New offerings at Tryon Painters and Sculptors

Published 10:00 pm Monday, January 11, 2016

Snowy Tryon

Snowy Tryon

What better time to try a new hobby or learn a new skill than the beginning of the New Year?

Tryon Painters and Sculptors has some different and inspiring offerings in the way of classes and workshops that are geared to those who may not have studied art for a very long time if at all. Whatever your skill level, basic or intermediate or even somewhat advanced, these new educational offerings might just pull you into the direction of learning more about a particular media. There is something for anyone interested in learning or improving their drawing, painting and sculpture.

One of the first workshops this year is entitled Botanical Illustration where art and science embrace. Join Lee Barker for an overview class. Botanical Illustration is a field that has been active for many hundreds of years and can range from extremely formal scientific illustrations to more contemporary creative works that beautifully capture the essence of each subject. This is an area of art for which understanding and control of media is key. Lee will discuss materials, the use of simplified forms, contrast, color and techniques. Lee is a local artist who has also been a physicist, government advisor, teacher, local politician and mom. She received her Certificate of Botanical Illustration from the Denver Botanic Gardens in 2005. This one-day workshop will take place on Saturday, Jan. 23. Contact the gallery for details about registration.

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The new president of Tryon Painters and Sculptors, Christine Mariotti, will offer an evening session on Feb. 8, entitled “Uncorked Canvas.” Christine will show and demonstrate a winter snow scene in acrylic and you can paint along with her and enjoy a little wine at the same time. This two and one half hour fun time will include all the materials you need to do a painting and the refreshments for a reasonable fee. You get to take home a painting of your own completed in the evening. Contact the gallery for details.

Another more challenging session will involve working with clay over a six-week period in the sculpture studio. Students will learn hand building techniques for animal and human figure sculpture from Mac McCusker, an artist in residence and instructor at Odyssey Center for Ceramics in Asheville. This class, to be held every Thursday afternoon, will begin on Feb. 11. All levels are encouraged to sign up as there will be plenty of “one on one” instruction.

Two new drawing classes will be offered, taught by Annette Wells, semi-retired tenured professor of studio art and art theory. Students will learn the tricks of the trade and then some. Annette calls it the “draw everything class” and they will not be drawing from photographs but from life. This class will begin Jan. 20. Later on she will teach a basic life drawing class with a model. So do you like to draw but have a problem with faces? Hands? Feet? Shading? They will address all of these ‘problem’ areas. Students of all levels of experience are encouraged to join this class, which begins on March 2.

The Tryon Painters and Sculptors Gallery, now open at their beautiful new 78 N. Trade St. location, has a new schedule of exhibitions planned. Our annual “Members Show” is currently on exhibit featuring a variety of paintings and sculpture by more than 60 artists. Stop by and visit the gift shop with the help of Barbara Thomas and Kam Kammerer. You can find the perfect jewelry piece or small jewel of art or sculpture for that empty corner. Everything is unique and made by local or regional artists. At The Starving Artist satellite station in the rear of the gallery you can even pick up materials for that art class or current project. The area features a surprising assortment of brushes, paints, paper, etc. The entire lower level of the gallery is working space for members and the location of the classes.

Tryon Painters and Sculptors is a non-profit organization with annual memberships available that offer special discounts on classes and workshops. It is supported by more than 200 members currently and is located at 78 N. Trade Street. Tryon, N.C.  Call 828-859-0141 or visit for more information.


– Submitted by Christine Mariotti