Portraits of Imagination

Warhol, Bill George

A collection from new members at Asheville Gallery of Art — Chris Bell, Bill George, Hyn Patty, and Patricia Veatch — takes portraiture beyond its boundaries using unexpected styles, mediums, and subjects.

“As a cooperative, we all work to keep the gallery open,” notes George. “As an artist, it’s important to be around other artists and feed off the creative energy a group such as this provides.” With a background in fine art and graphic design, George creates distinctive, highly rendered oil realism. In the March exhibit, he’ll show portraits from his Icon series, which he describes as “reimagined and abstracted celebrity portraits painted from black-and-white photographs, which I translate into color squares … I like to find new ways to interpret a traditional genre such as portraiture to make it fresh and interesting.”

Playing with Water, Hyn Patty

Bell, a lifelong artist from Madison County, uses alcohol ink and experiments with other mediums to expand her creative possibilities. She presents vivid animal paintings for her interpretation of portraiture, bringing to light ethereal qualities found in nature.

Patty, an illustrator and painter, has art featured in public and private collections worldwide. She produces lifelike oil paintings and soft pastel drawings of flora and fauna, though her approach to portraiture has been called “unconventional.” Patty states that many things can be portraits — places, plants, animals, personal objects, an old building — without being strictly figurative. “I’m interested in experimenting with the media I use and pushing the limits to try and engage the viewer,” she says. “I try to evoke a gut-level response to what I find to be beautiful or fascinating, to trigger a memory or an affinity for a place, time, or thing.”

Duke the Cowherder, Patricia Veatch

Veatch, who has worked as an artist and art educator for 40 years, turns her latest subject matter to broaden past figurative work, while still highlighting each subject’s complex character. 

The exhibition is on display March 4-28.

Asheville Gallery of Art, 82 Patton Ave., Asheville. www.ashevillegallery-of-art.com. 828-251-5796.

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