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Soul Expressions by Toni Carlton and Michael Grady at Carlton Gallery’s 31st Summer Group Exhibition

July 26, 2013. Carlton Gallery celebrates its 31st anniversary with a Summer Group Exhibition on Saturday, July 27. An Artist’s Reception is planned from 2-5 p.m. when some of the gallery artists will be present to meet with visitors. This 31st anniversary celebration coincides with the Avery Tour d’Art, a coalition of galleries and artists’ private studios, which is Saturday, July 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Toni Carlton - Healing - White Buffalo Returns - 40x70This group exhibition encompasses fine art in glass, wood, sculpture, clay, fiber and fine jewelry by the many talented and dedicated artisans represented by the gallery. New paintings in oils and acrylics by Egi Antonaccio, Andrew Briatman, Edie Maney, Holt McLain, Roy Nichols, Warren Dennis, Mary Martha McKinley, Kevin Beck and Debbie Arnold fill the gallery with landscapes, non-objective abstracts, figurative in the cubist style, still live and floras. The work of sculpture artists Zach Smith Johnson, Frank Holder and Jayne Harris brings an added flair to this exhibition with contemporary designs in steel, metal and clay. 

An exhibition “Outside in and Inside Out-Soul Expressions” by gallery owner/curator Toni Carlton and Michael Grady, an art professor at Appalachian State University, is a special feature for the 31 Summer Group Exhibition. They will be happy to meet visitors and discuss their respective art on exhibit at the Artists’ Reception from 2-5 p.m.

This collaborative effort by Carlton and Grady exhibit mixed media work by Carlton and acrylic paintings with Chinese ink by Grady. They share a common interest in Asian art and philosophy, along with a connection to art that connects creativity, wellness and spirituality. Their exhibition refers to an interest in weaving elements which connect the outer worlds of culture and nature to the inner worlds of mind, spirit and emotion. It also explores concepts of nature, “flow” and the authentic gesture used in Asian art. 

Both artists have considerable experience in the study and practice of Asian calligraphy- Carlton through studies with noted Korean American artist, Kichung Lizee, and Grady through the study of tai chi, calligraphy and landscape painting at the China National Academy of Art in Hangzhou. He established strong connections to the art academy which continue today. Carlton’s art incorporates expressive calligraphic text in English, Chinese and Sanskrit to create elegant flowing abstract compositions which are seen through hand-woven fabric adhered to canvas with many layers of transparent paint. Grady creates paintings using subtle layers of color and dynamic calligraphic marks to evoke an indication of a landscape – mountains, clouds. Each artist’s work displays an interesting area between recognizable imagery and pure abstraction. 

The “Outside In and Inside Out – Soul Expression” exhibition’s fusion of artistic styles and techniques provides a rarely seen glimpse into art which combines Asian and American sensibilities to explore the nature of the “heroic gesture” and its connection light, form, language, body and energy. Carlton and Grady explore a dimension of paradox – personal and universal, figurative and abstract, poetic and concrete. They join each other in the unapologetic creation of beauty and harmony. This “Outside in and Inside Out – Soul Expressions” exhibition allows one to see the world (and probably oneself) in new and exciting ways. 

Toni Carlton’s Calligraphic paintings have juried the Invitational World Calligraphy Exhibitions held in Seoul, Korea; Beijing, China and Geneva, Switzerland. Carlton was one of two American women artists whose work was chosen for the “Calligraphy Sprout to the West” exhibition in Seoul, Korea. Her calligraphy was also chosen to participate in the International Healing Arts Exhibition early this year in Naples, Italy. Carlton said, “for over 20 years, my work has been about the connection of all people through the use of different languages, universal images that represent open hearts, as well as respecting our heritage and recognizing our oneness.”

Everyone is welcome at Carlton Gallery’s 31st Summer Group Exhibition on Saturday, July 27, from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. as a feature of the Avery Tour d’Art. An Artists’ Reception from 2-5 p.m. offers one an afternoon of viewing wonderful art in various mediums, along with experiencing community spirit, visiting with artists and enjoying light refreshments. The 31 Anniversary Summer Group Exhibition continues through Sept. 24 while the “Outside In and Inside Out – Soul Expression” exhibition can be viewed through Aug. 21. 

The gallery is located 10 miles south of Boone and seven miles north of Linville on NC 105 in the Grandfather Mountain community. Workshops in painting, mixed media, and expressive arts are held weekly by gallery artists who enjoy helping others experience profound creativity. For information on artists, exhibitions or available workshops, call 828-963-4288.