Acme exhibit to showcase diverse work of 22 artists

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Image: "Owning the Sky", mixed media painting by Leslie Pearson

Acme artists share work in downtown Wilmington studio this weekend

By Isabel Heblich, Correspondent
Star News, Wilmington, NC
Friday, April 11, 2008

Eccentric, prolific, beatnik and terrific, the work of Acme Art's 22 artists also is romantic, explicit, sarcastic and "inter-scholastic."

A spring cleaning of the soul, the fruits of a long gestating winter in Acme's studio building on Fifth Avenue in downtown Wilmington will be exhibited 1-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday with a reception 6-9 p.m. Saturday.

Acme founder Dick Roberts, whom many pegged as an abstract painter until his recent photography show, unearths some dark, grotesque, comical collages from the early '90s. They spin strange fun-house narratives between antique lace, cut-up credit cards and spray-paint stencils of what looks like a freak-show fat-lady wrestler and a naive 1950s couple whose male-half has a criminal smile.

The little art-birdie, who whispers ideas around the old warehouse, covered its bases and brought painter MJ Cunningham to bat with large, abstract colorfills - "Dick and I kind of switched roles here," Cunningham said in a studio interview. Her three-piece series Analogous Red, Blue and Yellow, inspired by a class on the subject she is now teaching at Cape Fear Community College, is somewhere between observing curious cell-functions under a microscope and deciphering a primal tally system.

Artist Richard T. Wright creates innovations in perspective by drilling holes in the frames or shadowboxes of his glass collages, making intimate peep hole views into the nostalgic rhetoric of his life.

We see word play from new arrival Leslie Pearsons' pieces: a hyper-realist portrait paired with scrawling poetry like passing clouds through her re-occurring "bird on a wire" image. A Jasper Johns-style word collage repeats the block letters of "Blue" in red.

Photographer Arrow Ross contributed prints from his recent Acme show, documenting the Hindu and Buddhist sculptures from Thailand. The sharpness of shape in these super-saturated altars give them a supernatural, dizzyingly unreal fascination.

Groomed landscape painter Chappy Valente shows new strength and unexpected sensuality in watercolor and oil figurative painting.

Painter Pam Toll, master of sensualities, contributes collages and paintings that are, as they so consistently are, unspeakably beautiful encyclopedias of dreams of the heart.

New arrival sculptor Adrian Willis, contributes a minimalist, intellectual metal re-creation of a Kiss in 12 inches. The simple bent steel bars have a provocative effect changed by the reflective sphere heads, taking the minds of the kissers away from each other and into the brainy, skeptical world. "It's part of my four-letter word-series," Willis said in the studio. "There's a few others."

Up Note...

Monday, April 28, 2008

On an up note, last week I sold another painting. "Crushed" is off the market and in the private collection of none other than my before mentioned, Nepal traveling friend, JB who is currently in Iraq as a contractor for the Army. This is a testament to the benefits of having a website to showcase my artwork. This is my second international sale, the first being to our friend DJ who lives in Indonesia and bought "Red Sky" a couple of years ago after seeing it on-line. My website:


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Yesterday I was excited to get a package from my friend JB who recently went to Nepal. He knows me pretty well and picked out several things that I totally love! Thanks Big Guy. I wish I could have tagged along to check out Nepal with you. The photos below are some that he took in the shops there.

Nepal is a landlocked nation in South Asia. It is bordered by the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China to the northeast and India to the south and west; it is separated from Bhutan by the Indian state of Sikkim and from Bangladesh by a small strip of the Indian state of West Bengal, known as the "Chicken's Neck". The Himalaya mountain range runs across Nepal's north and western parts, and eight of the world's ten highest mountains, including the highest, Mount Everest are situated within its territory.

Mayan Ruins

Saturday, April 26, 2008

One of the best parts of my jaunt to Mexico last week was a stop in Progreso to explore the ancient Dzibichaltun Mayan Ruins followed by a relaxing beach break.

The excursion began with a 40-minute bus ride to one of the oldest and most populated Mayan cities in the Yucatan. Founded in 1872 by Juan Miguel Castro, Progreso is situated on the Gulf of Mexico and enjoys a simple and laid-back lifestyle. This small and humble fisherman's town is the place to explore the "unspoiled" side of Mexico. With white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, it's not hard to understand why this tranquil atmosphere is ideal for vacationing. This port town is also the gateway to Merida, the state capital of Yucatan; and Chichén Itzá, one of the Seven New Wonders of the World.

Our guide was of Mayan decent and so he talked us through their rich history. When we got there, we were able to explore the temples and buildings used before the arrival of the Spaniards.

