Four N.C. Artists Featured in Upcoming Art Exhibit

‘Pop!’ opens May 5 at the Caldwell Arts Council, hosted by Foothills Performing Arts

Courtesy submission

LENOIR – The newest exhibit of the Caldwell Arts Council – Titled “Pop!” – will open Friday, May 5. The exhibit will feature four artists, all from different locations in the Tar Heel state. The opening reception, from 5-7 p.m., will provide the public an opportunity to meet the artists, Christopher Fowler, Richard Wright, Michelle Johnson Fairchild, and Mary Margaret Myers.

The reception, hosted by Foothills Performing Arts, is free and open to the public.

About the artists:

Michelle Johnson Fairchild  from Morehead City characterizes herself as “an ordinary woman.” A mother, a teacher and an artist, she is also a survivor.  In August 2008 her then-husband took a butcher knife and slashed ninety-four of her paintings before attempting to murder Michelle by strangling her to unconsciousness. He then beat her and left her for dead in their hallway. In essence, he tried to silence her literal voice as well as her artistic voice.  She has lived a life as an abused wife. She has been beaten. She has been degraded, devalued, and deemed inconsequential for living by the man who vowed to love her forever.  Yet something amazing and powerful happened to Fairchild. She went from a hopeless victim to a survivor full of victory, life, courage and strength. What changed her life? She began to paint. Her “Larger than Life” paintings will engage young and old alike!

Michelle Fairchild

Michelle Johnson Fairchild. Courtesy photo.

Christopher Fowler of Hope Mills is an expressionistic figurative painter hailing from rural southeastern North Carolina. His paintings seek to expose the vulnerability behind human figures while exploring the contradicting facades that we are often forced to retreat behind. His style is reminiscent of the Southern gothic literary period, which focuses on deeply troubling sides of human nature – themes of poverty, alienation, and violence.

Richard Wright of Lenoir lives with his family live in an updated farmhouse built in 1878. After years of college, working as a physical therapist full time and potting part time, he became a full time potter in 2016.  Work for this exhibit required a great deal of hand painting the vibrant colors for a pop culture theme. Wright says, “I think it should be one of the exhibits not to miss if you have kids. The pieces are easily recognizable and will be just as fun for the adults since the material is timeless.”

Mary Margaret Myers of Charlotte returned to painting after a hiatus of 25 years of family commitments, a career in counseling, and other creative pursuits. She studied and performed music rather extensively in the early part of her life and loved doing so, but said, “When I stopped playing, the music was gone. Yes, I could start playing it all over again, but I decided visual art was something that would stay in place after I stopped and it would not go away.”  She continued, “I wanted to make something worth returning to see many times … something worth revisiting to make discoveries, to find surprises. Paintings never end the way they began, but they surprise me. They don’t have to be ‘right.’  They just have to ‘Sing.’”

POP Myers Jungle

‘Jungle’ by Mary Margaret Myers. Courtesy submission.

About the Caldwell Arts Council:

The Caldwell Arts Council’s mission is to establish and maintain an awareness and appreciation of cultural arts in Caldwell County, to encourage participation in art events, and to offer various educational opportunities and administrative services in support of artists, arts agencies, and audiences.  Located at 601 College Ave SW in Lenoir, its offices are open Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information, call 828-754-2486 or visit their website.

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