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Art exhibit to feature women’s creations

AMANDA SEBASTIANO
Staff Writer

“We want people to walk in and be in awe; we want to move them,” Stacy Pilkington-Smith told the Times-News on Thursday.

Sharing a common theme of humans in nature, four women will bring pieces of their work together for the Interconnected art exhibit that kicks off on Monday.

A Lincolnton resident, Smith orchestrated the event and is the catalyst for the three other artists in her group, named Assorted Marbles. Through mutual friends and the Gaston County Arts Council, Smith started recruiting for her team founded nearly three years ago.

The ladies will be hosting an exhibit at the Lincoln County Cultural Center for the first time next week — an event Smith hopes will be like no other held at the local venue.

A ceramist who also works with beeswax in her encaustic work, a portrait artist who also uses pastels and acrylic, a sculptor who can’t get enough clay, and a mixed-media artist hope to bring their similar but different styles and topics in unison for a strong visual experience for patrons.

Smith works with a variety of media, often using watercolors in her pieces to create what she describes as fun, whimsical, vibrantly colored, detailed works of art that comfort her. She draws inspiration from stories told to her during her childhood, personal experiences, mythology and nature.

She likes to work with various media; whenever one speaks to her, they all do, she said. Using graphic-design elements, combined with drawing and painting, Smith creates art that is falls in a different category than the other female artists in her troupe, such as Meghan Seehorn.

The untold stories that lie within the human structure, physical attributes that can be seen by an outsider, are what intrigue Seehorn to create clay-made, 3D-structures of the human form.

“A human body conveys the experiences and choices of a lifetime,” Seehorn said. “The stories are presented in defined muscles and beer bellies, crow’s feet and laugh lines, calloused hands and dancer toes. These tales are described by crooked fingers and long nails, knobby knees and love handles, pregnant bellies and bony shoulder blades. Most importantly of all, I want my work to tell the tale of lives.”

Also an admirer of the human species is Amy Totzke — the portrait artist. Not just painting an expression, or shading in the proper hair color, Totzke meets with clients to determine the personality of the person she will illustrate through stories and photographs of the individual. To bring to life what that person’s soul is like, she draws on experiences others share with her of the man or woman she will craft.

Wanting to know who that person was, Totzke likes creating memorial pieces in honor of a deceased loved one — to help those she meets remember Tom’s witty sense of humor, or Mary’s love of cats.

The fourth of the ladies to have her pieces represented during the holiday season, is Jacqueline Dunford, a ceramic artist who sticks to nature themes as she uses her favorite tool — a texture roller she made from old sawmill lumber.

Using the tool, she creates mugs, vases and bird houses that have the appearance of tree bark. She and Smith share an interest in environment settings or landscapes, though still connected to the others in their group through their recognition of a human’s role in nature.

Unique, eclectic and powerful are three words Smith feels best describe what local residents will have the chance to see through Dec. 23.

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