Hollyhocks Art Gallery Reopens Doors After Renovation
Hollyhocks Art Gallery, in Pinehurst, reopens its doors after major renovations.
On Saturday, Sept. 12, from noon to 4 p.m., owner Jane Casnellie, and award-winning artists, Susan Edquist, Karen Meredith, Paula Montgomery, Irene McFarland, Beth Roy and Diane Kraudelt, invite the public to visit the gallery and join in the celebrations.
Tad Braun, wine manager of Elliott's Wine Shop, will be pouring wines chosen especially for the occasion. These will be paired with, among other things, some of the best cheeses the well-stocked kitchens of Elliott's on Linden can provide.
"If you have not visited Hollyhocks Art Gallery recently, you are in for a big surprise," says owner Jane Casnellie. "It has undergone a major transformation. Dramatically doubling in size and completely updated, the gallery shines."
Gone are the old barn wood walls; remnants of the ancient building that at one time was a chicken plant. Gone too are the dark floors and low ceilings. Underfoot is beautiful reclaimed heart pine flooring installed by Heritage Custom Kitchens, the gallery's new neighbor. Museum colored walls and new lighting enhance the grand selection of art work.
"Opening the gallery six years ago, I never dreamed it would come to this," says Casnellie. "It feels as though the butterfly has emerged from its chrysalis. The additional space allows plenty of room for special events and, of course, additional art work. As a result, I am thrilled to announce the addition of three new award-winning artists, Susan Edquist, Karen Meredith and Beth Roy.
Edquist and Roy are no strangers to the local art scene and live locally. Meredith resides in Chapel Hill and is exhibiting in the Sandhills for the first time. All three received awards at the recent Arts Council of Moore County Annual Arts Festival.
Edquist's background includes a fine arts degree, workshops and individual tutoring. Working mostly in oils, her paintings portray the time, place, and light of a certain moment. An avid gardener, as well as accomplished artist, the showcase gardens Edquist has nurtured at her home in Pinehurst also provide inspiration for her glorious floral paintings, that often include perfect depictions of the numerous birds that visit her bird feeders.
"Beth lives on a horse farm in Vass and received her professional art training from several colleges," says Casnellie. "Using oils, she captures the personality of animals and people in her vivid paintings. So real are her paintings, you can almost hear the ocean and feel the sun on your shoulders when looking at her popular paintings of children at play on the beach. Whether its plum tomatoes or peppers on a plate the realism is stunning."
"Karen on the other hand, has the light hand of an impressionist," says Casnellie.
"En plein air" painting is a favorite pastime of Meredith's, who can be found traveling the countryside and small towns seeking the perfect spot to paint. She has the ability to capture the light softly settling on an old barn, or the gnarled and twisted trunk of an ancient tree on the horizon. Primarily a self-taught painter, Meredith works mostly in oils, emphasizing mood and light and hones her skills attending workshops.
"Longtime gallery members, Paula Montgomery, Irene McFarland and Diane Kraudelt join me in welcoming the new artists," says Casnellie. "For those of you who are not familiar with their work, Paula draws inspiration from people, flowers, fabric and porcelain to create her art in many media including oil, acrylic and pastel. Paula's strength lies in the detail and design she brings to each and everyone of her paintings whether it is portrait, a serene still life or a jaunty little dachshund puppy.
"For over 40 years Irene has pursued her passion for painting. Degreed in fine arts, she captures the natural beauty of her surroundings in expressive acrylics or watercolors.
Luminous landscapes and engaging floral designs are the focus of her art which has won numerous awards over her long career. Irene's sense of color is beautifully showcased in her exciting floral designs."
"Diane began her artistic career as a commercial artist and her painting style has evolved to be post-impressionistic. I am always surprised when Diane brings new work to the gallery, her subjects are so varied. She has the innate ability to capture the unusual, whether it is her wonderful whimsical animals or the inside of a deserted barn. Her view of the world never disappoints."
Casnellie herself is the first to tell you she is a relative newcomer to the art world, only taking up painting some eight years ago after fellow artist Jessie McKay invited her to paint in her home studio after riding their horses together one afternoon.
"Jessie's encouragement and recognition of the artist within me led me to where I am today," she says.
Casnellie's work has evolved into a varied array of styles and subjects. Her love of animals is evident in her many commissioned pet portraits. Traveling with her husband Gene, often to Tuscany and Provence, provides her with the inspiration for her impressionistic landscapes. Working only in oils, whether impressionistic or the details of a delicate bird's nest resting on a sill, Casnellie's work continues to evolve, and her love of nature remains her constant companion and inspiration.
"Because of the varied styles each artist offers, Hollyhocks Art Galley is now well equipped to fill the needs of many different clients," says Casnellie. "All of our artists accept commissions and are willing to work with clients to design art work that will fit any need or style of home. Buying art is always an important investment so naturally any work can be taken on approval for a short time, to ensure the piece fits perfectly in its surroundings. Shipping is not a problem."
Casnellie also offers classes both for adults and children.
"Mark Elliott, owner of the building where the gallery is housed, suggested I offer a Kids Art Camp this summer," she says. "Mark has offered Kids Cooking School Camps for a number of years, and they have always been well received. I was hesitant given the age group, 8 to 11 years, but as usual with Mark's support and encouragement I went ahead and great fun was had by all. I plan to offer adult classes soon and private instruction is also available."
"We are constantly striving to improve and grow and hope to offer some type of artistic event at least once a month, so I hope everyone will visit us often and keep an eye out for special events in The Pilot and on the Web site," says Casnellie.
Casnellie says that some of the gallery's events may be combined with special events with Elliott's on Linden. The "Meet the Artist at Work" program is back in full swing with a different gallery artist painting on site either in the gallery or at Elliott's Thursdays and Saturdays each week between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Hollyhocks Art Gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sundays from 6 to 9:30 p.m.
Directions to the Gallery and other information can be found at the Gallery's Web site www.hollyhocksartgallery.com or call (910) 255-0665 for more information.
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