Upstairs Artspace offers all-abstract art exhibit

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2015

One Aggregate Series, by Jon Jicha

One Aggregate Series, by Jon Jicha

The Upstairs Artspace continues its 2015 exhibition season with an all-abstract art exhibit. The shows, “Boldly Abstract: Seven Notable Artists” and “Jon Jicha: Drawings about Drawing,” open on Saturday, March 21, with a public reception from 5-8 p.m. The work will remain on display through May 1 with gallery hours Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Abstraction was a predominant art style and school of the 20th century, and it remains a favorite of painters, critics, and audiences. Boldly Abstract offers a window on how abstract art is being painted in our region today.

The exhibit features area artists Dusty Benedict, Swannanoa; Ian M. Cage, Hendersonville; Betty Clark and Barbara Fisher, Asheville; Greg McPherson, Sylva; and Katie Walker and Paul Yanko from Greenville. Their uplifting work will occupy two gallery floors, showcasing generous applications of bright, luscious colors in many of the paintings.

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Work by McPherson and Yanko are good examples of the more geometric, hard edge, linear style of abstraction, with clean forms and shapes. Cage and Walker incorporate more fluidity into their paintings, preserving line while suggesting more than meets the eye, perhaps a message or story. Another approach to abstraction, practiced by Benedict, Clark and Fisher, can be characterized as organic, with color appearing more floated on than laid. Their paintings can contain characters, motifs, symbols or text, all open to interpretation by the viewer.

Jon Jicha, whose one-person show is in the Small Works Gallery, is an abstract artist who teaches graphic design and media arts at Western Carolina University. His show, Drawings about Drawing, is a serious and fun adventure in linear experimentation.

The Upstairs Artspace is a non-profit art gallery whose mission is to develop an understanding and appreciation of contemporary art and craft forms through exhibits, programs and educational activities that enrich the cultural life of the region. Its free programs are made possible through the support of the Polk County Community Foundation, the North Carolina Council of the Arts and the generous support of its members. The gallery is located at 49 South Trade St. in Tryon. For additional information call 828-859-2828.
– Submitted by Nancy Holmes