Blog post index
At their monthly meeting in May 2017, the Acquisitions Committee was excited to accept the gift of George Pearse Ennis' undated watercolor Harbor Carpenters from Barry Huffman. The gift celebrates the appointment of Jon Carfagno as the fifth Director of the Hickory Museum of Art. (more here about Ennis)
Most recently, former Board member and current Honorary Trustee Josephine Hambrick donated to HMA the lovely portrait that Paul Whitener painted of her as a young girl in 1938, and the Acquisitions Committee was delighted to accept this gift. Paul of course was the Museum's founder, and (more)
As befits the retirement of the Executive Director on an art museum after a thirteen year tenure, HMA and its Board thanked Lisë at her April 7, 2017 farewell reception through the addition of two new works to the Museum's Permanent Collection. Lisë herself also added to the Permanent Collection, through the donation of folk artist ... (more)
“Tearing fabrics and applying them to canvas, mixing various media in with the paint, and building surfaces over time is the foundation of my process." Hearon has lived, studied art and painted in Hickory since the 1980’s, saying “I cannot not paint.” (more)
Harvey had a special regard for tongues, as she explained in an interview towards the end of her life, "He speaks that all animals and everything in the earth has been tamed by mankind except the tongue, ... the tongue cannot be tamed. So before you use it to say things that will hurt yourself or someone else, remember that love covers a multitude of faults, and it's a fault to go around hurting others." (more)
Our Woman Made exhibition from December 17, 2016 to April 23, 2017 will feature over 90 works created by female artists that are part of HMA’s Permanent Collection. The show is intended to spotlight the Museum's women artists and as a celebration and encouragement of all women in the arts.(more)
A February 16, 1953 article in The Hickory Daily Record on the topic of HMA’s 1952 acquisitions says of Shirley Pruden's The Aerialist that “It is an excellent work which shows superb knowledge of anatomy as applied to the human figure and is unusually brilliant in color.” This was the first work by a woman artist that had been purchased by the Museum. (more)
Theresa Gloster, a folk-artist from Lenoir, NC, was part of this year's HMA project of bringing the joy of art to a group of financially challenged Catawba County seniors. This HMA program was started last year with funding from the State of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts, through the North Carolina Arts Council, the Unifour Foundation and United Arts Council of Catawba County. Gloster's program partner speaks of her experience working with (more)
The prolific North Carolina painter Elliott Daingerfield argued against both literalness in painting ("If reproduction of surface fact be the ultimate of the painter's mission, then is he of all men most petty and miserable.") and imitation, regarding which he held that "The answer is, in art each man must be a leader, not a follower, for no two are alike, no two souls are given the same message, and while it may amuse the critic to trace likeness, the great truth remains that true art is personal." (more)
"Finally I decided that I’m going to paint that old church [at home] just like I remember it. And that’s what I did. When the canvas was finished I liked it. That’s what started me to painting like I paint. I paint things I remember.”
Between April 23 and July 24, 2016, a selection of Arlee’s paintings on loan from Art Cellar Gallery and local collectors will be on display at HMA. (more)
Lillian Genth is probably best known for her female nudes with landscape backgrounds, which she painted at her summer home in the Berkshires. However, in 1928 she issued a press release that said she would never paint another nude, and she never did, moving on instead to other subjects. (more)
Maud Gatewood once said, “[Art] is like people: If you meet a person that's absolutely pleasant, they tend to be innocuous. Nothing's worse than being pleasant.” Another time she said, “I think you learn that life isn't always straightforward. I think it's in the nature of the species to be a little evasive and covered. Ambiguity might be the heart of life as well as art.” (more)
One of HMA's other Crowell paintings, The Gourd Lady), is of life-long Conover resident Margaret Sparkman. She had adopted this persona as her artist identity, in that creativity with gourds was her medium; and that landed her a spot on the Jay Leno show in 2003.
