‘Healing’ exhibit opens this month

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Show features work by Juan Carlos Duron-Martinez

As part of the Hammond Gallery Series, the Arts Council of Wilson presents the beautiful and soulful works of self-taught Wilson artist Juan Carlos Duron-Martinez in his exhibit “Healing.”

The show runs July 16 to Aug. 29.

The artist immigrated to the United States from his place of birth in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico, in 2002 at the age of 8 and has spent the better part of his life in Wilson, where he grew up and has lived for the past 18 years.

He discovered an interest in art at a young age as he experimented with different mediums and eventually found his true calling in watercolor. His early works focused primarily on hyper-realistic portraiture, inspired by Frida Kahlo, but as his work progressed, he turned to landscape and architectural paintings as a form of developing his skills while exploring his interest in new subjects.

In this new gallery exhibit, Duron-Martinez reverts back to an earlier stage in his artistic career when his work was less refined and painted loosely and freely, without the fear of “mistakes.” It is through this process that he has been able to create conceptualized pieces that carry a more emotional tone.

Although the works he created for this show don’t have an immediate visual connection, all hold a personal emotional connection to and for him. He said he hopes these pieces will resonate deeper with the viewer.

In addition to his paintings, his show will feature an installation consisting of 1,000 paper cranes (or senbazuru). The original inspiration for this piece comes from the Japanese legend that promises anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes a single wish, or in other traditions, happiness, health and eternal good luck. His intention with this installation is to wish the world peace and health during these troublesome times.

Some previously commissioned pieces will also be on display in this exhibit as an example of the artist’s artistic ability. He has several works in the private collection of Allen G. Thomas Jr.

Due to COVID-19 related state and local mandates surrounding social distancing practices, the Arts Council of Wilson is unsure if/when an opening or closing reception and artist talk will be held for this exhibit. Visit www.wilsonarts.com for updates.

The show will be available to view on the Arts Council of Wilson’s website as a “virtual tour,” and in person at the Hammond Gallery at the Edna Boykin Cultural Center during the summer from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The gallery show is open free to the public.