Holy Cross gallery show open through December 31

Published 5:00 pm Monday, November 29, 2010

The Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross, 150 Melrose Avenue, is having its Members Gallery Show with artists Karen Johnston and Mary Ellen Wuerfel. The show runs through December 31 and can be seen daily Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays between the 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. service. The location of the show is in the upper hallway and an elevator, located at the back entrance of the church, will take you to it.

Mary Ellen Wuerfel went to the University of Toledo in Toledo, OH, and worked as an accountant but she has always painted and has taken many art classes and workshops throughout those years.

After moving to Landrum, SC, she joined the Tryon Painters and Sculptors (TPS). She had a show in Gallery I of the Tryon Fine Arts Center with her paintings, drawings and decorated furniture.

At TPS she met Gene Apple, local sculptor, and he got her started sculpting in clay. She went on to take sculpture classes for two years at Converse College, Spartanburg, SC. Her sculptures are in homes in the United States, China, local galleries and have been in a number of juried shows.

Wuerfel says, My first love is working with the clay but painting has helped me be a better sculptor. I am a people watcher. People are such an important part of my work whether I am painting or sculpting. Much of my work is whimsical, although some of it has taken on a serious nature. I do paint landscapes, flowers, birds, and animals, usually on furniture. Wood has such a depth and it makes the colors dance.

Karen Johnston received a B.A. from Marshall University, Huntington, WV, and taught special education for a number of years. She had a home-based craft business for 16 years while her children were young. Always loving arts and crafts, it was only natural when retiring with her husband, Ken, to Tryon that she would become involved with the local art organizations, including Tryon Painters and Sculptors and Tryon Arts and Crafts, serving on both boards several times.

Johnston continues taking art classes and workshops to broaden her spectrum of media. Working mostly in oil and mixed media, she most recently has added cold wax and oil to her love of experimentation. Her work has been accepted in a number of juried art shows and can be found in local and regional homes and galleries.

Johnston says, I love art for the sake of art. Learning new techniques and working with a variety of media is most exciting to me. Living in this area we are so blessed to have inspiration surrounding us every minute of every day. I will continue to explore different aspects of art media as long as it is challenging and fun.