The son of a minister, Crowell has been developmentally disabled from birth. As a child, (more)
Early on, Charlotte-born and Harlem-raised Bearden debated whether to be an artist, a musician, or a professional baseball player. As a painter, he used ideas from math and music, especially jazz, in his art, along with aspects of his many other influences. As a result, (more)
Freedom: A fable combines dainty Victorian silhouettes and the pop-up medium ... to contradict the dire situation in which [the book's] heroine finds herself. The work at first glance appears to be a nineteenth-century children's book, but it is decidedly not. (more)
Between October 2013 and January 2014, HMA exhibited a selection of paintings by the North Carolina artist Juie Rattley III in a show called Chaos and Control. At that time, Rattley spoke about how he experiences his creativity. (more)
In the Spring of 2007, ceramic sculptor Sharif Bey's ornamental yet functional pots and and his necklaces of massive ceremonial beads were exhibited at HMA in a one-person show, amidst some mild controversy. He said of his works that "This series of work combines my interest in African, Indian, Pre-Columbian, Native American, and Modernist sculpture while still applying the rigid functional criteria I acquired as a potter.” (more)
Minnie Reinhardt was often referred to as "the Grandma Moses of Catawba County." She used a primitive style to to paint from recollections of her childhood. She said about wanting to paint that "I was just real interested in it. If you're not, you don't want to mess with it. You can't do nothing without being interested and wanting to do it more than anything else -- that's the main thing." (more)
In 1954 Paul Whitener received eight Starkweather paintings for consideration, works that Paul Whitener happily acccepted for HMA. You can enjoy these and other of HMA's Starkweather works between October 31, 2015 and August 14, 2016 in the Paul Whitener Gallery. (more)
The professional restorer's initial report was grim, "The painting is in very poor condition. It was painted on poor quality canvas. There are extensive tears with many missing areas of canvas along the edges. The very weak, brittle and torn canvas ... [more]
The Hickory Museum of Art shares space with other Hickory cultural organizations in the SALT Block, the extensively renovated former Claremont High School building. The Museum occupies three floors with nine galleries. Many of the galleries are named for HMA supporters.
"Trees are vital to life, mythic. Their symbolism is woven into our subconscious mind, informing us on a basic level. The tree image is in our dreams and stories. The image and meaning is as complex and important to us as we believe we are to the world." (Artist's Statement.)
"The importance of art in awakening a sense of the appreciation of beauty cannot be measured. Even meager training in Art opens the eyes. Nothing is ever quite the same once you have learned enough about art to see the color variations in the trees, or the clouds – why,” he said, smiling broadly, “suddenly you realize there’s more beauty in one day than you could exhaust in a century.“
Between September 19, 2015 and February 28, 2016, HMA welcomes back Hickory artist Joël Urruty in an exhibition that includes gilded sculptures and wall hangings of woven wood strips. Urruty won Best of Show in the Museum’s 2013 Road Trip: A Juried Exhibition, in conjunction with HMA's First AutoLawn Party in 2013.
"I have always found peace and solace in the outdoors and in nature. Wildlife photography combines many skill sets including ruggedness, patience, knowledge of the subject, knowledge of your camera, composition and noting the way light does its magic within your preconceived image." A selection of Hickory native Gaines' photographs will be on display at HMA between September 26, 2015 and January 10, 2016.
“There’s a quality to the picture, an ambiguity in her expression, that is intensely striking. Not quite a smile, not quite a frown, a mixture of curiosity and wariness in her eyes that people respond to.” (Steve McCurry, on first seeing what he had created.)
” He was an intuitive painter, using a mix of media including oils and watercolor, with a strong sense of color, draftsmanship, and composition. ... Boyce’s [eyes] really twinkled! He had a wonderful personality.”
"He was on medication, but art was a significant part of his therapy also." He loved the bipolar highs which was when he did much of his painting. In his own words, he was a “junk assembler, a garbage collector … a waking sleeper. A regular-kind-of-guy who just happens to know for certain he is an artist.”