Variations on a theme


Variation on a Theme
Gregory Smith and Tim Turner
July 5 - July 28 Opening July 7, 4-6pm

Bright Color, Bold Shapes, Brilliant Texture; these are just a few words to describe The Art Cellar Gallery’s next show, “Variations on a Theme” featuring artists Gregory Smith and Tim Turner.

“Variations on a Theme” will feature abstract painted works from both artists. Gregory Smith will be showing 24 alterations of the same composition, from small to large paintings. This concept was inspired by the 24 variations of Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Sergei Rachmaninoff. Tim Turner’s work is often a variation of an idea. Using and reusing canvases, Turner builds onto his paintings, creating shape and texture by using scraps of canvas from paintings that, “didn’t make the cut.” These two artists showing together will thrill and excite any viewer. From color to technique, this will be a show you don’t want to miss.

Gregory Smith grew up in the Matney Community near Valle Crucis, NC where he still lives and works today. His body of work includes paintings of rural landscapes, barns, and old homes; many of which are community and personal landmarks. Greg’s inspiration comes from the physical properties of paint and he known for his richly detailed trompe l’oeil paintings (“to fool the eye”). His work reflects his deep familiarity and understanding of his subjects and his mastery of technique as he captures atmosphere and emotion on canvas. Smith attended Appalachian State University where he majored in Art.

Tim Turner, a native to North Carolina and Appalachian State Graduate, creates dynamic, gestural abstract canvases filled with passion, strong form, and expressive color. His focus is on large scale abstracts that are influenced by “poetry, love, anger, the weather, pretty much the nuances of everyday life.” Turner states his paintings often take on a life of their own, from the artists experience of creation to the finished works evoking reaction from others.

“Variations on a Theme” featuring new works by artists Gregory Smith and Tim Turner will  begin July 5 and end July 28. The artist reception will be held on July 7, from 4 to 6 pm. This event is free and open to the public.

The Art Cellar Gallery will also feature two Sunday Artist Talks in July. Noyes Capehart is back in his annual talk, Sunday July 15 from 2-4pm. “ An Approach to the Meaning of Art” will feature recent works by Noyes Capehart and he will lead us through his inspirations and “meanings” behind his art and other works of art. “Visual Energy” our second Sunday Artist talk featuring Zoey Brookshire will be featured Sunday July 29, from 2-4pm. She will talk about recent works, inspiration and the release of her new book, Visual Energy.

The Art Cellar Gallery features North Carolina artists while including select artists from across the Southeast, showing work from large scale canvases to smaller works on paper as well as sculpture, glass and clay. A high country arts destination celebrating 26 seasons, The Art Cellar Gallery is located on Hwy. 184 in Banner Elk and is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm. For more information contact the gallery online or by phone at or 828-898-5175.

#14,  24 Variations on a Theme , Gregory Smith

#14, 24 Variations on a Theme, Gregory Smith

Variations on a Theme
Gregory Smith

Twenty Four Variations on a Theme, began during Ms. Dorthy Shufford's performance of Rachmaninoff:  Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43, at her home last summer.  From the beginning I was captivated. Variations to me are expressions of time itself, new and not new, known and unknown, evolving difference and familiarity.

I closed my eyes as the variations began; memories of Cezanne's many paintings of Mont Sainte-Victoire flashing in my imagination. Changes in color, light, line and structure, painted so often by this one artist. He rendered the same place, always making it new and familiar.

After the performance I committed to produce a composition twenty four times, changing color, line and texture. All these elements connected by shared shapes and angles.  My hope is that seeing the painting together will be like hearing music. An interconnected group of the memories of the same place, relived twenty four times as you move through the gallery.

The Art of Drowning, Tim Turner

The Art of Drowning, Tim Turner

Variations on a Theme
Tim Turner

I think it was the artist,  Jim Dine, when asked how he approached his works said, 'Sometimes I see it and paint it, then other times I paint and I see it.”

I have to say that with abstracts it’s rare that I see it, then paint it. Sometimes a poem may inspire an idea, as with the new painting “The Art of Drowning”, a title taken from a Billy Collins poem. After being in the studio for rainy weeks on end, trying to keep my thoughts above water, a shadow of direction appeared and the painting began its’ journey.

Here is a Collins poem that if the word “painting” was inserted for "poetry” it is pretty spot on for me.

Poetry fills me with joy
and I rise like a feather in the wind.
Poetry fills me with sorrow
and I sink like a chain flung from a bridge.

But mostly poetry fills me
with the urge to write poetry,
to sit in the dark and wait for a little flame
to appear at the tip of my pencil.