Art provides unique 'perspectives'
GRAHAM, Jan 24, 2013 (Times-News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The lush countryside of Devonshire, England, provided inspiration for David Nance's "Perspectives" art exhibit on display at the Alamance County Arts Council starting Feb. 1.
Nance and his wife, Beth O'Bryant, a fellow artist, traveled there last May.
"It was springtime there and the flowers were blooming. The woods were full of Bluebells," he said. "We had the chance to see lots of the coastline and countryside. I painted a whole bunch."
The area is known for its Devonshire cream and "we ate lots of great desserts," he said.
The couple stayed in a house built in the 1600s, divided up into little apartments, each one with areas for gardening.
"It was amazing to wake up every morning and see that out the window," he said.
An opening reception will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Sister Galleries inside the arts council, 213 S. Main St., and the exhibit will remain on display through March 9. The event was originally scheduled for Jan. 25, but was postponed due to the threat of icy weather. The reception is free and the public is invited to attend.
Besides paintings from the trip, Nance also will have two-dimensional works of art, cutouts that he referred to as still lifes that he has taken "outside of the frame -- they're a cross between a sculpture and a painting. The artwork becomes part of the environment."
The pieces were influenced by the work of master painters Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali.
"They have a surreal look," Nance said. "It's taking familiar objects and putting them in unfamiliar contexts."
One of the works is a camera and a butterfly.
"A camera signifies memories and so do butterflies for many people," he said.
Nance is known for his cloud paintings and throughout the years, he has heard from art lovers who describe what they see in the clouds.
"It's neat how it's gotten people to notice the sky," he said.
As an artist, Nance said he has created his own vocabulary using brushstrokes that often communicates to the onlooker.
"Someone sees it (the artwork) and we connect; we've created a bond. It's a nice way of communicating," he said.
Nance's first art show was in 1995 at the Firehouse Galleries in Graham. Growing up, his mom shared drawings she had done in high school.
"She was a big influence on me," he said.
Nance and O'Bryant live and work in Graham, not far from the arts council. He graduated from the School of Design at North Carolina State University and his paintings have been represented at many juried shows. He has received numerous awards throughout the years, including the title of "Most Innovative" in the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2004 Best in America competition.
His artwork also was included in the Asolare exhibition at The Lincoln Center in New York City and has been on display at Carteret Contemporary Art in Morehead City, City Art Gallery in Greenville, Heart of Living Gallery in Greensboro and Vision Gallery in Atlantic Beach.
What he loves most about art is "it lets you use your imagination and make up your own stories. Whenever you look at art, you respond in your own way -- make it unique to you," he said.
For more details, visit artsalamance.com, call (336) 226-4495 or follow the Arts Council on Facebook.
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