Posts tagged Soft
Small Sculptures by Kelly Sheppard Murray

Kelly Sheppard Murray is a Raleigh, North Carolina artist, educator, and designer with BFA, and MFA degrees from UNCG and ECU respectively. Murray’s career as an artist has emphasized three-dimensional design and fabrication for nature, health, science, and history museums, although her personal practice includes a wide array of media and processes. 


While maintaining a professional practice in design and fine arts, Murray teaches 2D & 3D design, painting, sculpture, and art appreciation at Wake Technical Community College. In 2014, Murray was awarded faculty rank as Associate Professor at Wake Technical Community College 


Murray is a 2018 recipient of the International Encaustic Artists Emerging Artist Grant. Other recognitions include being selected as a 2016 the Artspace Regional Emerging Artist in Residence, as well as a 2000 and 2012 recipient of Regional Artist Project Grant by the United Arts of Raleigh and Wake County. She now maintains a tenant studio at Artspace in order to be able to continue sharing work and having a conversation with the public. 


Recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition Kelly Sheppard Murray: Sculptures at Wilma Daniels Gallery, Wilmington, NC; Knoxville Tennessee’s Dogwood Arts 2018 Regional Arts Exhibition, Raleigh Fine Arts Society’s 2018 North Carolina Artists Exhibition, Artspace’s 30th Anniversary Retrospective Juried Exhibition.





Guided by the idea that consistent small actions create significant impact, I create small sculptures to allow my own daily actions to grow the body of work over time. This process of creating over a year or months is meant to also tie to the notion that our small actions affect the world beyond us. I encase, cover, stitch or layer found, industrial, cast-off or surplus materials to create objects or images that are not easily identified as natural or man-made. The pieces are made in a somewhat without plan or design but instead rely on a tactile knowledge and personal vocabulary built over a lifetime. I don’t plan these pieces but respond intuitively to materials and the forms. This process provides me the opportunity to discover something that I may not have otherwise imagined. 

In our slick, digitally saturated lives, I believe we need to be reminded of the living breathing tactile world that surrounds us.  My color choices are may be connected to nature while the forms remain ambiguous and non-specific but hold a hint of familiarity. 

I draw from the shapes of plants, moss, lichen, fungi, geological forms, and seashells. Because I am interested in how human behavior alters natural or man-made forms and spaces, I often place the irregular nature-inspired shapes in relation to grids, geometric structures, and repetitive patterns to try to consider the relationship between contrasting and sometimes conflicting forces. Combining and considering the similarities or differences in these shapes and forms allows me to deal with the intertwined relationship of human activity with nature.

Leah Pantéa

Leah Pantéa’s paintings represent a deliberate and ceaseless game of hide-and-seek. Delicate details fight through a veil, glimmers of an under-painting peek through. With smooth fields of white covering most of Pantéa’s paintings, there is not a lot immediately viewable. The paintings are documents of the chase, each one showing the flash of understanding that the universe graces us with, before it dips back out of sight. Alan Watts expands upon the chase in the audio archives “Out of Your Mind,” by laughing, “[m]ake the telescope bigger and bigger and bigger and the universe expands because it’s running away from itself. It won’t do that if you don’t chase it!” Each flash is brief, an incomplete picture, a tease, which makes it impossible to stop looking for more. 

Each stroke of white on the under-painting is added with the intention of eliminating information. This topical technique was inspired by Albert Rothenberg’s philosophy of janusism, the process of imagining two opposing principals birthed out of the same moment. The end result is minimal looking, but maximalist driven painting, pulling influence from abstract expressionist artists and masters of layer: Julie Mehretu and Nava Waxman. 

The universe running from Pantéa pulls her forward, driven by the pursuit of what we can sense, but not see. But through all of this hunting, perhaps the inquiry is inward and useless, just as Alan Watt’s describes, “[i]t is like searching for our own heads, which we can’t see, in which you might conceivably imagine that you’ve lost. So that indeed is the point! … We are in search of the self. But that’s the one thing we can’t find because we have it and we are it!”

Poetry and Wonder: Paintings by Darlene Cole

Darlene Cole captures a hazy, haunting world of poetry and wonder. The artist’s distinct oil painting techniques lend a watercolour effect to her subjects without compromising rich colour values and velvety textures. Cole’s canvases—dreamy expanses inhabited by spirited figures—are studies of time and memory. These figures—both human and animal—play a pivotal role, evoking emotional responses in the viewer as Cole navigates between layers of reference and meaning.  At once playful and melancholic, Cole’s work draws on themes characteristic of her established painting career: the inherent mystery of old architectural interiors, the power of painterly colour and texture to spark memory, and the exploration of childhood innocence and its loss. Canvases offer delicate detail work that gives form to softly blended screens of colour, mapping the seamless and often unconscious journey from visual prompt to archetypal meaning: an elk’s elegant antlers emerge against a mossy plane; a child’s red dress bursts through the haze of a dreamy playground; a rowboat sails off toward a dusky horizon. Other recurring tropes in Cole’s work—velvet curtains, picture frames, and armoires—are thresholds that beckon us to an exciting place, far beyond the frame.

Cole's work has been exhibited across North America and is collected internationally in collections in Switzerland, France, Russia, the U.K., Italy and the U.S. Notable public collections include: Fairmont Hotels (Toronto, Montreal), Manulife Financial, RBC, CIBC, OCAD University, and the K.F. Preueter Collection of Canadian Art (Etobicoke).

Via Bau-Xi Gallery

We also asked Darlene to share images of her studio and her irresistable white rabbit, Sargent.