For a man born and bred in Charlotte, Nathan Parker certainly has a soft spot for country living.
The artistâ€™s exhibit, â€œLife Goes On,â€ now showing at the Lincoln Cultural Center, is full of images of old barns, road side stands and people working the land.
These scenes were inspired by trips taken to Washington, Ga. when Parker was a child.
â€œMy mom was from the country,â€ he said. â€œWe used to go to my grandaddyâ€™s farm for family reunions.â€
These trips to his grandparents farm also come out in his artwork of family. â€œOld Homestead #1â€ and â€œOld Homestead #2â€ are three-dimensional portraits of his grandparents complete with obituaries and signature items.
For his grandmother, he used a feather duster. His grandfather was commemorated with a hat.
â€œThatâ€™s his old farm hat he used,â€ said Parker.
Besides the portraits of his grandparents, the exhibit also includes portraits of his great-grandparents, complete with wrinkled cloth shirts. Parker also enjoys painting images of parents and grandparents spending time with children.
Many of these images have before and after shots. In â€œFather Loveâ€ a father is holding his son in his arms, rocking him to sleep. A small image in the corner shows the boy safely asleep in bed.
â€œIn the Kitchenâ€ shows a young boy cooking with his grandmother. A small image in the corner shows the boy licking the bowl. Itâ€™s a memory Parker holds dear.
â€œ(My grandmother) used to always give me the bowl,â€ he said.
Besides pictures of family and farm life, Parker likes to paint old buildings. He incorporates his before and after work in these scenes as well.
Some of the buildings are shown old and dilapidated. Others, such as the one shown in â€œLincolnâ€ transform from nondescript buildings to a flashy new cinema.
Another series of pictures in the exhibit tackles a more serious subject. In â€œJust Say Noâ€ a woman smokes crack and overdoses.
The first image of the woman shows her doing drugs at her kitchen table. Her young son peers in through the window.
â€œOne of the reasons I added him was to let people know that when you donâ€™t think kids are looking at you, they are,â€ said Parker.
The last picture in the series shows the child sitting next to his overdosing mother.
â€œThe child is looking up and praying for her,â€ he said.
The art exhibit also has a variety of miscellaneous pictures ranging from sunflowers to boxers.
â€œLife Goes Onâ€ will be shown in the Cochrane and Carolina Mills Galleries until Feb. 28. The galleries are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
â€œOld Homestead #2â€ is a portrait of the artistsâ€™ grandfather who was a Georgian farmer. Chris Dean / LTN Photo
Nathan Parkerâ€™s art exhibit â€œLife Goes Onâ€ has many images of rural life and nature. Chris Dean / LTN Photo
by Sarah Grano