Tryon Fine Arts Center celebrates the new JP Gallery
Published 11:45 am Friday, July 22, 2022
Current exhibit extended through the end of August
On Thursday evening, July 21, the Tryon Fine Arts Center at 34 Melrose Avenue held a celebration of the new JP Gallery. The new gallery is named after artist and TFAC volunteer Jeanne Parker, whose generous bequest provided the funding for the gallery space.
The celebration was centered around the exhibit, The Skateboard: Re-purposed, which opened June 1 and runs through August 31. TFAC’s Executive Director Marianne Carruth and Exhibit Committee co-chairs Monica Stevenson and Jessica Pierce curated the exhibit by seeking out a variety of skateboard-themed art, both locally and from around the world.
“Curating the art for this show was exhilarating. There are so many genres of art within the umbrella of ‘skateboard art,’ and each craft is as individual as the skateboard style of the maker. Skateboarders are notoriously rule breakers, and from an appreciator’s perspective, what could be more exciting” shared Monica.
The exhibit showcases a piece by local fiber artist Paris Evans of Saluda along with art from Nicholas Harding, Matt Mercurio, Michael Mauney, Folk Dunker, and George Rocha. Their pieces are surrounded by the artist whose work was the primary focus of the evening, Jonathan Caples of Columbus.
As Tony Hawk skating videos played on a nearby VCR, Jonathan described his evolution as an artist growing up in Virginia Beach. There he built a career as a sign maker and a top local skateboarder, until a head-on car collision put him in the hospital for a lengthy stay and robbed him of both his ability to work and skate. He would eventually lose his home and relocate to the Carolinas, where he would put his adept sign-making skills to work on the numerous chipped, cracked, and busted boards he and his brothers had accumulated over the years, and turn them into works of art. Monica discovered Jonathan’s work through a friend, and the roots of the Skateboard: Re-Purposed show were born.
Tryon Fine Art Center’s JP Gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 12–4 p.m., and on the fourth Friday of every month from 5–7 p.m. For more information, call 828-859-8322 or visit