When Suzanne Camarata, owner of The Gallery at Flat Rock, heard that 2021 has been designated the United Nations International Year of Peace and Trust, it set her to pondering the things that bring about peace and trust. “I was thinking about the rut we all get in and thoughts and feelings we hold onto,” she says. She thought about the challenges of 2020 and how they invited opportunities for “major self-examination.” What ensued is Transcendence, an exhibition of work by more than 30 artists, opening on Thursday, January 21, and running through February 28. Transcendence will be available to view in-person as well as on the gallery’s website. To protect community health, no opening reception will be held.
“At the beginning of 2020, I felt the year would bring perfect vision (20/20) to my life,” says artist Erin Keane, “and, with hindsight being 20/20, that is exactly what happened.” Keane’s piece for the exhibit, employing photography layered in encaustic beeswax, is titled Endless Time. “In a year that felt anything but calm and rejuvenating, I spent an abundance of time in the woods,” Keane says. “The phrase ‘endless time’ echoed in my head as I logged miles. I used intentional camera movement to capture my motions through the forested trails and designed a painting to reflect the rhythm and cadence of endless time.”
Ceramic artist Valerie Bjork Schnaufer’s work titled 1.5° references the smallest increase in water temperature necessary to create bleaching of coral reefs. “For the past 46 years, I’ve had the experience of snorkeling on some of the most beautiful reefs in the world during extended yearly visits to the Abacos in the northern Bahamas,” she says. “Several years ago, I encountered something that was both profound and heartbreaking. I encountered a large section of what was once the most colorful and diverse section of a reef off Green Turtle Cay. The entire area of coral heads on and around this reef was now totally white. Transcendence certainly occurs throughout our connections with nature as we are, hopefully, enlightened by our living world.” Once home, she began to interpret what she saw with clay, hoping to bring awareness of how humans are impacting nature.
“We look to the arts to transcend our everyday reality and inspire new ways of looking at things,” says Camarata. “The gallery artists are keen to lead us into the new year with hope and promise of a better tomorrow.”
The Gallery at Flat Rock is located at Flat Rock Square at 2702-A Greenville Highway, Flat Rock. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; or by appointment. To learn more, visit GalleryFlatRock.com or call 828.698.7000.