The Spirit and Beauty of Ireland Coming to Lenoir

Caldwell Art Council’s newest exhibit ‘Double Vision: Artists in Ireland’ opens Friday

An additional exhibit, ‘Correspondence: A Postcards Show,’ is included; sales benefit the CAC

LENOIR, N.C. – Two exhibitions and an artist talk are opening at the Caldwell Arts Council (CAC) this Friday, Oct. 5.

“Double Vision: Artists in Ireland” will feature North Carolina artists Jean Cauthen and Diane Pike. Cauthen, a professor as well as a painter, is from Charlotte. Pike is from Denver.

The other exhibit, “Correspondence: A Postcards Show” is an artist invitational with each exhibiting artist creating one or two works of art utilizing a 4” x 6” substrate, with all sales of postcards artwork benefitting the CAC.

Oct 18 exhibit Cauthen on left Pike on Right

Jean Cauthen (left), and Diane Pike painting in Ireland. Courtesy photo.

The exhibitions begin with an artist talk by Cauthen at 4:30 Friday afternoon, followed by a reception hosted by the Lenoir Service League from 5 to 7. In her talk, “From Studio to Suitcase,” Cauthen presents the pleasures and humorous perils of art travel. With examples of Degas in New Orleans and Monet in Venice she explores the effects of travel on an artist’s body of work. In her own work, she demonstrates how Irish Scones, Guinness, and Pub Theatre have swayed her own dubious artistic choices.

Cauthen holds an MFA in Painting and Drawing from James Madison University, a BFA in Painting and Drawing from East Carolina University, and a BA in Writing and Editing from North Carolina State University. She has 20 years of college level teaching experience including courses in Painting, Art History, and Creativity. She also leads groups to Italy for landscape painting and Art History. Cauthen is currently and adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, where she teaches Painting, Drawing, and Art History.

In an artist’s statement, Cauthen offers a testimonial to the influence of the Olive Stack Gallery residency upon her art. If follows:

There is not a single Olive Stack Artist who does not conclude their residency believing that the town of Listowel may be the most magical place on earth! The warmth of the residents, the beauty of the streets, surroundings and Olive herself serve as inspiration and balm for any creative spirit. 

Artists reside in a cozy, beautifully appointed apartment situated above the gallery and in the center of the bustling town. One of the great joys of the month is to merely sit with a cup of tea overlooking the ‘small square,’ In this spot, dubbed “window theater,” you can watch as shops open and life bustles through the streets. 

It has been my great fortune to be able to count many of those who bustle through as ‘good friends.’ The luxury of having a month-long stay is the opportunity of working daily to grow your artwork. As a plein air painter, every session of painting the streets of Listowel or the Cliffs of Ballybunion, builds on the previous session. Upon return to the studio (part of the apartment), I can place the artwork on the ledge and see progression and clear areas to work on during the next painting session. Also, with a month of work, I did not consider each work as precious, knowing I would be back that next day to have another ‘go’ at it. With this, I felt free to take risks and try new approaches. 

Because of the residency, Ireland and Listowel have become a part of my own yearly rhythms. After three years of returning to Listowel, I must consider whether I teach, paint, tour, or simply ‘hang out’ with my -now-friends, is my only question. Whether I return or not is not even a question. This is what the Olive Stack Residency has meant to this little painter.

Pike was born in Iowa and moved to Boulder, Colo. at an early age. Boulder was home for 50 years until the Lake Norman area became her residence in late 2008. Pike graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 1975 with a focus on graphic design and printmaking. She took her first painting class in 2002, learning the Henry Hensche tradition – The Art of Color Seeing – studying the effect that light has on color. This approach fuels Pike’s paintings and infuses them with saturated color and abstract shapes. She paints full-time at her Lake Norman studio and teaches several workshops a year throughout the United States and Ireland. She is a Signature Member of Plein Air Artists Colorado and of the Pastel Society of Colorado, and a member of the Piedmont Pastel Society in North Carolina.

Caldwell Arts councilThe exhibitions continue through the end of November. The Caldwell Arts Council presents the arts in all its forms to the people of Caldwell County. Located at 601 College Avenue in Lenoir, the Caldwell Arts Council is open Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Courtesy submission. 

‘Art’ photo by Ian Williams on Unsplash