Saturday, November 14, 2009

Labor Love Gallery / Natural Selection Exhibition

Natural Selection
North Carolina Contemporary Artists

 November 20th to January 15th, 2010
@ LabourLove Gallery
Durham, North Carolina

Destry Sparks, The Cosmic Syntax,  33" x 44"

This is an article Destry Sparks wrote for the Arts Alive Magazine featuring the November Exhibition, "Natural Selection" at LaborLove Gallery in Durham, NC. The article is featured in the November/December issue.


A group exhibition of contemporary artists with ties to Eastern North Carolina will exhibit their work from November 20th to January 15th at LabourLove Gallery in Durham on the Golden Belt Arts campus.

The show will feature adventurous work incorporating unconventional and rough materials. Innovative mixed media pieces will be the norm including paintings with metal parts, sculptures both small and large, and diverse fiber works incorporating figurative ceramics and raw natural objects.

 Kelly Dew

Originally from Rocky Mount, gallery Co-Owner Kelly Dew will contribute her precise mixed media paintings. Frequently adding metallic and wall papers to the surface, viewers can expect a bounty of the rich colorful images she is known for. Dew is a graduate of the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago. However, with relatives from the small town of Grimesland in Pitt County, she has strong ties to the region still home to many of the participating artists.

Emily Soldin Howard

Other painters involved are Destry Sparks of Greenville and Emily Soldin Howard, a 2009 graduate of the East Carolina University MFA program. Sparks will display his unconventional outsider acrylic works which highlight worn found objects attached to burlap instead of traditional canvas. By using rough grades of burlap and harshly textured items such as driftwood and rusted metal parts a particularly visceral effect is readily apparent on the surface of his paintings. Opening earlier in the month at Mason Murer Fine Art in Atlanta, Sparks will also participate in the National Collage Society 25th Annual Exhibition. Howard’s work is similarly unique in that her paintings feature objects embedded into her surfaces to the degree that a thick murky stew of stuff entices the viewer to take a closer look.
Pamela Zimmerman  

      Jennifer Hodges

Fiber artists Pamela Zimmerman of Washington and Jennifer Hodges of Wilmington provide a wonderful compliment to the deep browns in the works of Sparks and Soldin Howard. Zimmerman’s distinctive moon faces are unmistakable and powerful regardless of the scale she chooses to tackle in a given piece. Her solitary ceramic souls peer from intricately woven fibrous cocoons. A 2009 NICHE award finalist, Zimmerman is making waves nationally. Hodges is well known to Eastern NC art patrons for her days on the staff of the Greenville Museum of Art and for producing remarkably understated sheets of fiber embedded with natural objects such as leaves and twigs.

Joshua Parker Coombs

At the opposite end of the spectrum is the approach of Philadelphia sculptor Joshua Parker Coombs. A 2009 MFA recipient from ECU as well, his remarkable work is stunning both in terms of technical achievement and bold authentic content. Whether in large rusted metal pieces or in brightly colored intimate polished wood pieces, the common thread is his ability to bend diverse materials to his liking to fashion objects which seem to live, breathe and even quiver in their desire to reach out toward us.
LabourLove Gallery is a new contemporary art gallery housed at Durham’s hotbed site of creativity known as the Golden Belt Arts campus.

The show will debut on Friday, November 20 in the midst of 35 on-site artist studio spaces, artist lofts and a vibrant Durham Third Friday Art Walk tradition. For more information visit and The gallery can also be reached at (919) 373-4451 Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

LabourLove Gallery
807 E Main St
Suite 2-130
Durham, NC 27701
(919) 373-4451

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