By Emma Castleberry
Through August, Asheville Gallery of Art will feature the work of member artist Cheri Brackett in A Retrospective in Figurative. Brackett has been a psychotherapist for more than 20 years, and for 15 of those years, she has been painting. “I’m privileged to hear the most intimate and sacred stories of people’s lives,” she says. “These stories of courage and tenacity, sometimes pain and grief, move me and continue with me, even as I stand in front of the canvas.”
Brackett’s career was the impetus for her entry into the art world. “Therapists are people, too,” she says. “I needed an expressive medium for things that were happening in my own life.” Her early painting experiences were fraught with fear and perfectionism, but once she immersed herself in the craft, she couldn’t stop. “There are these amazing technical aspects of painting—composition, color, texture and tone— and there is also this personal aspect that helps me integrate all the parts of my life in a beautiful and healing way.”
Brackett was juried into the 2016 ArtFields Regional Artist Exhibition and was also The Laurel of Asheville’s cover artist in February of 2016. A Retrospective in Figurative will include her most recent paintings as well as the first one she ever completed. “The sustenance we need for the creative journey often comes from examining where we’ve been, connecting the dots to where we are today, which is why I’m exhibiting a retrospective of my work at this time,” she says. “Fifteen years is a good juncture to pause and reflect on my growth as both a painter and a person.”
Asheville Gallery of Art is located at 82 Patton Avenue in Asheville, across from Pritchard Park. To learn more, call 828.251.5796, visit ashevillegallery-of-art.com or follow the gallery’s Facebook page.