april showers are expected tomorrow but nothing will damper our excitement over the exhibitions opening for john folsom, ruth ava lyons and scott upton. all three southern artists are deeply connected to their surroundings from the deep blue ocean of the carolina coast to the endangered ecosystems of the rainforest. each of them interprets the landscape through complex techniques and palettes.
john folsom (b. 1967) is a multimedia artist born and raised in paducah, kentucky. he received his bachelor of fine arts in cinema and photography from southern illinois university. his work has been exhibited at the gibbes museum (charleston, sc), tennessee state museum (nashville, tn), vanderbilt university (nashville, tn) and most recently at the mobile museum of art (mobile, alabama). his work demonstrates the narrative potential of images through the use of digital photography, mixed media, and found materials. folsom’s photographic paintings have been widely shown for the past 20 years and can be found in many collections worldwide.
john folsom specifically traveled to the north carolina coast around wrightsville beach and figure eight island to photograph images of the atlantic ocean for this exhibition studies for a quiet coast.
ruth ava lyons
ruth ava lyons was born in cleveland, ohio and holds degrees from kent state university and cranbrook academy of art. she is a fulbright fellowship recipient and has taught at several colleges and universities. ruth has received several grants, awards, and residencies and her work can be found in numerous private, corporate, institutional, and museum collections including the metropolitan museum of art, hearst corporation, bank of mmerica, new orleans museum of art, national museum for women In the arts, sas institute, the federal reserve bank, us dept of interior and others.
ruth creates impressions of the natural world that explore concepts surrounding man’s negative impact on the environment and its possible restoration and renewal. he effects of global warming creating endangered ecosystems and environmental degradation inform the imagery she develops in several series.
these inspirational ecosystems include the everglades, rainforest, amazon, wetlands and many scuba diving underwater locations. her paintings are evidence of her personal search to comprehend universal themes of growth, resistance, and adaptation that she sees in nature, and in her own life.
scott upton received his ba in fine arts from the university of north carolina at asheville. upton’s abstract paintings are filled with color and texture. his distinctive compositions reflect strong geometric shapes with a subtle suggestion of a landscape. the canvases glow with multilayers of acrylic paint and concealed reflective textures using silver and gold leaf. "i've always maintained that my work is about color and light and their effect on our emotions. my inspiration comes from nature, whose sublime forms and colors and chaotic power shape the ever-changing landscape. for me, light is the unifying force, transforming everything it touches by banishing darkness and encouraging renewal. In my work I've always sought to suggest, in addition to the beauty, the feelings of hope and peace that light imparts."
from an awareness of the surface, to the application of materials, my work is about color and light and their effect on our emotions. my inspiration comes from nature, whose sublime forms and colors and chaotic power shape the ever-changing landscape. for me, light is the unifying force, transforming everything it touches by banishing darkness and encouraging renewal. in my work I've always sought to suggest, in addition to the beauty, the feelings of hope and peace that light imparts.
the emotional impact of change, time, weather, and light, i employ a wide range of techniques. i lay down rich fields of color, enhanced by many layers of transparent glazes. to intensify the effects of depth and mystery, i may use a foundation of metal leaf or applied textures. after building up a surface i then scar it or even scrape it away only to cover it over again with a new layer. i like “closing away” lower layers, except for scattered spots of color--a reminder that more is happening in a painting than what is perceived on the surface. i hope this process creates for the viewer a calm moment in which to reflect on what, in a larger sense, has been hidden from view.
-scott upton 2019
ruth ava lyons and twenty degrees chocolate collaborated to create japanese cherry blossom inspired bonbons filled with matcha and lemongrass ganache especially for the opening. we cannot wait to taste!
all available work by each artist can be viewed on the artist page of our site under the artist's individual tab. click on the artist image to see all work including sizing and pricing. the opening reception is friday, april 5th from 6-8 pm. please call the gallery if you have any further questions.