“Double Take” opens tonight at The Depot Room

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, March 2, 2017

Lori Heckleman and Grace Letora will be hosting a reception at the opening for their show “Double Take” at The Depot Room on Friday, March 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. The show can be seen during business hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through March 28 at 22 Depot St. in Tryon, the home of Parsec Financial Wealth Management.

Lori’s art is deeply influenced by the colors, landforms and cultures of the American Southwest. Her imagery draws from that landscape as well as from the spiritual connection she feels with it. She loves the bright colors and rich earth tones of the western landscape.

She often uses images of horses to not only establish scale but also as a symbol that embodies what she perceives to be the essence, spirituality and physicality of the American West. The white “spirit” horses in her work are horses that she has known and that have passed. They often appear in a painting when she least expects it.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Lori states, “The ladder image that is present in some of my work is also a very compelling image to me. It is a visual representation of a spiritual journey, of the connection between the earth and the vast expanse of sky, a bridge between two worlds.”

“I paint in oil because it gives me the freedom to let a painting develop gradually, to make changes as I go and let the work become what it wants to be. I usually start with a memory or with an image that reminds me of somewhere I have been. From there I keep working, painting, removing, and painting again until I have created my own imaginary landscape with a solid sense of place.”

A native of California, Lori grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and has been involved in the visual arts from an early age. She studied art at the California College of Arts and Crafts and Diablo Valley College before graduating from California State University at Sacramento where she received a degree in fine art.

While attending college, Lori worked as an apprentice for a technical illustrator and after graduation established her own freelance illustration and graphic art service. After leaving California she lived in Utah for 25 years before moving to North Carolina in 2007.

Lori creates landscape paintings as well as commissioned animal portraits in her studio in Tryon. Her paintings have been exhibited in area galleries and are in private collections throughout the United States.

Grace Lertora is a collage and mixed media artist. Her interest in the possibilities in collage and mixed media has evolved over the last 10 years and has become her medium of choice.

“A dynamic, bold and playful use of color, texture and patterns have energized my work as I react to area scenes, images and shapes,” she states. These, along with her work in acrylics, since 1960, “has created an amusing and interactive viewing experience, not only for me as I survey what is developing, but for those who enjoy seeing the finished work.”

“The mind and memory are a lovely place to explore and to create paintings which touch my spirit” says Grace.

Born in Argentina, Grace shares that her Latino culture inspires the love of vibrant color, pattern and textures which dominate her work.

Her education taught her composition, value and contrast, design, color theory and practice. Travels in Spain, Italy, Greece, England, France, Florida and the Carolinas brought out her interest in colors interaction with the world, scenery that evoked abstract and traditional work and a love of working on hand built pieces.

The addition of glass is a new project which she is now learning to incorporate, using it as a color and light source.

“Nature and its abundance daily stirs reactions to the never-ending scenes, colors, textures, light sources, people and patterns that open my eyes and heart to the wonder of our world,” Grace says.

She has had gallery shows, one person and group exhibits, in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Hendersonville, Saluda and Tryon. She was the president of Tryon Painters and Sculptors, 2013-15 and curator, 2015 to the present.

Collections of her work reside in headquarters of Maryland National Park and Planning Commission, and private collections in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Florida, Spain, England, North and South Carolina.

– article submitted by Michele Deudne