Monday, March 13, 2017

Varian Swieter

Varian creates both functional and decorative ceramic art.  The creator of ‘Get A Grip Stoneware™’ a unique conversation starter for any beverage you choose, finger divots are scattered over the surface giving the user a grip on the tumbler or mug.  Stoneware clay and food safe glazes are used to insure the functional ware is food safe, dishwasher safe, and can be used in the oven or microwave.

Varian also constructs free standing sculptures along with sculptures that hang on a wall.  Terracotta clay is used for sculptures and pendants, which remains porous, so you can put essential oils directly on the clay using it as a passive diffuser.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Candy Pegram

Based out of Wilmington, NC, this North Carolina Native has placed her own stamp an Southern Folk Art with her use or re purposed wood and discarded paints when she brings to life her stylized "critters" household objects and characters. With her hold colors and line use the feel of Pop Art meets Southern Folk Art in a creative and fun way that is often softened by the use of layers and distressing of the surface. 

While her subject matter may vary it takes one back to ones youth in a way that is meant to make one smile. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Denny Maloney

“Imaging making a sand painting with colored glass particles. That is what you are seeing in the copper enamel artwork of Denny Maloney. The colored glass is carefully placed on prepared copper surfaces and fired in a kiln until it melts onto the copper. [It can then be] used by itself for ornaments on trees and windows or applied to aluminum backing for garden art, just like the antique advertising signs, street markers, and house numbers of days gone by. However, these signs were enamel, which is glass fired on steel. Copper allows me to use skin tones impossible to get with steel. But like the steel signs, the sun and weather rarely affect [the work] and rain runs off the glass layer on the copper. I especially like to apply my copper enamel art to antique ceiling tins, old wooden clock cases, old enamel pot lids, old wood, and fired tin.”

Monday, November 21, 2016


Art comes from many places and has many purposes. For the Artists at Connections, this is very true. From bowls and plates, to holiday decorations such as angels and adorable reindeer, their special works of art have a charm and story for each person to see.
  “Connections promotes and provides opportunities for adults with mental illness in the Catawba Valley region to lead meaningful and productive lives of their choice in the community.”

Connections’ goal is shown in the amazing ceramic art created within their organization. The members use their skills and creativity to make one-of-a-kind pieces with unique flair. In a region that is strongly influenced by ceramic and folk traditions, Connections’ wonderful craftsmen and women have taken their surrounding influences and made something that is even more special.

Not only do the members make amazing pieces, they also have the opportunity to sell their artwork at “Shop HMA” as well as other locations. Their greatest opportunity, however, is their upcoming fundraiser. For the fundraiser, members produce artwork including bowls that will be sold and include a homemade chili lunch complete with all the fixings. This event will be held December 7th from 11-1:30 at Trinity Reformed United Church of Christ in Conover NC. Tickets are $15 and include both the meal and a piece of artwork.

For more information about Connections  and the upcoming fundraiser, contact 828-466-0030 or follow them on Facebook at:  cvbhconnections. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Leslie Hamlin

         Each artist creates art for a personal and individual purpose. Some may use their art for expression or to make a statement about themselves or their culture and society. Others use their talent to create works simply for the enjoyment or pleasure of those who experience it. Still others create for themselves, to fill a hole, bring themselves joy, contentment, release; their art becomes an outlet and a place to be with oneself. While it is not uncommon for artists to create their works for multiple reasons, Leslie Hamlin creates her art chiefly to bring peace and calm into her life, to balance the otherwise hectic experience of living a farmer’s life near Vale, NC.

          A self-taught artist, Leslie creates works that vary from handcrafted jewelry and hand-bound books to her paintings on reclaimed wood, in addition to her felted works that are available in the HMA Galleria. The variety of her art is due to her tendency to work with whatever art form “happen[s] to strike [her] in the moment,” a reflection of her purpose in creating art- to bring peace and calm to her life, and to organically create as she sees fit.

            In her felted pieces in particular, the wool is locally sourced as frequently as is possible, while the “accessories” of the figurines are either salvaged or hand-crafted by Leslie herself. Additionally, her felt dolls are needle-felted and sculpted, giving each one a unique character and personality, which in turn serves to illustrate the singular creativity that stems from the creation of art for the sake of art. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Reilly Yount

Born in Hickory, and Attending from W.C.U. in Art education Rielly Yount worked teaching art in Newton-Conover schools for more then 30 years.

His glass has evolved in his 20 years of working with it starting with stained glass, and after retirement he is now working with fused glass.

He pays close attention to his use of different types of glass and colors. This results in beautiful patterns and use of line in his work.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Audrey Swan

While North Carolina as a whole has a fine textile tradition, it also has strong roots in folk art or primitive art. These are often traditions that are rooted in the past or the artists memories while commonly created with unusual materials that may have been found in everyday life.

These are some of the ideas that one thinks about when you see the hand hooked rugs created by Audrey Swan. These lovely rugs are created from textiles, often old clothing that has been deconstructed and reused into an art form that has a long tradition in and of itself. 

Audrey has been making these beautiful one of a kind rugs for 10 years and has recently started to share them with us in the Hickory Museum of Art Galleria. They each show the love that has gone into each piece, and would make a wonderful addition to any home.