we are super excited for the opening night of the much anticipated exhibition (3 years in the making) of intro 7 tonight! for over 20 years hidell brooks has continued with our original goal of exhibiting works of art by american artists who have rarely been shown in north carolina. our introduction exhibitions provide the perfect platform to introduce artists to our collectors. over half of the artists included are southern artists from kinston, charleston, atlanta, charlottesville and charlotte. large group exhibitions are an undertaking and we are so grateful to all the artists for all their efforts! the exhibition is one not to be missed.
brenda rehrig is an atlanta based painter. she has shown work in juried group and solo exhibitions, had work placed in private and corporate collections, and has been selected into juried painting publications. her recent body of work reflects her love of and respect for the natural world, and explores texture and luminosity using the encaustic painting medium.
"my work speaks of nature and the rhythms of nature. each painting begins with a color concept referencing an idea or a natural thing. the materials used are natural beeswax combined with resin and colorants applied to a wood substrate. this combination of materials is applied and fused over a long expanse of time, the buildup is a paradox of intention and chaos. i am deliberately looking for expression without the use of imagery."
frank phillips has been professionally creating art for over 20 years. he, his wife Meg, daughter bess, and brood of animals split time between alexandria and charlottesville. in alexandria, phillips works at episcopal high school, where he teaches introduction to the arts, painting, drawing, photography, ap studio art, and art history. he received his ba with high honors from hobart college in 1997 and received his mfa from the maryland institute college of art in 2005.
at hobart, phillips was a decorated member of the men’s varsity soccer team. currently, he is an avid squash player. at episcopal, frank phillips utilizes his athletic experience to coach soccer and squash. his passion for competition and physical activity directly influences his artwork. the paintings and drawings are products of his very physical process, and he embraces the work involved.
in addition to teaching and coaching, frank phillips has been a member of the design team that developed the plans for the new $10 million arts facility at episcopal high school. after years of planning, the fully integrated arts facility was opened in september 2003.
within the ehs ainslie arts center, phillips has been a director and curator of the angie newman johnson gallery. he has managed the operations of scheduling, artist selection, marketing, and installation. phillips has been heavily involved in all angie newman johnson gallery shows; those featured include will mebane, rob evans, and billy sullivan. he has curated exhibitions of work by sam gilliam, timothy app, david a. douglas, ed mcHugh, john c. menihan, and russell horvath.
jessica gordon was born and raised in cincinnati, ohio where she received an associate’s degree in commercial art from antonelli art college. jessica worked in graphic design for a short time, but years later she longed for a creative outlet. picking up a paintbrush for the first time, jessica fell in love with the idea of creating something completely her own. she is self-taught and paving her own way, giving the viewer an insight into her mind and creative instincts.
melinda hackett received her ba from hobart william smith college and her mfa from parsons school of design, new york. hackett’s use of vibrant, layered colors and biomorphic shapes refers to organic space and unfixed time. each painting is a reference to the structure and colors found in nature and are abstracted testimonies to abundance, growth, movement and harmony. she is interested in the play between interior and exterior space.
"my paintings refer to organic space and unfixed time. to call them landscapes would be misleading since they are poetic inventions of my imagination, and reference the world of nature rather than depict it literally. one of my purposes in making paintings is to transport the viewer to a necessarily foreign place, where nature can be experienced without knowing it fully, and where reality is communicated through the senses. i am involved in the play of interior and exterior space. on one hand; interior, intimate, house, personal-and on the other; exterior, immense, universe, cosmos. my paintings represent both states, the near, the far, the view through a telescope, the view through a microscope, the sheltering sky, the intimate forest. my paintings create worlds full of images that float, hover, creep, spin, hang, roll or sleep in corners.
