A weaver of stories will be showcasing her mixed-media art at Gallery 27 beginning on Saturday. Kathryn Regel’s art is a unique combination of art, memories and ancestry.
Her current body of work, “1910 and Now,” was started about three years ago. Regel was visiting her mother and she was given several photo albums formerly belonging to her grandfather.
“They were from starting around 1910 to 1918 and all of the pictures were labeled,” she said. “I said, ‘holy cow, they’re candid shots.’ It’s rare to find something like that so I thought, ‘how can I do something with these photos?’”
She started taking the photos, printing them and incorporating her own photos to make a story. One of the first stories, entitled, “I dreamed of Italy,” features Regel’s grandmother, who was an artist herself. The image Regel created features the old photograph of her grandparents sitting on a dock, layered into the artwork beside a contemporary picture of a lake in Wisconsin, taken by Regel.
“It was a story I made up about her and that’s what started transpiring,” she said. “I started making up stories.”
Also included in the layers of Regal’s images are maps, news clippings, advertisements, sewing patterns, stamps and anything else that Regel feels go with the stories, either in real life or her own fantasy. Some of the stories are simple, some are deep, some are Regel’s memories and others are of her memories of her relatives. Most of the pictures have a tree in them, which is a symbol of a family tree. She paints the layers together with acrylic paint to make it seem like a seamless picture.
Gallery 27 owner Stacey Smith first saw Regel’s work when she entered two pieces of her art into the annual Mad Hatter Art Challenge in March.
“I immediately liked her work,” Smith said. “I haven’t seen anybody around doing quite what she does with collage, paint and photography. I was instantly drawn to it and I asked her if she wanted a show, which is not something I normally do.”
When Smith advertises for a show, she said that she can usually tell from the public if it’s a good artist or show coming due to the responses received. She’s received positive feedback for the show and the two pictures that Regel had entered in Mad Hatter received a lot of bids.
Regel is now doing her art full-time to see where it goes. She’s been working on this project for the past three years and said there’s no sign of it slowing down.
There will be a reception on Saturday from 5-7 p.m. Gallery 27 is located at 808 West Highway 27 in Lincolnton. Regel’s work will be on display from Aug. 3 through Sept. 6. The original artwork is available for sale, as well as prints.