Realism and Beyond

“Throw a Lifeline” by Princess Cureton
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Mint Hill Arts’ current exhibit at the Mint Hill Town Hall, “Realism and Beyond,” will knock your socks off!  The paintings by three very talented and creative artists can be classified as realism, but go far beyond simply capturing subjects on canvas. The viewer is pulled into the scene and enveloped in the narrative of the painting.  All three women painters came to the Matthews/Mint Hill area after spending much of their lives in other parts of the country, and we are indeed fortunate that they are now a part of our community.

Princess Cureton says her work in this show “is based on metaphors that reflect the very personal and spiritual landscape of my experiences and is narrated through the figure in surreal background.”  She adds that the technique of combining acrylic and/or mixed media with relief sculpting adds an element of surprise, designed to draw the viewer deeper into the narrative. She uses a variety of processes to coax the figure away from the surface of the canvas or paper, embedding materials that are “indigenous to the creative, spiritual and spatial environment.”  Cureton, a native of Washington DC, taught and coordinated art programs in New York, in the US Virgin Islands, and in the Greenwich CT Public Schools before retiring locally in 2014. She says that “extensive travel has opened her eyes and heart to other cultures and experiences that continue to fuel and influence her creativity.”

Barbara Jimison prefers painting watercolor in a realistic mode. While some of her most popular works are dog and cat commissions, most subjects come from her own photos and, like the work of Cureton, pull the viewer into the scene of the painting.  Jimison graduated from The University of North Dakota with a degree in Art Education. She taught music appreciation and art to high school students for 12 years and found it a rewarding experience. Since moving to North Carolina she has exhibited her art across the region. She is a member of The Waxhaw Arts Council, Golden Pallet Society, Mint Hill Arts, and North Carolina Watercolor Society. She has won numerous awards for her work.

Pat Kempisty’s award-winning watercolors are done in a realistic style and some of her most creative works were inspired by photos taken by her daughter and friends on mission trips to Haiti.  Of her work, Pat says, “Although I do paint commissioned pieces, I prefer to get my inspiration from photos that grab my attention, uplift my soul and inspire my brush.” Art was Kempisty’s minor in college. She painted with acrylics in western New York for 25 years before turning to watercolors when she moved to North Carolina in 2008.

The show is now open and will run through September.  The public may view it weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.  The Mint Hill Town Hall is at 4430 Mint Hill Village Lane. The gallery, which is located on both the first and ground floors, is accessed from the front of the building.

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