By Paula Thommen
Two featured artists will debut their latest works at Franklin Square Gallery‘s new Members Show opening May 7 and running through June 14. Both construct art rooted in land and sea, inspired by their natural surroundings. Ceramic artist Dinah Snead embellishes her pottery with imprints and textures, and watercolorist Carole Hickey creates impressionistic landscapes and seascapes.
Dinah Snead started working with pottery only recently: “Although I have dabbled over the years in creative projects, I had never worked with clay until I retired. After living in Wilmington for 36 years, I retired with my husband Ed to Southport in 2005, and in 2006, I found clay.” She took beginning classes in Southport for two years, and currently studies with Don Johns of Orange Street Pottery in Wilmington: “I wanted to concentrate more on hand-building, so I chose to take from Don, who is an excellent hand-builder as well as a very patient mentor.”
Sneads builds large decorative pieces often embellished with bits of flora taken directly from her surroundings: “My work is primarily influenced by Nature, whether it be something on land, in the air, or in the ocean.” Because she hand-builds rather than throwing pottery on the wheel, her pieces are very individualistic: “Most of my pieces are decorative rather than functional. I love to add texture to clay, and rarely build a piece without some kind of texture. Usually my textures are a piece of seaweed, a leaf, a piece of bark or weed, which I impress into my piece.”
Watercolorist Carole Hickey has spent her lifetime in the arts: “I’ve been blessed to live in beautiful areas of the country. I grew up in the Hudson Valley area of New York, and now live along the beautiful coast of North Carolina in Calabash.”
Her paintings, mostly landscapes and seascapes, portray the scenery around her: “My work is not photographic, but an interpretation. I try to capture the essence of my subject. I always hope the viewer will feel a connection to my work, that it will strike a chord, whether it’s the subject or the soft muted colors I use.”
While living in Mt. Vernon, N.Y., Hickey had her own art center where children and adults took classes, and she also taught on cruise ships. “I often hear from past students who are now in college and continuing their art, and I’m always thrilled.
The most fun I’ve had with art was to give art classes aboard cruise ships, including Cunard, Crystal, and Radisson cruise lines. It was a wonderful opportunity to see the world.”
The Associated Artists of Southport host this exhibition, and in addition to these two featured artists, over 100 members will also have their paintings and pottery on display.
Franklin Square Gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. During downtown Southport’s First Friday Gallery Walk, there is an evening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The May 4 reception showcases paintings of water views and Parrot Head Charters will raffle a two-hour boat ride.
For more information call 910-457-5450 or visit the website at www.franklinsquaregallery.com.