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Landscape: New exhibits at Waterworks explore the beauty and power of nature

This fall, landscape is the focus of the exhibitions at Waterworks Visual Arts Center, with the work of the Plein Air Carolina group, paintings by Jonas Howard and Jeremiah Miller (“Earth and Sky”) and the work of Michael Simpson and Kathleen Burke: (“In Place: Memory and Movement”).
The opening reception for the new exhibits is from 6-8 p.m. Friday and is free and open to all. Exhibits will run through November 8.
Seven artists, including Sharon Forthofer, Harold Frontz, Leslie Frontz, Lou Murphy, Maria Teresa Rafferty, Barbara Richmond and Phyllis Steimel, from the Plein Air Carolina outdoor painting society, are featured in “Plein Air Carolina 2008” in the Young People’s Gallery.
Sharon Forthofer of Rockwell has exhibited her work throughout the United States and in Italy. Forthofer’s use of vivid colors creates a striking semblance of the landscape as she “strive[s] to capture the rhythms of color and shadow with direct painting techniques.”
Lexington artist Harold Frontz’s work leans toward impressionism with its visible brushstrokes and emphasis on light.
Leslie Frontz uses “underlying shapes and colors [to] carry the subject and communicate the mood” of the landscapes she paints. Frontz is a self-proclaimed “studio artist who is committed to outdoor painting. She has exhibited her work for more than 20 years in North Carolina, Ohio, Colorado, Florida, and London and has been recognized in Who’s Who in America since 1996 and Who’s Who in American Art since 1993.
Lou Murphy has been active in the visual and performing arts in Salisbury for decades ó her work as an actress, artist, and as a teacher of art is well known and praised in the community. Her work seeks to capture the emotions inherent in the shapes, colors, and effects of light on the natural world. A California native, Murphy graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Originally from Italy, Maria Teresa Rafferty has lived and painted in several countries. Her work’s spirit originates from the need to bring peace to “an evermore chaotic world,” which is accomplished through an intriguing combination of strong lines and angles and soft, cloud-like silhouettes.
Barbara Harris Richmond, a Salisbury native, has studied art since the early 1960s and was an active member of the Rowan Arts Guild and the Brunswick County Art Association. Richmond is relatively new to the world of landscape painting, yet she expertly focuses on color and texture to bring out the unique qualities of the landscapes she paints.
The final Plein Air Carolina 2008 artist and another well-known Salisbury painter and teacher, Phyllis Steimel, has studied plein air painting extensively throughout the United States and internationally.
Steimel is the co-founder of Plein Air Carolina, an active member of several art museums and organizations, and has been listed in Who’s Who in Oil Painters of America.
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Jonas Howard and Jeremiah Miller are featured in the Norvell Gallery in a two-person exhibition, “Earth and Sky.” Howard’s broad, clear views of beaches and bays are in sharp contrast to Miller’s painterly eye in the midst of his multi-colored forest.
Miller earned a BFA from the Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida and a BFA and MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has participated in more than 40 solo and group exhibitions throughout the Southeast since 1965, including a Waterworks exhibition in 1985.
A perfect complement to Jeremiah Miller’s forest floors, Salisbury painter Jonas Howard concentrates on the celestial variations of color and form found overhead. This painter works intuitively to explore his subject matter, transforming the skies and shorelines into an artistic vision of ideal natural beauty.
Howard’s goal is to find natural beauty in the skies, seas, and, increasingly since his move to North Carolina, the earth.
“I think that I shall never tire of looking out and up, and trying to make paintings that, if my ability to see and to feel will allow it, may have some small measure of beauty in themselves,” he writes.
Howard attended Depauw University, the University of Louisville, and Indiana University, studying music, painting, and sculpture. For thirty years Howard taught art at Indiana University Southeast; he served as Chair of the Fine Arts Department for 25 years. Howard has exhibited in 34 solo shows and over 100 juried and invitational group exhibitions. After living in both Indiana and Florida, Jonas Howard moved to Salisbury in 2007.
“In Place: Memory and Movement'” in the Osborne, Woodson, and Stanback Galleries features the paintings of artists Michael Simpson and Kathleen Burke, using landscape to convey their individual goals. Together these two painters offer complementary approaches to the idea of “place”, capturing ideas of both active, physical motion and stationary, mental introspection. While Simpson documents a moment of physicality within a place, Burke uses her memory and emotions to explore a place.
Originally from the Midwest, Michael Simpson earned a BA from Western Illinois State and an MA from Illinois University. Simpson has lived in Rock Hill, South Carolina, since 1998 and currently teaches art foundation courses at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
In contrast to Michael Simpson, Kathleen Burke uses an encaustic painting technique (pigments mixed with wax) to examine emotional memories of spaces and investigate philosophical questions and relationships within a landscape. Memory influences the places she explores in her work; revisiting old places from the past n especially silent, aged places n helps the artist deal with the present.
Kathleen Burke is the Creative Director of Spot Marketing and an adjunct instructor at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Burke received her BFA from Seton Hill University of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, in 1991 and her MFA from Winthrop in 2007. She and her husband, artist Eric Grab, have lived in North Carolina since 1995.
Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 704-636-1882 for more information.
 
 

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