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Gallery artists have Barton connections

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Three artists with Barton College connections will be celebrated at the Art Ventures & Barnes Corner Gallery First Friday September Open House.

The Sept. 7 event, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., will feature figurative painter Joseph Bounds, who studied art at Barton College and now teaches figure drawing through Barton’s continuing education program; abstract painter Robert Winne, who graduated from Barton (then Atlantic Christian College), with a degree in commercial design; and sculptor Michael Dorneman, technical director for Theatre at Barton.

“The work of these accomplished artists is visually diverse, yet highly connected,” said artist gallery owner Pegi Barnes Sharp. “Some work expresses the journey within the artist’s thoughts and emotions, while other work is inspired by journeys around the world.”

The work of Bounds, Winne and Dorneman, along with ceramic pieces by Mark Gordon, metal hanging sculptures by Nelson Smith and jewelry by Betsy Russell, can be enjoyed and purchased at the First Friday September open house.

The public is welcome, and refreshments will be served.

Joseph Bounds

The large scale paintings of Goldsboro artist Joseph Bounds, are unique in their mastery of emotionally charged human forms, inspired by his introspective nature.

“The body is my brush stroke,” Bounds said. While inspired by Old Master painters such as Michelangelo and Caravaggio, who used the human figure to tell a Biblical or mythological story, Bounds is after something deeper. “My paintings are realistic, but my work is not realism,” he said of his figures that are bent, bowed, entangled and released from the confines of gravity. “Does that really happen anywhere … a body floating in a black void?”

Bounds, who has never performed an autopsy or taken formal anatomy classes, achieves his degree of realism through extensive and ongoing reading, observation and the employment of the Old Master technique of “grisaille.” Here the body is meticulously painted in tones of gray, giving a result that mimics a beautifully lit sculpture.

After this process is complete, Bounds begins an extensive series of transparent flesh-toned layers called glazes.

The thoughtful layering of blues and greens against oranges, all in transparent layers, gives a vibrant, shimmering optical effect that brings the skin and the human form to life. Using this method, his paintings can take up to 200 hours to complete.

Bounds resides in Goldsboro, after graduating from the Institute of Art of the Chicago Museum of Art. His mother, the Rev. Tuck Taylor, minister at Wilson’s West Nash Methodist Church, noticed his artistic gift early.

“I drew the cover of the book ‘Toad and Frog’ at school. When I brought it home, she thought I had traced it.”

ROBERT WINNE

While the work of Chester, Virginia, artist Robert Winne might be described as abstract expressionism without any recognizable objects, Winne has other thoughts.

“To me, my paintings are not abstracts. They are real. I see exactly what they are. I know what they are. They’re landscapes and people.”

The inspiration for Winne’s art comes from his career as a military contractor. He has been deployed for months at a time to New Orleans, Iraq and Afghanistan, procuring materials and services in support of the men and women rebuilding bridges, roads, schools and more. The arid landscapes, sides of old buildings, rusted doors, even the post 9/11 concrete barriers that surrounded the Parliament building in London capture his imagination. The devastation and rebuilding process in these far-flung places have imbued his sensibilities.

“When I graduated from Barton College, I was a photorealistic painter,” says Winne who never imagined he’d become an abstract painter interested in expressing his inner emotions.

“Now I’m known as the concrete guy,” he says, referring to his secret recipe of Portland cement, paste and glues he uses to create expressive surfaces. The mixture is adhered to his surface then manipulated with tools, fabric and other materials. After it dries, which can take up to a week or more, four to six layers of artist’s gesso are applied before Winne begins to paint. The unusual and compelling textures are enhanced by his spare use of color.

Winne, who still keeps a poster of his Sigma Epsilon fraternity brothers pinned on his studio wall, is “extremely excited” to return to Wilson for the September exhibition. “Atlantic Christian is where I started to grow as an artist,” he says. “Now, I can’t imagine not being an artist.”

MICHAEL DORNEMAN

Sculptor Michael Dorneman uses the power of line to suggest form and is particularly interested in those forms found in nature. Plants, flowers, water, waves, even the human form become inspiration for Dorneman’s expressions.

Dorneman’s process requires multiple stages. Once conceived, the design is cut, sanded and polished from sheets of acrylic. Each cut piece is then engraved on both sides, introducing texture to the smooth acrylic. Sometimes these engravings have representational characteristics. The pieces are then introduced to extreme heat, enabling Dorneman to create twists, bends and edge flutters. A larger piece can have up to a hundred individual bends. Once the shaping is complete, the sculpture is mounted to a heavy acrylic base. Seen in the direct sunlight, these pieces glow and reflect.

For information, call Pegi Sharp at 252-235-8878 or Oona Lewis at 252-236-1055. Art Ventures & Barnes Corner Gallery is located at 200 Tarboro St.

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