Throughout May, The Gallery at Flat Rock presents Studio Confidential: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Artists in their Natural Habitats, exclusive online visits into the creative spaces of the gallery’s artists. “There are so many ways to be creative, and that process is a mystery,” says gallery owner Suzanne Camarata. “Studio Confidential will allow curious art lovers to crash private studios to see what really goes on in there.”
A Studio Confidential gallery will offer artworks priced $200 and under. Each artist will reveal three to five works for sale, with 10 percent of proceeds going directly to the Henderson County COVID-19 Response Fund, a newly created fund to assist Henderson County nonprofits working to respond to coronavirus concerns. To round out the experience, Studio Confidential will feature written Q&A interviews with gallery artists addressing their processes and reasons for creating.
Watercolor artist Kelly Chelena has a studio in downtown Hendersonville, but, as a full-time caregiver for her son who has multiple disabilities, often works in her home studio. “I am able to spend time in the studio at home, but I miss going to my Wall Street studio,” she says. “My mood is buoyed by the coming of spring all around us. Everything in bloom is helping me and I hope others to remember the joy of life even in times of trouble.”
Janice Schmidt will invite viewers into her studio where she creates reversible jackets, vests, tunics, home goods and totes from cast-off cotton Indian saris. “The scraps of fabric are rescued, layered, assembled and hand stitched with running stitches by enterprising Bengali women making something useful and beautiful out of discarded items,” she says. “I source the kantha blankets in Jaipur, India, hand picking through piles of colorful blankets with no two alike.” She then cleans and restores the fabrics before using them for her creations.
Keith Spencer finds a lot of inspiration at his home studio in the woods. “While I’ve always loved trees, I really didn’t view them as strong compositions for paintings initially,” he says. “But then I began finding ways to ground all those vertical lines, playing with color and finding focal points.”
Artist and bookbinder Erin Keane is drawing on springtime symbolism and imagery for her creations as well as her state of mind. “A seed germinates in a solitary space in a place of quiet and darkness before it sprouts through the surface and brings its beautiful life into full bloom,” she says. “That’s how I feel lately as I hunker in my home studio during this time of isolation.” She recently began creating sculptural books with a floral theme and calls the series En Fleur, meaning “in bloom,” in a nod to the vernal landscape. She sees the theme as reflective of her choice “to remain optimistic and find rebirth in my art. In a behind-the-scenes peek into my home studio, I will show how the sculptures developed, beginning with encaustic monotypes and blooming into sculptural forms that resemble floral geometric tiles.”
The Gallery at Flat Rock is located at Flat Rock Square at 2702-A Greenville Highway, Flat Rock. To learn more and for updates about opening hours, visit GalleryFlatRock.com, Facebook and Instagram @galleryflatrock or call 828.698.7000.