With Americans recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and settling into yet another “new normal,” movie houses are hoping to see long lines outside of their box offices. In capturing that cinematic spirit, Tryon artist Chuck Mattern has created the winning poster for the 7th Annual Tryon International Film Festival, set for October 8-10. The poster featuring countless multinational heads standing in the street outside of the iconic Tryon Theatre and is being used to promote the international cinema arts in the North Carolina mountains.
“On behalf of the Tryon International Film Festival, I thank Chuck for producing such a wonderful poster for us this year,” says Beau Menetre, festival co-founder. “He captured the energy we feel, the hopes we have, the spirit of showcasing the best in cinema in our quaint little town. Abstract and impressionistic, the painting is colorful and the perfect composition of people, buildings, and the mountains. He did an outstanding job.”
This year, the art competition was coordinated by Tryon Painters and Sculptors (TPS), a local creative guild.
“This was not an easy piece of art to design, but the completed work was amazing,” says Nancy Holland, TPS president. “The artists were asked to portray Tryon and film. You immediately think of Morris the Horse (a large, wooden, and iconic rocking horse in downtown Tryon) and the Tryon Theatre, which are great landmarks, but there had to be more. The competition was stiff and the festival board had a difficult decision to make.”
Mattern has been an artist for about 45 years, beginning his career as an apprentice with a sign and graphics company. Eventually, he opened his own company in Florida and later in North Carolina.
“I have always been interested in abstract art,” says Mattern. “In the past, I have painted in the River Arts District in Asheville and recently opened my first gallery and studio in Tryon. Using lots of color and texture, mostly acrylic paints, I paint on a bigger scale. Some completely abstract and some with a quirky take on real things.”
Eight artists entered the competition. The poster’s much-anticipated unveiling was June 6 at the festival’s fund-raising event, “A Cajun Occasion,” attended by about 350 people at Mountain Brook Vineyards in Tryon.