Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Andrea Brown - Emerging Talent

When a friend told me her younger sister had just graduated from the University of Georgia's bachelor of fine arts program and suggested that I put her in a show, I did what most gallery owners probably would have done and, not so sincerely but politely said, "sure, send me her stuff". I didn't really think much of it until I saw a vaguely familiar girl strolling the halls of the McColl Center for Visual Art. And I still wasn't convinced until I finally saw Andrea Brown's work and the body of art she was developing while at the Center. Some times you have to really drag an old horse to water. I've really enjoyed speaking with Andrea about her photography and am convinced she is on her was to big things in the art world.

Born in Asheville, Andrea received a BFA from the University of Georgia. Just 24 years old, she has also already shown widely in Atlanta and was labeled an “artist to watch” in a photo exhibition juried by the curator of photography at the High Museum of Art. In 2009 she received an Emerging Artists Grant from the Arts and Science Council and served as an Artist-in-Residence at the McColl Center for Visual Art. Her latest work, entitled Mama Mashi, combines a unique approach with a thoughtful technique.

Andrea's images are digital stills extracted from a documentary film shot on a trip to Tanzania. The images are then printed on multiple layers of polycarbonate using an ink jet printer. This results in a stunning effect that adds tremendous texture to an already heavy subject. Each image is 4 x 6", framed in a black frame that can be customed matted and are $175 each.
(Images removed. Andrea is now represented by DOMA Gallery in South End.
Pantone 278 is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 to 5 at 1710 Camden Road in the back of South End Home and the art is always available to be shown by appointment.
Marc Gustafson
Gallery Pantone 278

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Alison Overton - Otherwordly Images

I learned of Alison Overton through my good friend and artist, Ashley Lathe. Alison and Ash exhibit work together at Artspace Visual Art Center in Raleigh, along with Ashlynn Browning and Bruce Melkowits. I greatly value personal referrals by artists, particularly when the referred artists work has such an immediate visual impact. And almost without fail, people who viewed Alison's works were immediately moved by the ethereal, yet very real nature of her photography.

Alison considers herself a landscape photographer, but her images convey much more than a static depiction of physical space. Using a simple toy camera called a Holga, Alison guides viewers into a dreamy world containing evocative images. Walking among these works gives the viewer a sense of walking alone among the quiet London cemetery that is the subject of her prints.

Although her camera is simple, Alison's techniques are not. By combining overlapping exposures, carefully cropping her subjects and then overpainting each of the unique images with transparent oil paints, Alison's photographs blur the line between the tangible, mortal world and the spiritual, inert world.

Each of her images is 10 x 10” and framed in beautiful 20 x 16” frames. They are all $550.

Watching the Sky

Under Starlight II

The Ideal

Ornamental Gate

Harvest Goddess II

Harvest Goddess I

Glowing From Within

Fearless Prayer II

Fearless Prayer I

Daughter and Mother

Considering the Sacred

Blue Stone Blanket

Monday, December 7, 2009

Shannon Binns - tout existe à Paris [all exists in paris]

Each day this week I will highlight one of the artists from this month's show. Tonight's artist is Shannon Binns. I first met Shannon last year when he was applying for the Arts & Science Council's Cultural Leadership Training program. I was immediately impressed by his enthusiasm for the arts. Later, while visiting The Light Factory, Charlotte's photography museum, I learned of Shannon's interest in photography. Shannon is super-involved in the Charlotte arts scene, and we are lucky to have him here. I'm excited to be the first to show his work.

Shannon has lived and traveled throughout the world. You can tell by the shots in this show that he connects with the places he travels to. As with many of us, Shannon discovered that Paris is a mystical place, a place where simple scenes reflect strong emotions. In his photographs of strikingly familiar scenes of Paris, Shannon uncovers the interplay between the basic elements--Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water--and human nature, distilled to Love and Strife.

la fontaine [fountain] - 11x14 - $200

la fontaine [fountain] - 11x14 - $200 SOLD

le feu [fire] - 16x20 - $275

le ballon [balloon] - 11x14 - $200

l'eau [water] - 16x20 - $275

la terre [earth]- 16x20 - $275

le café [coffee] - 11x14 - $200

la rue [street] - 20x30 - $450

le vent [wind] - 16x20 - $275

la boulangerie [bakery] - 20x30 - $450
All of these images are printed on archival paper, mounted on foam core, and are available for viewing at Pantone 278 @ South End Home, 1710 Camden Road or by appointment. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Marc Gustafson
Gallery Pantone 278

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

December Show - PHOTOGRAPHY!

