Lark & Key Gallery and Boutique
Apr. 7, 2017 - May. 27, 2017
Lark & Key Gallery and Boutique presents ‘Garden Party’, on view April 7th through May 27th.
“If birds could build nests, then they could make hats.” This whimsical notion was the beginning of the joyful bird and animal portraits that artist Vicki Sawyer is celebrated for. The ‘Garden Party’ exhibition features Vicki’s original artwork along with ceramics by Teresa Pietsch and jewelry from Anna Johnson. There will be a preview party from 5-8pm Thursday, April 6th with Vicki Sawyer in attendance. (Teresa and Anna may be here as well but I don’t have confirmation yet)
As a little girl Vicki learned, from her grandfather, how to identify plants on their walks in the woods. Her mother’s childlike joy in even the simplest things taught her to be visually aware and she inherited a love for birds from her father. These influences filled Vicki’s childhood with delight and eventually an interest in art.
After earning a degree in art Vicki spent time working as a graphic artist, designing dolls and then a mural artist, painting hundreds of murals in New York as she and her husband raised a family. Most of the murals featured birds, insects, animals, grasses and wildflowers – the very things she that inspired her as a child. Upon moving to Tennessee, Vicki’s ‘birds with hats’ came while on a walk. Her images were well received so Vicki looked to her muse, Mother Nature, as she explored more flora and fauna.
The popularity of Vicki’s paintings has resulted in a number of licensing contracts, allowing her to reach a larger audience. Her imagery can be found on paper goods, tabletop products, needlepoint designs and more. Her product line continues to grow and a series of plate designs were featured in Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2015.
Vicki works from her home studio in Franklin, TN. To get creatively recharged, she still goes for walks. She says that “All the outdoor sights and smells take me to a welcomed place outside of the confines of the studio.” Vicki returns to the canvas with a fresh perspective, with hopes that her creations, will convey feelings of peace, joy and humor.
Nestled in the mountains of Western NC, Teresa Pietsch creates one-of-a-kind functional pottery. Teresa grew up in Washington State and graduated from Seattle Pacific University. She worked as a Scientific Illustrator for several years until she started taking pottery classes. Eventually making her way to NC, Teresa became involved at Claymakers Community Studio in Durham where she worked as a studio assistant and taught wheel classes. In 2010 she began as a full time studio potter working as a resident at the EnergyXchange in Burnsville, NC then set up her own studio near Penland, NC in fall 2013.
Pottery reflects Teresa’s “need to make objects that are both functional and beautiful”. Her current work consists primarily of red clay forms, using a monoprint slip transfer technique to explore colors, pattern and subtle textures. Her inspiration comes from trees, plants, flowers and ideas that are centered in life, growth and experience.
Anna Johnson studied metalsmithing and jewelry design at Appalachian State University. After college, she moved through Western NC from Boone to Spruce Pine and then to Asheville. Anna credits the region with “its plants and animals, its mountains, its rich artistic culture, and its people” for greatly influencing her development and work as an artist. Her jewelry is in tribute to holistic life cycles, intra-nature relationships, and nature-human connectivity.
Anna is drawn to collecting, inspecting, making, and nature. Her jewelry designs are driven by nature, the love of technical processes, creating intimate objects, and a deep fascination of life, death, impermanence, cycles, and personal value. Anna creates small, wearable ecosystems that are direct connections to nature – combining bones, plants and other natural found objects with gemstones and cast metals. In 2016 one of American Craft Week’s ‘Thirty under 30’ rising stars.