THE LIGHT WITHIN
Through April 3rd
Beverly McIver returns to Craven Allen with a powerful new body of work. The show can be viewed in the gallery with social distancing, as well as online on the Craven Allen’s Beverly McIver gallery page.
A nationally known artist who has been named Top Ten in Painting by Art News, Beverly McIver was working nonstop, teaching classes at Duke, leading workshops all over the country, caregiving for her family, and painting when she could. When Covid hit, along with all of 2020’s racial and political turbulence, McIver’s life changed dramatically. McIver faced the chaos and isolation the only way she knew how—through paint.
It was an intensely productive time. “I painted daily. It was both thrilling and terrifying; all this energy poured into two dozen new paintings,” says McIver. Through a series of self-portraits and paintings of family and friends, McIver confronted her feelings and fears. She created portraits of her sister and her 94-year-old father as a means of remaining intimate even as they all struggled with loneliness and isolation. A colorful silk scarf draped over her head became a mask or a blindfold. Light filtering through blinds in her home beautifully contour her face, yet also suggest prison bars. A heavy black rope figures prominently in many of the new works. “Black friends interpreted the rope wrapped around my head as a noose and white people saw the rope as my dreadlocked hair blowing in the wind. The interpretations of the two worlds I straddle daily, collided.”
“My voice felt loud and unapologetic. I felt power in speaking my truth. I hadn’t been loud enough, and I needed to scream it,“ says McIver. “These new works do just that. I have never felt the need to be so bold about constraints and restrictions. This is the time to be brave.”
A career survey of the artist’s work begins at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in 2022, before touring the country. McIver is curating a show of contemporary African American artists working in North Carolina for Craven Allen Gallery in 2021.
RONAN KYLE PETERSON
September 19 – October 31
Peg Bachenheimer, Paul Hrusovksy and Ronan Kyle Peterson combine elements of nature with pure abstraction for their three-person show Craven Allen Gallery. The gallery is open for viewing with social distancing measures in place, and the works will able to view on the gallery’s website, cravenallengallery.com
Peg Bachenheimer creates landscapes and abstract paintings using the time-honored —and challenging—techniques of oil with cold wax, and encaustic hot wax. “This ancient and durable medium has a mystery, luminosity and organic quality that give the final pieces a spiritual feeling. My process involves discovery; not knowing all that will emerge is an act of faith.” Bachenheimer hales from a family steeped in the art and museum world; she brings a discerning eye to her work which has found a wide audience.
Longtime Craven Allen Gallery director Paul Hrusovsky returns home with a vibrant collection of canvases based on organic shapes, rich with movement. The luscious surface textures have a visceral, tactile quality, enhanced by stencils and silk-screens. A Triangle gallery staple for over 30 years and outspoken arts advocate, Hrusovsky’s work is in major public and private collections.
With his modern, edgy take on traditional North Carolina functional pottery, the work of Ronan Kyle Peterson stands out as singularly imaginative. Peterson combines nature imagery with bold shapes and striking colors, seeking ” … to create a comic book interpretation of the natural world with a focus on rocks and trees and their role in the perpetual organic comedy of growth and decay.” A native of Poplar, NC, Peterson’s work is popular with collectors interested in the future of our state’s most iconic medium.
FROM MEMORY: PAINTINGS & DRAWINGS BY SUE SNEDDON
In person and online through September 5
SPECIAL FACEBOOK LIVE MUSICAL EVENT
with Sue Sneddon and friends from the Mobile City Band!
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2nd , 7-8 PM
Sneddon’s land- and seascapes convey the quiet grandeur of the natural world in paintings ranging from intimate pastels to large oils on canvas.
From Memory is Sneddon’s 14th exhibition, over a 25 year period, at Craven Allen Gallery. The title refers to the artist’s process of letting her memories of scenes and events distill over time, as she contemplates the perfect way to capture an experience through her artwork.
“Even as a child I would say to myself, if I can paint the joy I feel in this moment, I want to be a painter,” says Sneddon. “Regardless of the time period, the paintings in this show represent pivotal moments throughout my life to remember and share.”
Ben Bridgers Is Vermeer with a “Thrasher” Subscription in “Back Burner”
Read George Jenne’s perceptive review in INDYWEEK here!
Ben Bridgers’ enigmatic works combine the hallucinatory perspective of an outsider artist–whose first passion was skateboarding — with the skills of an accomplished painter who has taught at universities around the country and abroad.
Imagery from zines and crude vhs videos documenting skateboarding and punk music culture informed Bridgers earliest aesthetic sense, along with another passion: art. “Skateboarding in the 1980’s was raw, illegal, and generally, unaccepted,” says Bridgers. “As a teenager, I would occasionally ditch school, go skate, and spend part of my day at the local art museum, to wander the galleries. At the time I wasn’t familiar with art history, but those paintings were more interesting than anything else going on.” He developed a deep appreciation for the artistry of painting as it developed over time, as well as for the visceral process of creating art. He still stretches his own canvas over bars he has made, prepares his surfaces using traditional rabbit skin gesso, and paints in oil, a medium which, like skateboarding, demands patience and practice for mastery.
Bridgers’ juxtapositions of finely detailed figures or forms are often subtly illuminated within a dark void, reminiscent of old masters. “My paintings are deeply embedded in historical and classical methods, materials, and processes while exploring a curiosity with the magic, mystery, and perversity of nature, “ says Bridgers. “I continually return to themes surrounding transitory events such as home, landscape, migration, love, loss, absence, and how these themes relate to the natural compulsion to continue.” Bridgers works on several canvases at a time over many months, as each work gradually reveals itself.
Ben Bridgers grew up in the rural farming community of Pilot, North Carolina. He earned an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art in Athens, and studied and taught at the university’s campus in Cortona, Italy. He was an Associate Professor of Art in Painting and Drawing at the University of Redlands in California before returning to North Carolina in 2012.
Bridgers has maintained an active studio practice over the past 30 years and exhibited his work in galleries and museums across the United States. His work is held in public and private collections throughout the United States, Italy, and Japan. Currently, Bridgers lives and works in Durham, NC and is the Manager of the Park Collection and Exhibitions at the North Carolina Museum of Art.