Photography - The Other Artwork
While the gallery has mostly been focused on painting, there is some really incredible photography being made in our area. In addition to Sally Fanjoy and James Labrenz, who showed at the gallery earlier this summer, Diane Hughes, Andrea Brown, Alison Overton, Bruce Melkowits and Shannon Binns are all doing, what I think, is some really good work. Work that is being recognized by others, based on the degrees, awards, commisions and grants received by this group, not to mention residencies and gallery shows these artists have participated in.

The Opening and Ongoing Hours

The opening of this show will occur on December 3 from 6 pm to 9 pm at South End Home in Historic South End, located at 1710 Camden Road in South End. The Gallery will be open for the South End Gallery Crawl on December 4 from 6 pm to pm and throughout the month of December, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5:30
The Artists

Diane Hughes

Diane Hughes recently completed her eleventh-month Affiliate Artist residency at the McColl Center for Visual Art. Diane received a BFA in Graphic Design from Southampton College in New York. She has exhibited her work in North Carolina and New York and has had her photography published in Great Unknowns: An Exquisite Collection of Black and White Photography.

Diane’s Statement on her works in this show: The tree, by its form, represents evolution, for it begins with a root and spreads out into branches and twigs. Only as applied to the cosmos the root is conceived to be on high and the branches extend downwards. As a foundation, both literally and figuratively, the roots create the basis or groundwork of anything.

Andre Brown

Born in Asheville, Andrea Brown received a BFA from the University of Georgia. In 2009 she received an Emerging Artists Grant from the Arts and Science Council and served as an Artist-in-Residence at the McColl Center for Visual Art. She has also shown widely in Atlanta and was labeled an “artist to watch” in a photo exhibition juried by the curator of photography at the High Museum of Art.

Andrea’s Statement regarding her works in this show, entitled Mama Moshi: Mama Moshi knows no loss, Mama Moshi sings with her native accent, Mama Moshi laughs and jokes with all of us, Mama Moshi mother of no children, she sends out language for continuous years, Mama Moshi guides flocks, ages undefined, Mama Moshi keeps silent when speaking, internal prowess, Mama Moshi lives in lucid morphing resemblance, Mama Moshi is more educated then you and I, Mama Moshi passed away three years ago, cancer, and I never said goodbye. Mama Moshi wears patterns, emblems, icons, Mama Moshi brought police for protection, Mama Moshi preached acts of selflessness, dividing the war and sacrificing her brother.

Alison Overton

A native of North Carolina, Alison Overton is a 1982 graduate of North Carolina State University with a bachelor degree in environmental design. In 2009 she received the Sarah Everett Toy Memorial Scholarship to study photography at Penland School of Crafts. Overton was awarded Regional Artists Project Grants for 2002, 2004 and 2008 from the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County. Her work has been widely exhibited throughout the country, and is included in numerous public and private collections

Making art, in particular photographs that chronicle a moment in a changing landscape, is my passion. As a lifelong artist, I strive constantly to explore and expand my definition of the unique and mysterious in life and nature. I love to utilize simple, manual film cameras such as the Holga 120 S plastic toy camera (which I have used to make the art on display) to capture images that have an ethereal and timeless quality. My hope is, that when a person views my art work, he or she might feel as though peering into a dreamy world, with a sense of wonder.

Bruce Melkowits

Chapel Hill, North Carolina resident Bruce Melkowits photographs with large format cameras and prints images using antique formulas and processes. Bruce’s work has been featured in numerous local juried exhibitions and has been included in group shows nationally and internationally in China and Canada.

Melkowits is most attracted to organic forms, working slowly, deliberately, and intuitively. The kallitype method is well-suited to Melkowits’ style of work, as the equipment and process requires attention at every step. When creating images he values understatement, reducing his images to the barest essentials. Melkowits enjoys seeing how little is needed to create an image that resonates. Each image is the culmination of a slow construction in addition to the record of a given moment.

Shannon Binns

Shannon Binns, a recent arrival to Charlotte, has lived and traveled throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa, capturing the beauty that he discovers in the people and places he encounters. Shannon’s black and white photos in this show were taken during his recent visit to Paris. Shannon is active in the Light Factory in Charlotte and very involved in Charlotte’s emerging art scene. This is Shannon’s first gallery show.

tout existe à Paris [all exists in paris]

Shannon's Statement: Paris is a place of endless beauty, surprises, and forms. As I explored the City of Light I found the four elements repeatedly expressing themselves. The Greek philosopher Empedocles believed the nature of the universe could be explained through the interaction of two governing principles, Love and Strife, on four primary elements: Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water. I find something elegant yet moving about this simple explanation of our world, like the City of Paris itself.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Great Show - A Few Thoughts (Revised)

You've Got Questions - I've Got Answers (I Think)

Without fail, the most common question I receive during Gallery openings is "How do you go about selecting your artists?"

