“Recess” Exhibition Opening May 24 at Wilkes Art Gallery

From the Wilkes Art Gallery


A new exhibition titled “Recess” will open at Wilkes Art Gallery on Friday, May 24th. This exhibition features a Tribute to Joe Miller as well as the work of Josiah King, Craig Franz, and Tara Spil. An opening reception will be held at the Gallery on Friday, May 24, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Joe Miller was a well-known and respected artist and founder of Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff in Boone. An excerpt from one of his last artist statements for a show with the American Watercolor Society in New York reads “ I love putting paint on things. Anything! My favorite things are really good watercolor paper, canvas and boards. I find something magical in the process. Life is really good when I have a project going such as a series of paintings. I just can’t wait to work on them! There is no space or time, just me, my brushes, my paints and possibly some good music. I guess I’m addicted to this…”

Josiah King is an artist from Eastern North Carolina whose work is largely focused on finding interesting, yet typically unnoticed moments from his everyday surroundings. His work has been shown in many public venues, including the North Carolina Museum of Art, North Carolina Contemporary Art Museum, United States Capitol Building in Washington D.C., and the Erie Art Museum. King is the art instructor at Sampson Community College in Clinton, where he teaches painting, drawing and art history.

Craig Franz began his journey in the arts with a career as a jeweler/craftsman, designing and fabricating original creations in gold and silver. This led into a career as a dental technician creating porcelain and gold restorations for area dentists. His interest in building led him to designing and building three homes during his earlier years. He studied drawing and painting in college, but did not choose to pursue those interests until into his 50’s. An admiration of impressionism, especially the continued development from the 20th century American impressionists, helped guide his path. Working in soft pastels and oils his award winning paintings are created both ‘Plein Air’ and in the studio. He is a member of the ‘Blue Ridge Realist’, a group of well known Western North Carolina artists.

Tara Spil is a painter and sculptor based in Charlotte, and working at the McColl Center. After studying fine art at Western Carolina University, she developed a career in nonprofit arts, education, and health and human services. Her passion for people and community has always informed her career. In 2018, she began including data in her work to discuss issues happening in society. Over the next several years, she received public funding to study incorporating data into fine art painting and later, sculpture. During 2021, Tara’s work has been supported by the Arts and Science Council, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Blumenthal Endowment. During 2022 and 2023 she’s been awarded several public art sculpture opportunities with Charlotte SHOUT and Charlotte International Arts Festival.

For more information on “Recess” and other upcoming events, contact the Gallery by phone at 336-667-2841. Wilkes Art Gallery is open Tuesday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Gallery is located at 913 C Street / Ward Nichols Way, North Wilkesboro. Admission is free to exhibitions, openings, and community events.

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