the images come from an internal source. they contain a vital impulse, and are alive as if subjected to breezes, weather and climatic conditions. my paintings represent states of non linear time. it is less that a singular event is taking place than that a group of different objects are moving through the picture plane at various rates of speed and in opposite directions, some gliding slowly and others whirring as if in a blender. nature is not in a state of decay, nor is it symbolic or nostalgic for the past. the paintings are largely fragmentary in that they exist in one moment of time, so do they exist in one torn swatch of space. there is a sense that the activity continues outside the borders of the paintings as the forms flirt with the edges or get chopped off by them. some forms are only just coming into being while others have already 'come out' and some just like to watch. by virtue of their inability to be fully identified, they remain in the realm of the poetic, a sum of images to form a whole. they are meant to be experienced fully through the eye of the viewer."
acrylic on canvas
36 x 24 inches
ben knight, a chicago native, has transitioned well to country, small town living. knight’s work has settled and become representative of the calming country environment. a unique balance of chaos and control permeates each painting, as his emphasis on color, time and emotional transcendence take form. knight explores the relationships of feeling, thought and intuition by layering color and texture over time to capture the complexity of one’s own personal and physical change. 20 years of production has helped knight become part of collections across the country.
as a co-owner of chef & the farmer and the vivian howard restaurant group, he has established himself as a leader in small town investment and job creation. knight thrives on entrepreneurial and creative activities and has used his artistic qualities to combine thoughtful design with warm, fun and inviting restaurants. most recently, benny’s big time pizzeria here in the south front district, reinvents an old shirt factory into a bustling contemporary pizzeria, complete with wood burning ovens, exposed original terracotta walls, and old school pizza hut style tiffany chandeliers.
in addition, knight serves as a board member to the nc rural center, and is an established contemporary nc artist. when not in his studio, or one of the restaurants, knight can be found coaching his 7 year old twins basketball team.
helen robinson’s oil and embroidery on canvas to my first love was inspired by her mom and includes a snippet of poetry from a sonnet by christina rossetti about mothers. the pink carnation represents motherly love.
helen is an artist based out of brooklyn, ny. she received her bachelor’s degree in studio art and art history at vanderbilt university in 2013 and continues to build her own body of work at her studio in brooklyn. helen’s work focuses on conceptual portraiture that explores the nature of representation and the limitless potential of the human figure as a subject. she uses non-traditional portraiture to consider modes of representation and self-expression. her paintings are all derived from photographs and studies and are mostly documentary in style. overall, helen's work expresses human connection and social interactions based on our relationship to our surroundings and one another.
ben grasso paints fabricated disasters and the destruction of archetypal houses flying through the air. these large scale theatrical paintings almost reach a form of abstraction. the action sequences that he depicts of exploding elements are created with oils on paper. in his paintings he captures movement and energy, zooming in on the origins of detonation and chaos.
grasso was born in cleveland, oh in 1979. he earned his mfa in painting from hunter cuny new york, and bfa in painting from the cleveland institute of art. he has also participated in many group exhibitions nationally and internationally. in 2002 ben was awarded the joseph mcCullough painting scholarship award for excellence in painting and then the helen greene perry scholarship a year later. he completed the fountainhead residency, miami in 2009 and then was a 2010 fellow in painting from the new york foundation for the arts. most recently he was awarded the pollock krasner foundation grant. grasso has had experience as a visiting lecturer at universities, galleries and museums; such as the cleveland institute of art, the johns hopkins university in bologna, italy, and parsons the new school for design, ny, among others.
alex waggoner graduated from savannah college of art and design with a bfa in painting and printmaking in 2012. she lives in charleston, south carolina and paints in her home studio.
in 2014, she was one of the regional emerging artist in residence at artspace in raleigh, north carolina. she was included in new american paintings no. 118 in 2015 and was awarded best In show at the 2017 piccolo spoleto juried art exhibition. alex was an artist in residence at the gibbes museum in the summer of 2018.
