Two artists at The Gallery at Flat Rock present their work Thursday, October 8, through Sunday, October 25 in a virtual and in-person exhibit titled Sacred Animalia: A Love of Animals in Pottery and Pastels. Free and open to the public, the exhibition features ceramic artist Katherine Maloney and painter Alec Hall. A Meet-the-Artist event will be held Saturday, October 10, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Pastel artist Hall’s 32 years working in the field of veterinary medicine inform his work. “During that time, I had the good fortune to meet and interact with many talented artists who shared my admiration of and passion for animals,” Hall says. “I began by taking night classes in oil painting 24 years ago and it was only natural that I chose animals as my subject matter.” He went on to apprentice in other mediums, including pastels, which he taught for a time. When he retired from his veterinary career, he turned his hand to art, beginning with a focus on wildlife art and, over the years, capturing domestic animals, chiefly horses, as well.
While living in Michigan, Hall owned a Belgian-quarter horse cross named Moose, who, for 36 years, was “a reliable and trusted companion around our farm and provided me with a firsthand knowledge of equine behavior,” he says. He has also used county fairs, agricultural celebrations and equestrian events to gather reference material for paintings. “Animals, both domestic and wild, have been a major force and focus in my life for as long as I can remember,” he says. “I am drawn to animals regardless of where I am or what I am doing.”
Maloney’s clay pieces—censers, pitchers and jars—depict wild animals, as well as horses and birds, the latter pairing inspired by time she spent in Tibetan China. “I became close friends with a Tibetan man who grew up as a nomadic yak herder,” Maloney says. “He told me a story about birds and horses being from the same lineage in Tibetan belief, as they both represent flight.”
The Gallery at Flat Rock is located at Flat Rock Square at 2702-A Greenville Highway, Flat Rock. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; or by appointment. To learn more, visit GalleryFlatRock.com or call 828.698.7000.