Current Exhibitions

Afghan Girl ©Steve McCurry

Afghan Girl ©Steve McCurry



September 12, 2015 through May 8, 2016
 Coe & Entrance Galleries

69 stunning images by the universally recognized photo-journalist Steve McCurry presented by Catawba Valley Camera Club and Hickory Museum of Art. Through the faces of people from around the world, McCurry’s photography illustrates the beauty and the tragedy of cultures and conflicts in their everyday life.   

Regarded as one of today’s finest image-makers, McCurry (born 1950) is best known for his evocative color photographs. One of his most famous photographs was taken in December 1984 in a refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan of a young refugee girl named Sharbat Gula. Featured on the cover of National Geographic Magazine’s June 1985 issue, “Afghan Girl” is perhaps the most recognizable photograph in the world. It will be part of this HMA exhibit.

Stay tuned for a limited-seating ticketed dinner with Steve McCurry!


Shurtape Technologies

Individuals from the Catawba Valley

This project was supported by the United Arts Council of Catawba County through the North Carolina Arts Council, with funding from the State of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

Opportunities are still available to sponsor individual photographs featured in the exhibition. To learn more, email Lisë C. Swensson Executive Director, or call (828) 327-8576, Ext. 202.

Joël Urruty, Tête, wood and 23 carat gold leaf

Joël Urruty, Tête, wood and 23 carat gold leaf

Wink Gaines, Thundering In

Wink Gaines, Thundering In



September 19, 2015 through February 28, 2016
Shuford Gallery

The Hickory Museum of Art welcomes back artist Joël Urruty in an exhibition that combines two very different bodies of work that pair together harmoniously.

In the Gold series the primary material, wood, is gilded in 23K gold leaf. The luminescent quality of the gold allows light and shadow to play off the subtle shifting facets of these carved sculptures.  

The Wall Hangings are wood assemblages, designed and constructed from salvaged pallets discarded from nearby factories. The wood is cut and burned, then composed in unique ways to create minimalist, one-of-a-kind pieces rich in texture and character.

Joël won Best of Show in the Museum’s 2013 ROAD TRIP: A Juried Exhibition, the prize was a solo exhibition at HMA. He also had an exhibition at the Museum in 2010 called A Quiet Voice.

Joël Urruty was born in San Francisco, CA in 1968, the son of Basque immigrants. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology at San Francisco State University. He apprenticed as a furniture maker under David J. Marks, Master Craftsman, and later went on to earn a Masters of Fine Art in Woodworking and Furniture Design from the School of American Crafts at Rochester Institute of Technology. His work has been shown in Japan as well as galleries and museums throughout the United States. His work has also been widely published in magazines and books.


September 26, 2015 through January 10, 2016
Regal & Gifford Galleries

Wink specializes in bird and wildlife photography. Her photographic specialty allows her to combine her passion for the outdoors with the creative pursuit of digitally capturing wildlife in natural habitats.

A self-taught naturalist, Wink strives to understand the ecological association of animals and habitat. She understands the importance of all living beings and the need to conserve vital areas of habitation for wetland birds, and the diverse wildlife found near her home in Western North Carolina and her favorite coastal habitats near Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

She is an advocate for the instructional and conservation efforts of the National Audubon Society and various North Carolina and South Carolina national wildlife refuges where many of her photographs are taken. Audubon and Nature's Best Photography Magazine have thrice awarded Wink Top 100 recognition: in 2011 for her photograph of a flying Ibis, taken near Cape Lookout on the Outer Banks of North Carolina; in 2012 for her photograph of a nesting Great Egret taken near Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and in 2015 for a Great Horned Owl image captured on the plains of Nebraska. Wink is exclusively licensed by the London firm of Felix Rosenstiel’s Widow and Sons, LLC, to produce fine art and décor images for worldwide distribution. 

A former journalist, Wink has a Master's Degree in British Literature with a minor in Journalism from the University of North Carolina. She is also the founder and principal photographer for The Rara Avis Collection, featuring her fine art wildlife and nature photographs dynamically reproduced on aluminum for design and decor. Wink and her husband, Dennis Gaines, reside near Hickory,NC, where they have been life-long residents.

