Galleries Visual Arts

SVFAL Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Caldera. Gretchen Chadwick, artist

The Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League (SVFAL) will present a new exhibition, Less is More, at the Red House Galleries and Studios in Black Mountain to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Free and open to the public, the event begins Friday, May 12, with an opening reception from 5–8 p.m., and runs through July 9.

For this show, the SVFAL artists represented have chosen their own limited palette of four or five colors. The resulting work is sure to surprise attendees through the scope and depth presented with such a limitation.

“At first I thought using a limited palette would be simple,” says Elise Okrend, one of the artists represented. “It is, but only in that choice of color becomes secondary. The challenge lies in the elements of tone and composition. It is the decisions you make using these elements that become your focus and allow you to create a painting that is exciting and balanced.”

Less is More is co-curated by Gretchen Chadwick and Nancy Clausen. “As an abstract painter, I enjoy using a limited palette in order to achieve subtlety and evoke mood in my paintings,” says Chadwick. “A limited palette allows me to concentrate on design elements that might otherwise take a backseat to color.”

SVFAL is the area’s oldest group of community artists. It has provided local artists a regular display venue for their work and opportunities to carry their messages throughout neighboring communities, all while setting a standard of excellence for the area.

“Over the last ten years I have been a part of watching it evolve from a tiny place to the Red House, which we renovated,” says Clausen. “The group is friendly and enthusiastic about art and the Red House gives us a home to show our art to the public.”

Red House Studios and Gallery is located at 310 West State Street in Black Mountain. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 1–4 p.m. For more information, call 828.669.0351 or visit

Leave a Comment