Harry Neely Featured at Campbell House
Award-winning still life artist Harry Neely returns to the Campbell House Galleries as February's featured artist.
Neely's collection of 65 works, titled "Memories," centers around the show's keynote painting of the same name.
The painting has old jugs, jars and a vase, all of which bring memories of what they held in the past, the ways they were used and how they were valued because of their purpose.
Neely turns frequently to antiquities as subject matter for his still life paintings. He has a reverence for things of the past, and he uses his work to communicate the delights of an ordinary life.
The warmth of a cup of tea, the comfort of a familiar street or the pride in a garden harvest are subjects that Neely believes ring true today and tomorrow, just as they did in the past.
"Painting is a visual language older than the spoken word," says Neely. "It's a step in understanding for an artist, and I am rushing to understand painting that blurs the line between real and reverie. These aspects make my paintings singular among others - full of today's color and feeling with the comfort of tradition."
Neely knew he wanted to be an artist when he saw Allan Ramsay's 1762 portrait of Queen Charlotte. Even though he was just a young lad on a school trip, Neely knew he had to find out how to create beautiful art in the manner of Allan Ramsay.
Neely is also a big fan of the Dutch and German schools of art. He has studied to understand their compositional techniques and to match their palette of earth colors.
Neely says that he believes in the craftsmanship of painting.
He starts with linen or special artist canvas, uses a marble dust gesso, makes an under painting, and paints in layers following the time-honored traditions of the masters. He uses only the best and purest pigments he can find because he says he wants his paintings to last as long as Ramsay's.
Neely paints just about every day, and he has to in order to keep up with a busy schedule.
In 2009, his work was selected for a number of juried exhibits. The most exciting was the show in Cary, where his work was selected by Lenny Campello, an internationally recognized artist, art consultant, judge and gallery director.
Neely participated in the Artists' League 2009 Instructor's Show and taught several league classes. He has painted in the halls of the Carolina Hotel for the Heart 'n Soul of Jazz weekend, participated in the Penick Art Show, and attended the annual "Wet Paint" plein air paint-out week in Charleston, S.C.
And in his spare time last summer, Neely opened Studio 590 with fellow artist Betty DiBartolomeo. The studio is in a restored 1815 log cabin in Pinehurst and is open most weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Neely's schedule for 2010 is just as busy. He has a reception in Charleston, S.C., in March just after the Campbell House show closes. He is putting together a plein air event for the Arts Council of Moore County's Appetite for Art benefit, and he has plans to enter state and national shows in the spring, summer and fall.
Neely continues to be represented by Spencer Gallery in Charleston.
"Spencer Gallery has done an excellent job for me," says Neely. "In spite of the times, this has been the most successful year I have had in Charleston or anywhere."
Neely's work can also be found at the Exchange Street Gallery in Aberdeen and the Campbell House Galleries in Southern Pines.
Neely has an established, consistent style, a clear idea about what he wants to convey in his work and a tireless work ethic.
All of these things have resulted in Neely becoming known as an artist outside of his local area, which is by no means an easy task for any artist.
He is listed in the American Artist Index for 2009-2010, and his works will appear in the Charleston Magazine and the March issue of the American Art Collector, a national art magazine.
"Memories," paintings by Harry Neely, opens Friday, Feb. 5, with a reception to meet the artist from 6 to 8 p.m. Susan and Alex Bowness, Jane and Dan Clark, Pinky Doyle, Jane Dreher, Jan and Mark Fowler, Betty and Paul Locklear, Judy and Walker Oldham, Jeanne Paine, Darlene Stark, and Nancy and Raymond Yanchus host the reception, which is free and open to the public.
The exhibit is on display through Feb. 26, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays, and from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 20. The galleries will be closed Monday, Feb. 15, in observance of Presidents Day. The Campbell House Galleries are located at 482 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines.
For more information about the February exhibit, contact the Arts Council of Moore County at (910) 692-4356 or visit the Web site at www.mooreart.org.
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