William Edward Bloomfield Starkweather (1879-1969), Late Afternoon Light, 1915,  oil on canvas, Gift of the Artist, 1954.15.1

William Edward Bloomfield Starkweather (1879-1969), Late Afternoon Light, 1915,  oil on canvas, Gift of the Artist, 1954.15.1

Claes Oldenburg (b. 1929), Pizza, 1964, etching, Gift of John Van Kirk in memory of Ruth H. Van Kirk, 2008.16. 1f

Claes Oldenburg (b. 1929), Pizza, 1964, etching, Gift of John Van Kirk in memory of Ruth H. Van Kirk, 2008.16. 1f


October 31, 2015 through August 14, 2016
Whitener Gallery

Paul Whitener, the founder and first director of the Hickory Museum of Art, collected 9 William Edward Bloomfield Starkweather paintings during his tenure, most of them gifts from the artist. The Museum has recently collected 8 more, gifts from collector and Starkweather expert Peter Falotico. The exhibition features a selection of new and old acquisitions, as well as correspondence from Starkweather to Paul Whitener.

"William Starkweather was born in Belfast, Ireland as William Bloomfield. His father, Edward, passed away and William's mother brought him to America and settled into Connecticut. For many years William thought he was born in Scotland, but found paperwork in an old Bible which challenged his belief. Soon after arriving in America his mom passed away, and the young William was fortunate enough to be adopted by the Starkweather family of Winchester, Connecticut. After attending Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Connecticut, William moved to New York City to study painting at the Art Students League. It is unclear if Starkweather met his painting teacher John Henry Twactman in Connecticut before he started at the Art Students League or while at the league.

While he was learning to paint, Starkweather managed to save enough money to go to France to study at the Academie Colorassi. While studying at the academy he attended the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900 and was overwhelmed by the Best in Show painting by Joaquin Sorolla, The Sad Inheritance. Sorolla was Spain's most famous Impressionist. The viewing of this painting challenged Starkweather to go back to America and save money to attempt to study with Sorolla in Spain."

-- Excerpt from Hidden Treasures of William Starkweather by Peter Falotico

Prints from the Museum's Van Kirk Collection

Through January 17, 2016
Windows Gallery

A selection of prints gifted to the Museum by John Van Kirk in memory of his wife Ruth H. Van Kirk. Artists represented include Claes Oldenburg, Ad Reinhardt, Charles Hinman, Arman, Helen Frankenthaler, Jim Dine, Tom Wesselmann, James Rosenquist, and Robert Kulicke.

These prints are from two different portfolios: New York International, 1966 and New York 10, 1965.


Photo by Sherrie Wells

Photo by Sherrie Wells

Discover FOlk Art:
Unique Visions by Southern Contemporary folk Artists

Entire Third Floor

The Hickory Museum of Art recently expanded their Southern Contemporary Folk Art Collection and Exhibition space. A new, hands-on exhibition was installed on the Museum's 3rd floor Mezzanine Gallery.

The Interactive Exhibition Features:

         • Re-creations of Artists’ Working Environments
         • Touch Screens
         • Over 200 Folk Art Objects
         • Sounds & Smells
         • Family Activity Stations
         • and More!                                

Free Family Guides for the exhibition are available at the Museum’s check-in desk in the first floor HMA Galleria. Copies of the children’s book, Discover Folk Art: An Adventure with Artie at the Hickory Museum of Art, are also available in the Galleria for $9.95. In the book, Artie (HMA’s art-loving mascot) takes a group of children on a tour of the galleries and introduces them to work by several folk artists including Sam “The Dot Man” McMillan and Q.J. Stephenson.

Robert Levin, Untitled, 1990, glass, Gift of Sonia & Isaac Luski, 2002.1.8

Robert Levin, Untitled, 1990, glass, Gift of Sonia & Isaac Luski, 2002.1.8

Art Glass & Pottery
From the Museum's Collection

Objects Gallery

This exhibition features glass works given to the Museum by Sonia and Isaac Luski, and Rose and Abraham Luski. Several styles of glass blowing are demonstrated, and the show features artists with connections to the prestigious Penland School of Crafts nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

This exhibition also includes American Art Pottery gifted to the Museum by the Frances Johnson Moody Estate. The collection was assembled by Leslie Moody and his wife Francis; both were from Ohio and Leslie grew up in Zanesville, the heart of art pottery country. Several studios are represented including Rookwood, Catalina, Van Briggle, Weller, Tiffany and Roseville.