An opening reception will be held in honor of Ruth Harden and family members, Rebecca Abide, Daniel D. Abide and Jason A. Abide on Friday, April 29, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Apple Gallery at the Stokes County Arts Council, 500 N. Main Street, Danbury. The public is invited to attend this free event.
Harden is a native of Mississippi, where art and nature were of great interest early in her life.
“Being quiet I found my artistic voice in the natural world, a place for reflection and exploration,” she said. “I hold degrees in painting and sculpture. My career in the arts spans a broad-spectrum experience. I have been a graphic designer, a portrait artist, and an art instructor—in private settings as well as in schools and performing art centers. I was the museum study coordinator at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, and shortly before leaving Mississippi, a long-time dream was fulfilled with the establishment of The Ellis Theatre, an interdisciplinary school for the arts that I spearheaded. The artists Sammy Britt, Leon Koury, Floyd Shaman, and Jerry R Walden have been influential throughout my career.”
Harden moved to North Carolina thirteen years ago, and a small farm in Stokes county North Carolina became the primary residence for her and her husband.
“We enjoy conserving the land by nurturing native flora along with our gardens,” she said. “The landscape of North Carolina offered a drastic visual change from that of the Mississippi Delta, a change that led to variations in my artist voice. At one time, the figure had been my primary focus, but my move to the piedmont redirected me to “plein air” painting and variations in sculptural focus. On the farm I am a beekeeper, a joy that has spurred new interests in encaustic technique as applied to painting and sculptural work.
“Life evolves with personal and environmental change,” she added. “I am fortunately grounded in close relationships, particularly those with my children Jason, Daniel, and Rebecca, with whom there is a harmony per contra media.”
Rebecca Abide works in mixed media finding art an encouraging and rewarding endeavor—during the chaotic times that inevitably accompany personal and professional lives, she finds that uniting the smallest pieces in her art provides comfort.
Daniel D. Abide moved to North Carolina years before the rest of the family, settling in Asheville. He received a B.A. in photography from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He continues to document the mundane and unnoticed beauty in his surroundings.
Jason A. Abide has been learning and making pottery since 2002, and teaching pottery since 2008. His first experience with pottery was at Delta State University, in his hometown of Cleveland, Mississippi. He learned an appreciation for well-made pottery through a fascination with the process for creating it, especially utilizing the potter’s wheel. Wheel throwing is central to his work and his love — pottery and ceramic art. He finds the transformations that clay undergoes, and the different possibilities for creation and alteration in each phase to be fascinating and inspiring. He endeavors to share his enthusiasm for this medium and craft through the pottery he makes and the classes he teaches for children and adults.
The exhibit will be on display April 27 through May 24. Visit the Stokes County Arts Council, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit us at www.stokesarts.org for additional information.