Upstairs Artspace welcomes three Lowcountry artists for Spring shows

Published 12:36 pm Wednesday, March 20, 2024

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TRYON—Three artists from South Carolina’s Lowcountry will head north to Tryon for Spring shows at Upstairs Artspace. The gallery is pleased to welcome Lynne Riding, Kristi Ryba, and Mary Walker to the contemporary art gallery, located at 49 S. Trade St., with an opening reception April 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. The public is invited.

“Concerning Being” is the title of Lynne Riding’s 32-piece show. Abstract in nature, the major elements in Riding’s pieces speak to “issues of impermanence, shifting perspectives, and loss, aligned with the dichotomy of enduring hope, that which drives us on.”

“My interests lie in the subtle undercurrents, the not-so-blatant, crude, or obvious, a case of paying attention to what happens between the obvious,” she says. She adds that her work stems from the place and surroundings in which she finds herself, “from colors observed there, a line seen in space, or the found object, all of which find their way into my paintings and act as metaphors.”

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“Like an Epiphany,” Kristi Ryba’s 17-piece show, is a timely examination of current political figures depicted in the style of paintings and images of centuries ago. Using gouache or egg tempera on vellum with gold leaf, at first glance the viewer might mistake the personages for Renaissance European royalty, religious figures, or grand images common to Medieval artwork, iconography and altarpieces. 

However, upon closer examination, the imperial and grand images are none other than former president Trump, his family, members of his administration, and other members of government and political leadership dressed in the costumes of Renaissance life and placed in environments reminiscent of centuries-old illustrated manuscripts.


Painter and printmaker Mary Walker will be returning to her former home of Tryon, N.C. to exhibit “Scenes from Alice in Wonderland.” Walker’s black and white woodcut prints depict the many characters and settings  from Lewis Carroll’s famous children’s novel. 

Her interest in the characters was born from a “magical childhood moment” of discovery and wonder. At age 5, she was living in servants quarters of an old house, and one day her mother led her through the door that connected to the main house. In a magnificent dining room with a gleaming mahogany table, she saw Alice in Wonderland. Or rather, a neighborhood girl dressed up as Alice for Halloween. 

“She was a vision that stepped out of my story book,” Walker says, “and it has tumbled around in my mind for years looking for a creative outlet through my work as an artist.”

All three shows will be on display from March 30 through May 24, 2024. Gallery hours are Wednesday – Sunday, 12-5 pm. For more information, visit or call 828-859-2828.