Most of my artists come on referral from another artist. Peer review is very important in the art world, and few people know better what or who is going on in the art world. So that's where I begin.

Sure, I get plenty of submissions from aspiring artists, and it's hard for me to even respond to all of the emails I get, but much like the business world, a personal reference is hard to beat. It also helps to have a lot of friends at the McColl Center for Visual Art and the Arts & Science Council.

Artists Have Resumes Too

Believe it or not, an artist's resume is just as important as a lawyer's or a banker's, as is graduate school, rewards and publication. One of the first things I ask of a new artist is a resume so that I can see where the artist has studied, whether the artist has an MFA (Masters of Fine Arts), in which galleries or museums the artist has shown, any awards the artist has won, and what critical review the artist has received. Sound familiar?

Just like the rest of us, an artist needs training, and innate talent can only go so far. Sure there are artistic geniuses, just as there are mathematical geniuses, but even the masters need training. Fortunately, North Carolina contains some really good arts schools and the McColl Center is one of the best residency programs in the country.

But It's Still Art

But just like anyone else, an artist can look good on paper, and I'm not talking art paper. Because I don't have any formal art training, I rely heavily on friends in the art community for their opinions, but I also draw on my personal experiences to determine what I think is quality art.

As an aside, when people ask me how they can learn more about art, I tell them to get out and see as much as they can. Whether it's a museum or a gallery or a personal collection, there is no replacement for getting out and actually seeing art. I've seen some amazing shows at the Whitney, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim lately, but I also read ArtNews and Art in America to find reviews on the latest gallery shows and try to get out and see as many as I can. If you have been around me lately, you know how excited I am about the Bechtler.

Back to the point. When I see a new artist, I immediately try to relate it to something else I have seen. This isn't always a conscious action. But I know I really have something when I feel like I have seen an artist's work before, even though I know I haven't. For example, it was only after talking with Ashlynn Browning on Thursday night and learning that more about her influences that I realized why I was drawn to her work.

The painting on the top is "Untitled XV" by Willem de Kooning and is set for auction tonight. It is expected to sell for $5,000,000—7,000,000. The second is "Growing Into Jubilation" by Ashlynn Browning. While there are many differences between these works, there are enough qualities of de Kooning's reflected in Ashlynn's work to reveal its quality.

Yet, it would be a disservice to call Ashlynn's work an attempt to copy de Kooning. What distinguishes Ashlynn's work is her focus on lines. While her painting involves many layers of paint, some times up to 16, that create a depth similar to that seen in de Kooning's, there is a clear intent to juxtapose purposefulness and randomness and intuition and calculation. There is learning and exploration in Ashlynn's work that shows both her appreciation of de Kooning and her intention to develop her own voice.

In the Words of the Experts

I found this passage from Peter Plagens in Art in America to be somewhat insightful. In describing his interests in art and his decision to judge a juried exhibit in Mississippi, Plagens wrote, "I'm interested in what might be called the 'beltline' of art: that large class of earnest, informed, reasonably talented and fairly principled artists...who inhabit a stratum above the thick layer of industrial amateurs and manufacturers of expensive decorative objects resembling paintings that are sold in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Naples, Fla., but below the thin top crust of artiststs who've had, say, four shows over 10 years in good galleries in Santa Monica or Chelsea....The work of 'beltline artists tells you more about a city's or a region's art culture than does the often-anomalous work of a handful of really prominent artists who are frequently prominent precisely because their work is anamolous."

Wish I Had All the Answers

It's never as clear as I have set it out above, but this exercise provides a little insight into my artist selection process. But above all things, art is an immensely personal experience, and I hope everyone will take the opportunity to develop their own interests, especially if that involves coming out to the next Pantone 278 show.

Remember: the Gallery remains open this month at South End Home at 1710 Camden Road. Their hours are Tues - Fri 10:00 am - 5:30 pm and Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Details Are Locked - Show is a Go

Email invitations just went out for the November show today. Hope you got yours. Come on out on Thursday, November 5, 2009 from 6:00pm - 9:00pm at South End Home, located at 1710 Camden Road. Many thanks to Frederick and Ron for hosting the show. If you can't make it on Thursday, come on out for the South End Gallery Crawl on Friday.

