Upstairs Artspace features thought-provoking artwork

Published 4:23 pm Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Lingering Taste Of Pie, mixed media by Mark Flowers

The Lingering Taste Of Pie, mixed media by Mark Flowers

Prints by Andrew Blanchard, paintings by Mark Flowers and Carolina Camera Club photography will be featured at Upstairs Artspace Friday, Jan. 31, through March 14.

The opening reception will be Saturday, Feb. 1, 5 – 8 p.m.

Dixie Totem VII, silkscreen on wood panel by Andrew Blanchard

Dixie Totem VII, silkscreen on wood panel by Andrew Blanchard

A Flowers & Blanchard Gallery Talk will take place Sat., Feb. 1, 4 -5 p.m.

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Blanchard’s current body of work reinterprets, in his words, “various places on the periphery of Southern towns and cities on the fringe of society.”

His work represents an honest social commentary on the Southern landscape and way of life.

“With an overarching theme of fun, thematic interests are incorporated into the visuals, including socio-economics, race relations, literary references and environmental planning,” Blanchard said.

Blanchard earned an MFA from The University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., and is currently associate professor of printmaking and photography at Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C.

Flowers uses images combined with sculptural shapes to clarify his relationship with the world. Repeated symbols form a visual vocabulary to create a narrative composed of insights and reflections of his experiences.

“In seeking meaning in the world, I am sharing my story in hopes of making connections with the viewer. Currently I am exploring the use of faces, figures and objects to create a more visual story,” he said.

Flowers received an MFA from Western Michigan University and currently works from his studio, Mountain Tea Studios, in Alexander, NC.

Downstairs at the Upstairs, 14 members of the Carolina Camera Club offer their work in a wide variety of subject matter and theme. Many of these artists came to photography at a very young age and developed an increasing passion for the medium into adulthood. Whether exploring the natural environment, finding art and beauty in the often overlooked scenes from everyday life, or  attempting to blur the line between painting and photography, these works present a focused exploration into the very nature of light itself.

In addition, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Polk County will present an exhibit of ceramic hearts, created and donated by area artists, available in a silent auction ending on Valentine’s Day, Friday, Feb. 14, with a closing reception from 5-7:30 p.m. Proceeds from the sale of the hearts benefit BBBS of Polk County.

– article submitted
by Tom Madison