Monte Vista exhibit features League artists


“Spring Into Summer,” a new art exhibit opening at the Monte Vista Hotel Friday, May 6, 2016 presents the work of seven members of the Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League.

The First Friday opening reception is 6-8 p.m. May 6 at the hotel. There is no charge to see the exhibition, which runs through July 31.

Among the artists in the show, curated by Susan Hanning, are Bob Falanga and Gretchen Chadwick. The Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League is headquartered at the Red House Studios and Gallery next to the hotel.

Falanga's work layers collage, photographs, paint and digital media. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Falanga migrated to Asheville a year ago to retire to a life of art, theater and music. With a professional life that touched upon psychology, theology and computer science, Falanga left a job as a director at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx to become a collage artist.

His early work with magazine and monochromatic paper soon expanded to “found” paper and assorted ephemera. Seeking more complete ownership of the work, Falanga starting taking his own photographs. He swapped the cut-and-paste of traditional collage for basic Photoshop techniques. Scanned materials also found a place in his work.

His latest piece, “Fish Tank,” is an underwater fish fantasy that has more than 80 Photoshop layers. He finds inspiration in Dada collage artists Karl Schwitters and Hannah Hoch.

Chadwick works in another medium people may not be familiar with - cold wax and oil paint. She draws inspiration from the sensual qualities and processes of nature and is inspired by layers, texture, organic form and vibrant colors.

Her oil paintings are characterized by flowing, organic forms and pure, vibrant colors. They range from the highly representational to the completely abstract and often use flowers, plants or leaves as subject matter. Her oil and cold wax abstract paintings reflect a fascination with unusual color combinations.

Chadwick, a resident artist at 310 ART Gallery in Asheville’s River Arts District, is drawn to the workability of cold wax, which allows the artist to carve lines into it that display colors from underlying layers.

Chadwick studied classical realism at the Brandywine Atelier under renowned painter Neilson Carlin. She holds a master's degree in transpersonal psychology.

The Monte Vista Hotel is at 308 W. State St., Black Mountain. For more, call 669-0351 or 414-881-6869.