Seeing the forest and the trees

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By Page Leggett If Cheryl Johnson’s art seems to have a spiritual quality, there’s a reason behind that. Her studio ritual, before she begins painting, never varies: Pray, breathe, dream. The Abstract Expressionist who began work as an artist in 1969 is a painter, photographer and sculptor. Her work – in oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, …

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His jewelry makes a statement

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By Page Leggett There’s statement jewelry, and then there’s Blaine Hurdle’s jewelry. His whale fins, slithering snakes, T-Rex skulls – all rendered by hand in brass, silver, copper or aluminum – are attention getters and conversation starters. The Charlotte native says he’s unconstrained by tradition. It’s evident in his work that manages to be unusual …

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Her art has a message of hope

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By Page Leggett Art can have therapeutic power, Amanda Foshag believes. “My art is really about overcoming adversity,” she confides. “So many experiences in life can have massive impacts on our perception of ourselves, our relationships … and, a lot of times, those are at a cost. I want to make work that … speaks …

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A beautiful contradiction: Always seeking safety, this artist takes risk in her art

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By Page Leggett Artists reveal, consciously or otherwise, their vulnerability. For mixed-media artist Betsy Birkner, it’s intentional. “Being safe has been an issue for me my entire life,” she says. “Staying safe reveals itself in my artmaking.” For instance, her ceramic armor series, exhibited at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, ArtFields, Elder Gallery …

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