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Davidson Artist, Judith Olson Gregory, on Exhibit at Turchin Gallery

by | Sep 24, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment

“Taking Tea, First Snow,” a piece on exhibit at Appalachian State’s Turchin Gallery, by Judith Olson Gregory

Davidson artist, Judith Olson Gregory, has transformed the Turchin Center’s Gallery A into a tranquil tea house for meditation, contemplation, and intimate conversation. As the world rapidly changes outside the walls of the center, sanctuary becomes even more important. Constructed from used tea bags and loose tea leaves, “Taking Tea” creates an immersion in a quiet, delicately scented world. The Turchin Center invites visitors to find shelter and inspiration through the visual arts. A university art gallery is a safe place to think and talk about ideas with others regardless of race, religion, gender identify, political persuasion. What better place than a tea house to cross cultural barriers and find common ground.

Gregory’s exhibition in Turchin’s Gallery A will open on October 6, 2017 and end on January 6, 2018. A celebration of the exhibition will be held on November 3 from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.

Gregory said, “My fascination with the inclusion of used tea bags in my artwork began a number of years ago. Not only do I find that their lightness, transparency, and beautifully stained patinas produce a desired ethereal quality in my work, but I’m also inspired by the history of tea itself and the thousands of stories behind each cup the donated tea bags represent.”

Balancing concept and form in artwork has been Judith Olson Gregory’s objective throughout her career. Whether creating individual pieces, a themed series, or site-specific installations, her work has been inspired by everything from words and text to found objects. Positions as a commercial artist, teaching artist, and arts advocate have complemented and contributed to her professional studio output.
Gregory received a BFA from Alfred University in 1968 and pursued a career in commercial art before turning her attention to her own work full time in 1980. Gregory’s art often makes use of unusual materials, including used tea bags that she dries and brushes with a transparent acrylic medium. She also uses individual pieces of dryer lint, Sports Illustrated calendars, and Heimlich Maneuver posters. Puns figure heavily in the titles and subjects of many of her projects, and she often incorporates text in her pieces.

A native of Jamestown, New York and a summer resident at Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York, Gregory has exhibited across New York State and the nation, including at the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, New York, the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York, and GreenHill Gallery in Greensboro, North Carolina. She has received fellowships from YADDO in Saratoga Springs, New York, and has work in public and private collections throughout the region. She has also designed and taught numerous workshops for adults and children and was president of the Chautauqua Center for the Visual Arts from 1999 to 2001.

An integral part of Appalachian State University since opening in 2003, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts employs vibrant programming combined with a casual and approachable attitude to engage students and visitors through its role as a key cultural, educational, economic, and service resource. The center is the largest facility of its kind in western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and southwestern Virginia, and is named for university benefactors Robert and Lillian Turchin. Featuring two wings of exhibition and support space, and the Arnold P. Rosen Family Education Wing, the center is located on King Street in the heart of downtown Boone, North Carolina.

Marguerite Williams

Marguerite (Margo) Williams is a novelist ("Madame President"), editor, and business owner of A Way With Words. A 16-year member of the Davidson Town Board, she has lived in Davidson since 1977. Visit her at her website.

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