The Wells Gallery in historic Charleston will host an Artist’s Reception for Earl B. Lewis, Curt Butler and Karen Larson Turner on November 2nd from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m.
Earl B. Lewis is best known as the award-winning illustrator of more than fifty children’s books. After studying design and illustration at Temple University in Philadelphia, Lewis taught in public schools for a dozen years. As an educator, his paintings examine the lives of African Americans in evocative oils and watercolors. Portraits, landscapes and street scenes capture the simple beauty of men, women and children catching dinner, feeding pigeons, dancing and harvesting sweet grass. Lewis says children are an important part of his life and his recent watercolors reflect this deep understanding and appreciation of childhood innocence.
After graduating from SCAD with a Masters in Fine Art, Curt Butler began teaching and eventually opened the Butler Studio where he conducts workshops and paints. Known for his tactile landscapes, Butler uses the ancient technique of Encaustic painting, which involves mixing oil paints with melted wax. “Encaustic painting with oil has given me the emotional response that I am currently seeking in my work. To be able to suggest a subject rather than illustrate it, to literally feel the surface of the paint and to be able to engage the viewer from a distance, and yet retain them when they are close are all reasons I choose to work the way I do.” Most of his work is based in landscape yet it is less about a particular place, and more about the mood or feeling experienced in the natural world.
Karen Larsen Turner has grown up in front of a canvas. As a child she spent summers on Martha’s Vineyard painting and selling her watercolors to the neighbors. She went on to study at the School of Representational Art in Chicago and today works from her studio on James Island while her three children are at school. Using thin, painstaking layers of paint to reveal the reflective surface of silver, Turner creates luminous landscapes and still lifes that capture moments of dramatic light at the edges of the day. Renowned for golden marsh scenes, her more recent works explore the dark and stormy skies. In “Bracing for Impact,” the foreboding sky looms large, creating an emotionally rich landscape. Turner says she is having fun pushing her work in this new, more psychologically inspired direction.
The work of these three artists evokes the drama of simple pleasures. Images of the sun setting over the marsh, children digging in the sand at the edge of the ocean, and a woman throwing crumbs to the birds remind viewers of the joy that surrounds us.
Visitors are welcome to attend the November 2nd event from 5–8 pm. The artists will be on hand to answer questions, and the work will hang until November 17. It can be seen Monday-Saturday from 10-5 pm.
Located at 125 Meeting Street next to the Gibbes Museum of Art in historic downtown Charleston, South Carolina, the Wells Gallery features fine regional art from a diversity of perspectives in various mediums, including oils, watercolor, acrylic, photography and hand-blown glass. A member of the Charleston Fine Art Dealers’ Association and the French Quarter Gallery Association, the Wells Gallery is open Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. An additional gallery is located at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort on Kiawah Island. To view work and learn more about the artists, please contact the Wells Gallery at 843-853-3233 or visit www.wellsgallery.com.