Artist reception for Contemporary Color Dec. 4 at Tryon Arts &Crafts

Published 4:18 pm Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Contemporary Color is the latest exhibit to be held in The Gallery at Tryon Arts and Crafts. The community is invited to view the collection and attend the upcoming artists reception on Saturday, December 4 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Tryon Arts and Crafts located at 373 Harmon Field Road.

This show is a group of work from four female artists in multiple styles and media. The exhibiting artists are Kay Larch, Pat Lorenz, Jeannette Schmeichel and Suzanne Vitti. While their styles vary drastically, all four artists use a bold palette and unique design elements in their medium of choice. The artists bring together traditional methods and media, while creating quite modern works of art.

Kay Larch, a mixed-media artist and painter, grew up in Huntington Beach, CA. She currently lives in Greenville, SC, where she shares a studio space with two other artists. Larch says she has always been drawn to mosaics and has been fascinated by this ancient art form. Blending mosaic styles with her own acrylic painting was, according to her, a natural path for me to take.

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Using color from water based paints and a glassy texture achieved through layers of lacquer, Larch has developed her own style and technique that she refers to as painted mosaics.

Pat Lorenz has always had a love for accessories and her passion has grown through the years and now clearly shows up in all of her wearable works of art. Lorenz says she is drawn to a mix of old and new, antique and abstract, vibrant colors and unusual textures and her focus is on color, pattern and design.

Lorenz studied at the Fashion Institute in Atlanta, learning about design concepts and gaining an understanding of style trends. She now works in the architect and design community which continue to inspire her work.

Lorenz creates one-of-a-kind wearable art pieces ranging from knitted scarves to beaded necklaces. She says her inspirations are, forever changing and always one-of-a-kind and that is why she feels the need to make unique items that reflect the feelings of the moment.

Her jewelry designs include gemstones, shells of all kinds, European crystals, fresh water pearls and wood. She uses silversmith techniques to incorporate silver and copper focal pieces into the jewelry and will often repurpose items such as leather, silk and vintage components into her designs. Lorenz works in a variety of fibers and yarns that she knits, crochets and felts into scarves, hats and purses. Lorenz currently lives in Landrum, SC.

Jeannette Schmeichel uses color to bring her artistic cloth figures to life. Having been interested in cloth as an artistic medium for years, Schmeichel was captivated when she was introduced to cloth figures in 2000. Her figures can be inspired by a costume, pattern, fabric or even a simple pose or gesture.

She first creates the pattern for the figure and then brings it to life piece by piece. The final touches are then added; like hair from mohair, yarn or even a tassel, and found objects become accessories. Costumes for the figures are created from thrift store finds, old linens, scarves, sweaters, or just about anything. The final step is to draw or paint on the face using colored pencils, pigma pens, paints and chalk. Schmeichel currently lives in Tryon.

Suzanne Vitti has always been an artist. Even as a young child, she explored the world with an eye for color, textures and details. Vitti says she is drawn to the beauty of so many things cool swirling waters filled with graceful floating fish and sea creatures, the detail of a silk kimono and the texture of a conch shell. These textures and details are ever present in her work.

Her clay work is all hand-built and is inspired by Japanese wood block prints, the tapestry of cultures around her and the bold color and imagination of Alexander Calder and Theodore Geisel.

Tiles form a large portion of her body of work. Each tile is hand carved, utilizing multiple clays. They are hand pressed then painted with a variety of glazes. Often Vitti will add glass beads, feathers and other organic materials to her work. Vitti studied pottery at O.C.C. in Royal Oak, MI and at Pewabic Pottery in Detroit, MI. She currently lives and works in Greenville, SC.

In honor of this exhibit and these four artists, Tryon Arts and Crafts will host an artists reception on Saturday, December 4 from 5 to 8 p.m. The evening will be the perfect opportunity to view the exhibit and to meet the artists. This event is free and open to the public and all are welcome to attend.

Contemporary Color opened November 20, and will run through January 8, 2011.