her quest to learn more gave her the incentive to enroll at the University of Maryland for a second BA, in Studio Arts.

Ms. Hintz Cox resigned from her Psychiatric RN career to pursue art full time in 1999.  For the past 20 years, Judy has developed a unique style as an abstract minimalist.

She has exhibited extensively throughout the USA.

Artist’s Statement

Picture a blank canvas. Prior to beginning a new painting, I sit and stare at a blank canvas.  My attempt is to empty my mind.  I have no preconceived image.  After some time, I stand in front of the canvas and apply paint. The process has begun. I step back to view the canvas and take my cues from what I see.

I am interested in conveying spaciousness. I believe there is infinite space within each of us.  It is that place of stillness which brings joy. The spaciousness I attempt in my art is meant to be a reminder of possibilities, not necessarily a sense of joy.

When painting, one canvas leads to another and each is an attempt to reach my ongoing quest. When “caught up” in the mental exercise of self-validation, the painting suffers. Therefore, I attempt to let go of thoughts.

I don’t expect viewers to respond to my work the same way I do.  If any emotion is felt while looking at my work, that is enough.

 

 

Exhibit Date ::
Bradley Carter – Archival Prints

NEW INVENTORY COMING SOON!

 

American artist, Bradley Carter, is an award winning, international selling artist who grew up pursuing his passion for art in Virginia prior to moving to North Carolina in 2007. He predominately works in the medium of painting with his passion in Abstract Expressionism, but his works also include collage, paint skins, and furniture.

Bradley completed his BFA in painting and printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2002. He is active in both local and national juried shows. He is active in regional Art associations and past curator of Abstract Expressionism on Fine Art America (FAA). Bradley currently has work in Eclipse Artisan Boutique, Art in Bloom Gallery, The George on the River Walk, and Port City Mortgage in Wilmington. His work can be seen on ABC’s Secrets and Lies, Season One. He currently resides in Wilmington, NC.

Exhibit Date ::
Bradley Carter – Painter

American artist, Bradley Carter, is an award winning, international selling artist who grew up pursuing his passion for art in Virginia prior to moving to North Carolina in 2007. He predominately works in the medium of painting with his passion in Abstract Expressionism, but his works also include collage, paint skins, and furniture.

Bradley completed his BFA in painting and printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2002. He is active in both local and national juried shows. He is active in regional Art associations and past curator of Abstract Expressionism on Fine Art America (FAA). Bradley currently has work in Eclipse Artisan Boutique, Art in Bloom Gallery, The George on the River Walk, and Port City Mortgage in Wilmington. His work can be seen on ABC’s Secrets and Lies, Season One. He currently resides in Wilmington, NC.

 

 

Exhibit Date ::
Richard Bunting – Blown-Glass Artist

Actor, singer, and glass artist, Richard Bunting has shown his glass art in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Ohio.  He has created and refined his performing art for over 35 years and his glass art for over 16 years.

Richard writes, “Dancing with molten glass is like dancing with a great (but HOT) partner.  As a singer, actor, dancer, director the last four decades, glass blowing fits as a theatrical experience.”

Exhibit Date ::
Debra Bucci – Archival Prints

BRAND NEW INVENTORY HAS ARRIVED!

Debra Bucci is known for her vibrant and engaging floral paintings. Dynamic color palettes, moving compositions and translucency from layering oils all work together to enhance the depth and bring Debra’s art to life. Her inspiration comes from the high’s and low’s of the  human experience and believes this tension makes the art connectable. Her style is rooted in realism and woven with abstract elements.

In addition to her original paintings, she is offering a selection of archival prints based on the paintings!
  • Each print is created, one at a time, by the artist to assure the highest standards of color and quality
  • Each print is hand signed by the artist
  • Each print comes with a message from the artist along with a statement of authenticity
  • Prints are created with Archival Ink and Hi Gloss Paper to capture the brilliant colors of the original oil painting
  • Prints with mats are standard sizes and can be easily placed into frames purchased from local Arts & Craft Stores. Professional framing is not required.
  • “Debra Bucci Fine Art” prints can only be purchased from Art in Bloom Gallery. This includes the Wilmington, NC location and website at aibgallery.com 
Exhibit Date ::
Debra Bucci – Painter

Debra Bucci is known for her vibrant and engaging floral paintings.

Dynamic color palettes, moving compositions and translucency from layering oils all work together to enhance the depth and bring Debra’s art to life. Her inspiration comes from the high’s and low’s of the  human experience and believes this tension makes the art connectable. Her style is rooted in realism and woven with abstract elements.

Debra is a published illustrator and has achieved success as a licensed fine artist. Her art has been featured in Plow & Hearth magazine and can be found on ArtNeedlepoint.com. She has public and private collectors throughout the US including Savorez Restaurant and Wilmington Magazine. She is an anchor artist at Art in Bloom Gallery and is showing work at The Cameron Art Museum. She recently had a show at The District Kitchen & Cocktails and has exhibited at the Wilmington International Airport.

Debbie has a BFA in Design from Drexel University where she studied oil painting and enjoyed a corporate career in Package Design. She has recently moved to Wilmington, NC with her husband “Art” and dog “T-Bone”.

Exhibit Date ::
Bob Bryden – Mixed Media

Bob Bryden’s work exists comfortably within the traditions of minimalism and optical art. Utilizing the simple elements of point, line and plane he creates abstract images which are highly structured and concise while at the same time are optically active and visually illusive. The perceptual experience of his work involves the interaction of seeing and understanding and is directly related to how vision functions.

Bob Bryden grew up in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. He is a graduate of Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. He went on to do graduate work in South Asian art history at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. His desire for a greater involvement with creative arts lead to Kentucky and graduate work at the University of Louisville where he received a Masters Degree in Art with a concentration in printmaking. In addition to art he has worked primarily in graphic design and commercial printing. Today he pursues his creative endeavors in his swamp side home/studio in Wilmington, NC.

View more of Bob’s work at: www.bobbrydenart.com

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Allison Bowman – Guest Photographer

Allison Bowman is showcasing a set of impactful prints created during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The prints highlight the unique experience we all shared in the isolation. While I lived in the Outer Banks through the course of the pandemic, the manifestations of these experiences seem to be idealized in the forms and relationships I built with the bodies of water around me. Please enjoy “The Water of Life”.

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Fine Art From $125-500
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Fine Art Under $125
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Fine Art Gift Certificates

Give a gift that will last forever!

This unique gift can be used for the purchase of any item sold at Art in Bloom Gallery, and can be redeemed in store or online.

Please select from any of the preset amounts, OR mix and match amounts to create your own gift amount!

Art in Bloom Gallery will provide a downloadable gift certificate and an online coupon code for use online.

The certificate is not redeemable for cash and is good for one year from the purchase date.