The Toe River Arts Council (TRAC) Spruce Pine Gallery will host Inheritance, an exhibition of paintings by Jill Eberle, Kiki Farish, Jane Wells Harrison and Jerry Jackson, beginning with a free reception on Saturday, July 15, from 5–7 p.m. and running through Friday, August 18. It is a curated show focused on the theme of belonging.
The artists were all heavily influenced by the teachings of Paul Hartley, a renowned painting professor who taught for many years at East Carolina University (ECU). Hartley’s large-scale painting My Room is Turning is included in the show. His work was characterized by abstractly painted backgrounds with realistically rendered objects appearing attached on the surface of the canvas. “He encouraged risk taking to break habitual decisions,” says Farish.
Eberle, Farish, Harrison and Jackson share connections beyond ECU and currently live in various places across North Carolina. The past two Januarys, they reunited for several weeks in a Winter Residency program at Penland School of Crafts. The goal of each artist was to have uninterrupted time to create and to conduct frequent critiques of each other’s pieces. “The Penland residency allowed us to come together in a creative environment that included Paul’s eye, wisdom and inspiration,” says Harrison.
Each artist has a distinct body of work, and the pieces display their broad range of media and styles that will be sure to engage gallery visitors as they explore the common threads woven throughout the exhibition. As Jackson sums it up, “The best creative compass is the answer to one question: ‘What would Paul do?’”
TRAC Spruce Pine Gallery is located at 269 Oak Avenue. Learn more at toeriverarts.org.