Visual Arts

Joy and Stephen St. Claire at Woolworth Walk

Last Light on an Autumn Day, Joy & Stephen St. Claire, artists

The work of Joy and Stephen St. Claire will be featured in Woolworth Walk’s F.W. Gallery for the month of October. The couple, both raised in southern California, creates together at St. Claire Art’s open studio in the River Arts District. Woolworth Walk will hold an opening reception for the artists on Friday, October 5, from 5–7 p.m.

Stephen, a graduate of Pasadena’s ArtCenter College of Design, started painting on metallic leaf in 2001 and discovered a new genre for his work. After many years of experimenting with the medium, he has developed a signature style of reflective abstracts and landscapes. After sculpting a composition onto canvas with several layers of modeling compound and gesso, he covers the entire surface with Italian aluminum leaf. The result is a painting that appears backlit, with intense color and contrast. Stephen calls his technique dialuminism.

Throughout Stephen’s career, his wife Joy has provided support. “Having been involved with art all of my life, I started helping Steve with various phases of his artwork and because of that, I became very familiar with his unique process,” she says. “After I realized I knew his painting method, I started creating my own pieces.” In the beginning, Joy chose flowers as her primary subject, but she has since branched out into landscapes as well. Her pieces are often smaller in scale than Stephen’s. “Nothing could make me more proud than to watch Joy paint,” says Stephen. “I hope that what we paint and how we paint inspires curiosity, inner peace and awe. The nature so close to us in Asheville inspires awe in us every time we go hiking. I hope that sense of wonder comes across in our artwork.”

F.W. Gallery at Woolworth Walk is located at 25 Haywood Street in downtown Asheville. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 828.254.9234 or visit

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