Caldwell Arts Council hosts “Modern Traditions” exhibit Aug. 4 – Sept. 30

Invitation - AUG-SEPT2017 only rev 6-13-17

From the Caldwell Arts Council:


The Caldwell Arts Council is pleased to announce the art exhibit “Modern Traditions” featuring furniture creations by Christina Boy and Richard Prisco; wall artwork by Julia Lawing, Jim Arendt, and Nick DeFord; and photography by Ann Ehringhaus.

The exhibit will be open to the public August 4-September 30.  A meet-the-artists reception will be held August 4, 5-7 p.m., hosted by the Lenoir Woman’s Club.


Image courtesy of the Caldwell Arts Council
Image courtesy of the Caldwell Arts Council

Jim Arendt (Conway SC; grew up outside of Flint, Michigan, birthplace of General Motors and the United Auto Workers Union and creates works of art from denim jeans (white and acid wash jeans are highly prized in his studio). “My artwork grows out of the need for me to understand our shifting relationship with labor and work. When I was young and my family was living through the farm crisis of the early 1980s, I remember my father sitting at the sewing machine patching his Wranglers in the evening. He was making do: a concept of thrift and pragmatism that dictates you work with the materials at hand,” says Arendt. “As an artist who is interested in turning stories of suffering into stories of resilience, I enjoy the transformation of something destined for the landfill into a work destined for museums.” Arendt is Assistant Professor of Visual Arts, and Director of the Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery. An extended interview with Jim Arendt is available at the website:

Christina Boy Design is a one-woman shop located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Madison, Virginia ( Original pieces are designed and handmade from domestic, locally sourced, and salvaged woods. Close attention is paid to every detail using both traditional and modern techniques to craft a piece that will be in your family for many generations. Originally from Germany, Christina Boy attended the Craft and Material Studies program at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, followed by a 2-year Core Fellowship at the Penland School of Crafts.  Although she works with all kinds of locally sourced lumber and wood, she particularly enjoys working with salvaged articles: old windows, barn wood, tractor seats, etc., converting them into something completely different and beautiful.  “All these pieces carry and tell their own story,” Christina explains, “and saving these from the impending doom of the dump and converting them into something fresh and new gives me the opportunity to write another chapter in its story.”

Nick DeFord ( is an artist, educator, and arts administrator who resides in Knoxville, TN.  His work explores the visual culture of cartography, occult imagery, game boards, geographical souvenirs, and other structures of information that is altered to examine the relationship of identity, space, and place. DeFord’s artwork for the Caldwell Arts Council exhibit will include several small embroideries on found vintage photographs or paper, mixing text and abstraction. He is the Program Director at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Tennessee, and works on his fiber art practice from his home studio.

Image courtesy of the Caldwell Arts Council
Image courtesy of the Caldwell Arts Council

Ann Ehringhaus ( “For forty years, I have gone almost daily into a National Park one mile from my home on an island off North Carolina. What amazement! Recently I have traveled to spend time in other National Parks and make photographs there too,” says Ehringhaus. “The images included in this exhibit are from Cape Lookout National Park, just south of my home. In a tiny cabin camp there I have watched the moon grow and shrink, lightning sweep across the beach, early morning shells roll to the shore, and vast empty space and time sing to me of freedom.” After receiving her degrees at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Ehringhaus spent 12 years in the Artist-in-Schools Program in North Carolina (with North Carolina Arts Council and the Mountain Arts Program), along with attending and teaching several workshops. She has also authored four books.

Julia Lawing (Concord, NC is inspired by the places she goes, whether they are near home in Cabarrus County, or in her travels. Taking photos along the way, “I often discover, in retrospect, that the images I am drawn to have an allegorical meaning for me (e.g., freedom, rest, discovery, fruitfulness). I see my work as visual poetry, not literal representation,” she says. After receiving her degree at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and working several years, Julia began studying oil painting with nationally renowned artist and teacher Andy Braitman, her mentor. She has twice completed the intensive Artist in Residence program at Braitman Studio. Julia resides in Concord, NC with her husband Bruce, four teenage daughters, and black Labrador Lincoln, who are constantly forgiving her for not having dinner ready on time, crowding the garage with canvases, and leaving traces of paint everywhere.

Image courtesy of the Caldwell Arts Council
Image courtesy of the Caldwell Arts Council

Richard Prisco (Boone, NC; is the Professor of Industrial/Furniture Design and the Concentration Coordinator for Furniture Design at Appalachian State University. His education includes a Bachelor of Science-Industrial Design from the University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Master of Fine Arts-Woodworking and Furniture Design from Rochester Institute of Technology (School for American Crafts, Rochester, New York). “Structure possesses an aesthetic all its own, unadulterated and unassuming. Tension, compression, shear, and torsion are within the fabric of all structures,” says Prisco. “My work explores these forces and investigates their potential for expression. Civil and mechanical structures provide influence and inspiration. In addition to wood and traditional joinery techniques much of my work incorporates finely machined metal components, stainless steel cable, and concrete. The connection, conversion, and interaction of one material to the next is fundamental to the development of this aesthetic. By exploring structural solutions the resulting form is one of transformation, movement, and balance.”

About the Caldwell Arts Council:

The Caldwell Arts Council’s mission is to establish and maintain an awareness and appreciation of cultural arts in Caldwell County, to encourage participation in art events, and to offer various educational opportunities and administrative services in support of artists, arts agencies, and audiences.  Located at 601 College Ave SW in Lenoir, operating hours are Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. – free to the public. For more information, call 828-754-2486 or visit

About Max Hunt
Max Hunt grew up in South (New) Jersey and graduated from Warren Wilson College in 2011. History nerd; art geek; connoisseur of swimming holes, hot peppers, and plaid clothing. Follow me @J_MaxHunt

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