Upstairs Artspace shows highlight students and crows

Published 3:33 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What about crows? They tease, amaze and mystify. They’re smart, but being big and black, they’re slightly scary. And artists are unfailingly attracted to crows for subject matter.

Monotype by Steven A. Chapp. (photo submitted)

The Upstairs Artspace celebrates crow art in “Something To Crow About,” opening Friday, April 15, with a public reception on Saturday, April 16 from 5 – 8 p.m. A second exhibit is “New Waves: Western Carolina University MFA Graduates,” featuring artists who recently received the Master of Fine Arts degree from WCU.

The “crow” artists are Bonnie Bardos of Saluda; Dona Barnett, Michael Hatch, Mitchell Lonas and Laura Norris of Asheville, N.C.; Steven A. Chapp of Easley, S.C.; Kevin Clinton and Dabney Mahanes of Greenville, S.C.; Ann DerGara of Brevard, N.C., and B. J. Precourt of Mill Spring. Using oil paint, mixed media, engraving, monotype, wood, clay and glass, these established artists interpret the crow (and other birds) in portraiture, figuration, landscape and sculpture. Some work borders on the surreal; some is downright funny.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Upstairs is dedicated to introducing new artists, especially student artists. “New Waves” begins a series of exhibits promoting regional colleges and universities that grant the MFA degree. The WCU artists in this exhibit graduated in 2010 and 2011; they are Dawn Behling, Britney Carroll, Phyllis Jarvinen and Michael Polomik of Sylva, N.C.; Courtney Chappell of Asheville, N.C.; Richard Conn of Landrum and Jan Parker of Chicago. The work includes installation and video art, abstract painting and book art.

The “Walk & Talk” tour of the art is Sunday, May 1 at 2 p.m. Notable bird expert Simon Thompson will give an informal lecture on crows on Tuesday, May 3 at 7 p.m.

Also this Saturday, April 16, is the new Tryon Art Trot, a gallery walk in downtown Tryon with four galleries offering new art and refreshments from 5 – 8 p.m. Skyuka Fine Art, Kathleen’s and Richard Baker Studio join the Upstairs in this new venture.

For more information, call 828-859-2828. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.