alex’s paintings are based on the traditional southern urban landscapes and architecture that surround her in charleston. employing the dreamy color palette abundant in the charleston environment, she contrasts these images with meticulous paint application. through this exploration of architectural individuality proliferate in charleston, she aims to encourage a thoughtful dialogue concerning charleston's historical significance, forgotten spaces in-between, and the impact of gentrification.
laura deems is an abstract artist who has quickly been deemed noteworthy, with features in numerous publications. this early discovery of laura’s talent recognizes that her work embodies a new interpretation of painting. the freedom and immediacy in her marks, wandering over the canvas only to be abruptly cut off, reveals both the fluidity and the harshness of gestural motion. the canvas ceases to serve as a window to convey images and ideas, rather it becomes a space invoking the very movements that orchestrated those marks. her work has a sense of terroir, leading the visualizer to experience the very sights, smells, and motions that inhabit the space with laura as she creates.
her inspiration is rooted in her fabric design background, which was developed during her time at the university of georgia’s lamar dodd school of art as a fabric design major. laura translates the markings and textures of the textile to her paintings. as a result, her paintings encapsulate the free flow of the patterned textile as they are loosely worn on the body, blending the inviting colors with the lively gestures of the human body.
anne crumpacker holds a bachelor of arts from scripps college and a master of arts in liberal studies from reed college, as well as a teaching credential from university of california, berkeley. she is a member of the first graduating class of the mfa program in applied craft and design from oregon college of art and craft + pacific northwest college of art.
her wide-ranging arts administration and curatorial experience includes professional and volunteer work, primarily at contemporary crafts, portland center for the visual arts, and the portland art museum. in june 2010 she interned with doug and mike starn on the acclaimed big bambú installation on the roof of the metropolitan museum of art. anne has been a student of ikebana for over 15 years. her passion for travel, exploration and learning has taken her throughout asia, europe, africa and south america. she credits experiences in japan as a profound influence on her art and life.
anne received the american bamboo society 2012 arts and crafts award.
nathaniel rogers was born in charlottesville, va in 1980. he attended davidson college where he received his ba in studio art and is a graduate of the hoffberger school of painting at the maryland institute college of art, where he received his mfa in painting. his work has been featured in new american paintings and received critical acclaim in journals and periodicals such as the washington post, washingtonian magazine, and the philadelphia city paper. his work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and his work can be found in both private and public collections throughout the united states. rogers currently lives and works in charlotte, nc.
"my paintings’ visual elements are inspired by personal experiences within the contexts of american suburban culture, global politics, and narrative symbology from historical mythology and oral tradition. the situations methodically staged in my pieces have components deliberately placed to add levity and humor, while a darker underbelly lurks. comedy is a masking mechanism, mimicking the ways in which we so often turn to distraction, denial, masquerade, or disbelief in order to cope with, or to temporarily avoid, the realities of life.
the smallness of the works emphasizes their physicality, drawing the viewer close. just as virtual and real identity can clash, there is a disjunction between the way my paintings seem virtually and the way they are in the physical world."
iris kufert-rivo received her mfa from bard college, milton avery graduate school of the arts and has been exhibiting widely across the united states.
"pattern and repetition of forms is a subject that I’ve pursued for decades. this new set of paintings called the structure series is inspired by the urban environment in which i dwell. the rhythmic geometric and architectural shapes that i view from the studio window are rehabilitated into this series of paintings. my works are visceral and unplanned. the process and the creative journey is what drives me to make new paintings. i view the structure series as a metaphor for the conflicting times in which we live. social, political, personal, and economic upheaval is always experienced, processed and then restructured. these paintings examine the constructs of intellect and emotion through the repetitive use of the square, how it is presented and organized, and how color characterizes the psychology of the works. the honed images from my visual vocabulary are made using straight edges and palette knives. without the advantage of a brush, i create a connection instead between the straight edge and the hand. i can develop the emotional balance through color and the momentum of frenetic or calm, claustrophobic or spatial through the repetition, layering and organization of shapes."