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Two women, one show: Legg, Smith exhibit at Rail Walk

By Susan Shinn
sshinn@salisburypost.com
Patt Legg walks up to a sculpture by Marietta Foster Smith.
“Isn’t that interesting?” Patt says.
Yes, yes it is.
Sculpture by Marietta and paintings by Patt are part of a two-woman show on display through Sept. 27 at Rail Walk Studios and Gallery.
A free reception is set for 6-8 p.m. Saturday at the gallery, 409-413 N. Lee St.
Marietta’s part of the show is called “Sticks and Stones.”
She’s showing some 15 of her pieces.
The largest, called “Totem Rider,” features a child atop a sculpture stacked with all sorts of symbolic items.
She’s holding a chain, which snakes up to the ceiling and is covered with feathers, driftwood, a child’s pail, even a magic wand.
The sculpture, Marietta says, is symbolic of the child in all of us. Sometimes, Marietta is in control; sometimes, the child is.
“Or another way of putting it, she’s jerking my chain,” Marietta says, grinning. “It’s one of those relationships that’s with you forever.”
At the base of the sculpture is a collection of stones from Marietta’s many travels. (She’s one of those people who brings back a suitcase full of rocks.)
Two other sculptures, “She Sat Upon His Cypress Knee” and “We Declare” were inspired by two pieces of wood given to Marietta from fellow Rail Walk artist Annette Hall.
“We Declare” is full of nooks and crannies to place special trinkets.
All of Marietta’s sculptures can be displayed indoors or outdoors.
Marietta says that she and Patt both wanted to do a show, but didn’t think they had enough work to go solo.
“It has turned out to be better to have a partner to share ideas with,” Marietta says. “We are going to take advantage of the wonderful space and height we have here, and we each can take over what amount of space we want.”
Patt has christened her part of the show “Evolving.”
“We’re always evolving as artists,” she says. “We’re always learning.”
Patt has a half-dozen paintings that are a completely different style than the Old Masters technique in which she usually paints. “Inspiration Path at Dawn” was inspired by a trip Patt took to West Virginia, spending time with friends in a cabin eating, drinking, painting and walking.
“This is what I saw,” Patt says, standing in front of the
painting. “I came in and I could not stop painting. It was the fastest I’ve ever worked.”
The style of the painting is looser, more impressionistic, not as blended than what Patt usually does.
On the other hand, “Past Reflections” has blending to the “nth degree,” Patt says.
Patt took a photo of an old car in Denton, and liked the reflections cast in its fender.
“I’m not going away from my style,” Patt explains. “I’m just including other styles in my work.”
Patt points to three still lifes that are indicative of her more traditional paintings. Then there are the miniatures Patt’s done for the show. She painted a huge frame ó 8 feet and 8 feet ó and hung some 2 dozen small paintings inside it.
These paintings are priced from $25 to $100.
“I want people to have art ó that just this one time, anyway ó is affordable art,” Patt says.
Patt’s daughter and son-in-law, Tammy and Michael Showell, will be visiting from West Virginia and providing music for the reception.
In October, Patt plans to teach an Old Masters workshop on Mondays.
For more information about Saturday’s event, call Marietta Foster Smith at 704-431-8964 or Patt Legg at 704-232-6000.

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