Local Artists Present 'Moore Art'
Five local artists have been busy creating art for the May feature exhibit at the Campbell House Galleries in Southern Pines. Sharon Ferguson, Harry Neely, Barry Purrington, Sandy Stratil, and Marie Travisano have been exhibiting as a group for the past three years and have been calling themselves "Moore Artists V."
"The color in Sharon Ferguson's paintings is outstanding -- creating a mood and making her landscapes expressive," says Janette Hopper, artist and chairwoman of the art department at UNC Pembroke. "Harry Neely's still lifes in oil are precise and skillfully painted. Sandy Stratil's collages are about memory, bringing to mind our own experiences, through the sharing of hers, in the media of collage with delicious textures. Marie Travisano's mixed media abstraction shows the wonder of the accidental and of freedom. Barry Purrington's furniture complements the show's organic nature with constructive forms and wood surfaces. There is something for everyone here."
The exhibit, "Moore Art by Moore Artists V," opens Friday, May 2, with a reception to meet the artists from 6 to 8 p.m. Jane Clark, Linda Covington, Beth Dowd, Billie Ertter, Betty and Ron Fahey, Jeanette and Jeff King, Jim Luse, Millie Purrington, Muriel Ryder, Donna Traylor and Frank Coleman, and Rene and Gene White host the reception, which is free and open to the public.
The exhibit is on display through May 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays, and from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, May 17 and 18. The galleries will be closed on Monday, May 26, in observance of Memorial Day. The Campbell House Galleries are located at 482 East Connecticut Avenue, Southern Pines.
Sharon Ferguson is no stranger to the Sandhills art scene. A native of Pinehurst, Ferguson has been interested in art since the age of four. Studies with artists Kamille Corry and D. Jeffrey Mims have given her a firm foundation in drawing based on the French academic system of working from plaster casts followed by working from life. Ferguson maintains "before one can paint, one must learn how to draw; and before one can draw, one must learn to see." The "Moore Art" exhibition will be one of several that she has participated in at the Campbell House.
Harry Neely is a native Carolina artist and follows in a family tradition rich in music and art. He began his early training in high school with a Paris-trained artist, and through the years has continued to seek inspiration with contemporary master artists across the U.S. and in Italy. He currently studies with still life and portrait artist and sculptor, Danni Dawson. Dawson is an early apprentice of Nelson Shanks and is famous in her own right today.
Neely paints primarily in oil and acrylic in a "modern classical" manner, reflecting a traditional style but using the brighter, modern colors of today. He is most influenced by the great era of American painters from 1800 to 1900.
"These painters owed much to their academic French, Dutch, and German training," says Neely. "Interestingly, a gallery director commented that my paintings show the same connection to the land that can be seen in the work of some early Pennsylvania painters."
Neely is represented by the Exchange Street Gallery in Aberdeen; Art at the Market Place in Pinehurst, and Spencer Gallery in Charleston, S.C.
Barry Purrington creates furniture and wood turnings. His work has been lauded by judges of local art competitions. In addition to exhibiting locally, Purrington has had an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
He was also recruited to repair George Washington's wooden pew in the restoration project at Christ Church in Alexandria, Va.
Sandy Stratil will be showing mixed media and collage works. Her "Family Matters" series has been the chief focus of her work for the past 10 years.
"The series evolved from a desire to make my work more personal and unique and to explore my new-found interest in genealogy," says Stratil.
"The paintings have become self-portraits -- my statements about time, life, and relationships."
Stratil has shown in many regional, state, and national exhibits, including Pike's Peak Watercolor Exhibition, Southport Artists July 4th Exhibition, and the Raleigh Fine Arts Society's annual exhibition.
Marie Travisano loves art and enjoys the process of creating works of soft and flowing, colorful abstraction. Travisano's work has received several honors in local competitions, and she has participated in many showings throughout the Sandhills and in Fayetteville.
"My work is happy, and I have fun with it," says Travisano. She is currently one of the featured artists at the Vineland Fine Art Gallery in Southern Pines.
For more information about the May exhibit, contact the Arts Council of Moore County at 692-4356 or visit www.artscouncil-moore.org.
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