An added bonus this month will be regular gallery hours. South End Home is open Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 am - 5:30 pm and Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. Their number is 704-332-5220, but feel free to email me to meet you there to see all of the art.

A View of South End Home

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pantone 278 is Back!

It's Been Too Long

After a two-month hiatus, Pantone 278 is recharged and ready to go. The Gallery will occupy be a brand new location, so be on the lookout for invitations that are going out on Tuesday for the November 5 opening. Like always, there will be an opening on Thursday night, followed by the South End Gallery Crawl on Friday night.

This month's show will feature two great new artists -- Ashlynn Browning and Dan Allegrucci --and one old but goodie -- Ash Lathe. In addition, after the Thursday/Friday opening, the art will remain on display in the new location for your viewing (and purchasing) pleasure.

Side note: South End is really becoming an art destination. Joie Lassiter has opened a new gallery called New South ( and Duy Huynh & Sandy Sneadare are opening Lark and Key ( This should really bolster the South End Gallery Crawl. DuggDugg ( and Charlotte Artery (, two community art groups, will also have shows at a great space owned by Greg Pappanastos in South End in October and November.

Ashlynn Browning

Ashlynn is a Charlotte native, a graduate of Meredith College and an MFA recipient from UNC-Greensboro. As a mixed media artist, Ashlynn's work centers on the one-dimensional line and the ability of this simple figure to convey emotion. Ashlynn was recently selected to present her work in Larry Elder's Carolina's Got Art exhibit, is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant and has exhibited at New York’s CUE Foundation and Lincoln Center. Ashlynn lives in Raleigh and is excited about returning to Charlotte to exhibit her recent works.

Dan Allegrucci

Dan was born in Fayetteville and now lives in Charlotte. He received his BFA with a concentration in printmaking from UNC-Charlotte and continued his studies at Wichita State. Dan's current work focuses on the the ways people create and use stories in making sense of their lives. Dan is interested in how these stories morph freely to meet the changing needs of those they serve. The result is often a disjointed hodgepodge of past and present symbols, characters and connections that might be perfectly functional to an insider, but quite bewildering to the uninitiated. Imagery of explosions and vanquished fighters speak of struggle, loss and the narratives we turn to for help in meeting these challenges, both as individuals and larger groups.

Ash Lathe

What more can I say? Ash was the first artist to exhibit with Pantone 278. He's been a resident and affiliate of the McColl Center for Visual Art and is now actively engaged, along with Dan, in the Charlotte Artery. Ash will present three of his ice/rain works. Here is a video on how some of them were made ( For this project, Ash built wooden machines that held a silkscreen above paper and placed them in the McColl Center's yard. The the rain or melting ice saturated the silkscreen and moistened the watercolor. When the water built up on the dense silkscreen, paint fell onto the paper beneath. Where it dropped was just natural random order. These works are part of Ash's efforts to let the watercolor flow naturally, a technique displayed in Ash's Wall series displayed in the Gallery's inaugural show.

Hope to see you all on November 5! Marc

Monday, August 24, 2009

No Show for September

With kids going back to school and Labor Day Weekend, there will be no show at Pantone 278 in September. (I know, I know. Whatever will you do?!) Not to worry, I am working on an incredible show for October, so keep your eyes and ears open! In the mean time, check out some pictures below from the hanging of the photography show by Sally Fanjoy and James Labrenz. I had so much fun with Sally and James transforming the Charlotte Trolley Museum into Gallery Pantone 278. Thanks to Sally for all of the great shots. There are some great works still available, so call (704-724-0440) or email ( to schedule an appointment to see the remaining works.

It's been a great summer. Despite the worst economy of our generation, it has been heart-warming to see everyone getting out to support arts in Charlotte. Gallery openings have been buzzing, new friendships have been made, businesses have been launched, and artists have been exposed to an entirely new group of people. As we will all agree, Charlotte is a great place to live and will continue to get better. Supporting the arts and artists, I believe, will make Charlotte a more vibrant, healthy, rounded and exciting city. I appreciate everyone's support and hope you will continue to support the arts in one form or another!

Marc Gustafson
Gallery Pantone 278

Photography By
Sally Fanjoy

James Labrenz

Friday, August 7, 2009

As Promised - Pictures from the August 6 Opening

Here are some photos taken on August 6 by Jeff Cooke from the opening at Pantone 278 of Photography by Sally Fanjoy and James Labrenz at the Charlotte Trolley Powerhouse Museum.