Through the month of March, Asheville Gallery of Art (AGA) will exhibit the artwork of Jane Molinelli in a show titled Black, White and Shades of Gray. The show will diverge from Molinelli’s typically colorful and vibrant paintings to display her works in a limited palette. “I have always been a colorist,” says Molinelli. “Exploring black, white and shades of gray has been a time of personal growth as an artist.” For the artist, the theme extends beyond her technical process and into a more personal meaning. “Since we live in a divided time when the emphasis is on truth being either black or white, I have found comfort dwelling in meaningful shades of gray.”
This foray into a new style began with a commission project requested by a collector. Molinelli was excited for the challenge and chose to mix her own blacks rather than purchasing pre-mixed tubes of black paint. Instead of feeling restricted by the reduction in color choice, she felt the simplicity opened creative doors. “It allowed me to focus on the nature of expressive painting and the power of composition,” she says.
Molinelli studied weaving at Penland School of Crafts and her background in textiles played an important role in the development of her colorful, personal painting style. “Weaving is an intimate intermingling of colors, and, in further dye work in batik, I was able to experiment with how colors are mixed, layered and juxtaposed,” she says. Also influential in her development as an artist were the years she spent as a craft book editor at Lark Books. “I worked with incredibly talented craft folk who inspired me to make art,” she says. “I got to a point where I couldn’t sit at a computer another moment.”
Molinelli lives in Asheville with her husband. “We have witnessed the crazy growth of the town, but the vibrant and sustaining creative community is its heart and always will be,” she says. Molinelli’s work, as well as the paintings of the other 30 gallery members will be on display and for sale at AGA through Saturday, March 31. The gallery will host a reception for the artist on Friday, March 2, from 5–8 p.m.
Asheville Gallery of Art is located at 82 Patton Avenue in Asheville, across from Pritchard Park. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1–4 p.m. on Sunday. To learn more, call 828.251.5796, visit ashevillegallery-of-art.com or follow the gallery’s Facebook page.