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More than 100 works of art by some of the newest members of The Swannanoa Valley Fine Art League are on exhibit at the Monte Vista Hotel.

Many of the 12 local artist are from the Black Mountain area, including Gayle Curtis (see related story onthis page). Viewing the work is free. Viewers will have an opportunity to see multiple works by an artist.

“Our visitors to this show will notice a unique collection of black and white pieces, and they'll think they are paintings or photographs. But if they look closer, they will discover ‘scratchboard’ (by Curtis) This unique style of art has been around for centuries, and like all art, the material used has changed greatly.”

Curtis is a Black Mountain native. “The material that I use is a thin Masonite board which had a layer of white china clay coated with layers of black India ink,” she said. “There are numerous tools that can be used to create the painting, depending on what the artist wants to achieve. I prefer to use an X-Acto knife which has a fine point and is great for detailed work.

“When using this technique you are actually doing the reverse of painting. The artist determines how much ink should be scratched off to get the best results with lighting and shadows. Scratchboard is time-consuming, tedious work. However, I find it relaxing, and the finished product is my reward.”

Curtis estimated it took her “hundreds of hours” to complete the 12 scratchboards on display. The other 11 artists exhibiting are Alan Kaufman (found objects sculptures), Anne Bevan (acrylic landscapes), Cindy Lou Chenard (acrylic abstracts), David Kaylor (wood turnings), Kaaren McNulty (oil landscapes and florals), Jack Williams (watercolors), Judy Williams (Japanese brushwork), Marie Colton Woodard (digitally enhanced photos), Marty Cain (charcoal and ink drawings) and Maureen Simon (photography).

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