We also saw the Temple of the Seven Dolls, a tribute to the Mayan’s astronomical skills. There was an amazingly clear natural spring that I just had to jump into. Very refreshing! Of course, I had my fill of the local fare before heading back for some shopping. The hot sauce and pure vanilla were two must haves on my list to bring home.

Cozumel, Mexico

Monday, April 21, 2008

Finally, a chance to catch my breath! I'm on a 5 day cruise to the beautiful locals of Mexico with my sister and friends.

Cozumel, a Caribbean island 12 miles east of the Quintana Roo coast, is Mexico’s largest island. The average temperature is 79º F and the climate is warm and humid, with strong rainfall in the summer.

The island is covered with lush jungle vegetation and surrounded by rocky coastlines, white-sand beaches, lagoons and mangroves. The waters encircling the island have an impressive group of coral reefs that are part of the Great Mayan Reef, the second largest reef system in the world. Marine reserves of great ecological importance, such as Parque Marino Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel (Cozumel National Reef Marine Park) and Parque Natural Chankanaab (Chankanaab Nature Park), were created to protect areas with a wide diversity of marine life, and they have drawn the attention of researchers and marine biologists such as Jacques Cousteau. Moreover, they are great places to do scuba diving and ecotourism outings.

The island’s only town is San Miguel de Cozumel, which has a relaxed Caribbean atmosphere and Mexico’s most important international cruise dock.

My brain is on overdrive

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Justin and I had a great time at the RIPE conference with Heather Bookout and the gang. I highly recommend the workshop to anyone who wants to better understand the ends and outs of operating a professional photography and design studio. They shared inside trade secrets such as pricing, attaching a value to your work, set design, dealing with clients, office work flow, photography tips, and even editing. It's a lot to digest and now our brains feel like they might explode!
We were so pumped to put into action some of what we learned that we went back to our hotel and spent about three hours editing the images from a recent wedding we shot. I can't wait to see the finished album--it will be a work of art that the bride and groom will cherish for a lifetime.

Five Years Into It

Thursday, April 17, 2008

“The most wonderful of all things in life, I believe, is the discovery of another human being with whom one's relationship has a growing depth, beauty, and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing; it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of divine accident, and the most wonderful of all things in life.” Author Unknown

Today is our 5-year anniversary. I can't hardly believe it's been that long. I was surprised with these beautiful flowers and a card that reads, "Knowing you makes me smile." It was the same little phase that he won my heart with when we were dating.

Bookout RIPE Photography Conference

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My husband and I were lucky enough to get a slot at one of the RIPE conference's this year. Professional photographer Heather Bookout hosts a two-day intensive workshop in Alabama for photographers. I'm really excited because her images are very creative and inspiring. I'm sure we'll gain a lot from her and everyone else who attends. Read more about Heather at:

Bjorn/Underwood Wedding

Sunday, April 13, 2008

This weekend has been action packed. My husband and I shot the Bjorn/Underwood wedding, well, he does all the hard work and I am his lovely assistant and a second shooter. Anyway, the couple put us up in a great B&B in Troy, NC called the Blair House...I highly recommend it for anyone who wants an escape to a quite little town for some antiquing or a weekend of biking or hiking through picturesque landscapes. Here is a sneak peek at a couple of images I took from the wedding...

ACME Art Studio Opening

Friday, April 11, 2008

The artists at Acme have decided to join in the 4th Friday happenings by opening our studios to the public. Please join us on April 12, 6-9 pm and during the Open House on Sunday April 13, 1-6pm and again on Saturday and Sunday, April 19-20, 1-6 pm. ACME is at 711 North 5th Street, Wilmington, NC 28401

Fun with printmaking

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

It's been very busy these last few weeks, so much so that I actually kind of dreaded going into work today because I feel like I should be focusing my time on getting the house ready to sell and deciding on what to take to our new apartment, etc....(I can feel my chest tightening now so I better take a deep breath...whew). Anyway, I'm glad I did go in because it was a nice change of pace. What better way to spend a day than by doing a little printmaking. The kids loved doing their own collagraph prints.

A Collagraph print is a collage printmaking technique and is a form of Intaglio printing. The collagraph plate is printed in the same way as etchings, but also include the basic principle of relief printing and can be printed either as intaglio or relief.

The term collagraph refers to a collage board where the materials are assembled on a flat base or plate to form a relief block with different surface levels and textures.

Collagraph plates are created by adhering materials like textured paper or fabric onto the plate and then coating it with varnish or acrylic medium afterwards to protect the materials.

The plate can be made from wood plates or cardboard plates that you build up using different materials.

As an example, I showed the kids a piece I did in college. It's a cityscape of London (about 18" x 30"...this one had to be run through a press because of its larger size).