Charlotte juried art show focuses on urban life and lights
Friday, Oct. 25, 2013

Charlotte juried art show focuses on urban life and lights

    10th Avenue Twilight by artist Chris Leeper will be available for sale at Charlotte Fine Art Gallery along with other various artworks from North and South Carolina artists during the upcoming show “Urban Rhythm /City Lights.”
    Joni Purk, left, and Erin Ryan at Charlotte Fine Art Gallery, which is hosting it's second annual juried show, "Urban Rhythm/City Lights" in November.
  • Want to go? The opening reception for the “Urban Rhythms/City Lights” juried show is from 6-9 p.m., with the awards presentation at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 The show will run during November. Charlotte Fine Art Gallery recently received the 2013 Readers’ Choice Best of Charlotte award in the gallery category from readers of the Observer and is located in Carmel Village at 7510 Pineville-Matthews, Suite 9A.

Joni Purk, artist, teacher, and owner of Charlotte Fine Art Gallery, enjoys the idea of themed shows that allow artists the flexibility and imagination to interpret an idea – especially when she gets to pick it.

“I love themed shows because when you get them (the artist) in a direction and you don’t put boundaries on them, you can really get a wonderful show together,” she said.

On the first Friday in November, Charlotte Fine Art Gallery will host the opening reception for their second juried show, which exhibits 33 works from North Carolina and South Carolina artists exploring the theme “Urban Rhythm/City Lights.”

“I think I was looking for a title to let the artist really show the energy in a piece of work,” she said.

“I like to leave it really open and not say anything more than just the title, so it could be something like a baseball field, daytime, nighttime, a jazz player on the street. It’s really wide open to whatever they feel,” she said.

As a result, artists often surprise Purk by their interpretations.

“I’ll see a piece and think ‘Oh my gosh, I wouldn’t have even thought in that direction.’”

The gallery will feature a wide range of artwork throughout November based on the theme in various mediums including oils, acrylics, glass, photography, watercolor and others, according to Purk.

Gallery-represented artists with works related to the theme will also be displayed. All of the artwork is available for purchase.

The variety of artwork can present challenges for Purk and her staff when deciding how best to exhibit the work.

“Because it’s diverse work … you have to make sure something’s not overpowering another piece,” said Purk.

Erin Ryan, the gallery’s assistant, agrees with Purk about presenting the artwork in a way that is pleasing to the eye so that the “images and colors flow right.”

“You know when something is off. The colors don’t complement each other, or they’re all too dark in one area or they’re too light in one area, and then the whole gallery looks off balance. I think finding the right mix of paintings – so the gallery looks balanced and light – is one of the most challenging parts of it,” she said.

Charlene Bregier, an art professor and gallery director at the C. Douglas Helms Gallery at Wingate University, will judge the art for Best of Show in first, second, and third places, which will be presented at the opening reception. Winners will receive cash awards or gift certificates from the following corporate sponsors: Airfloat Systems Inc., Frame Warehouse, Daniel Smith, Dick Blick and Salon Tribeca.

Best of Show wins a monthlong featured exhibit at Charlotte Fine Art Gallery.

Not only can visitors enjoy and buy the artwork, they also get the chance vote for their favorite piece during November. The winning artist will receive the People’s Choice award at the end of the month.

Purk appreciates the reaction of the artists’ whose work she displays.

“I love to watch the individual artists take pride in their work. I don’t think I could run a gallery without teaching or without having a place where artists can express themselves and also take pride in the work. It’s very important to me.”

Victoria Moreland is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Victoria? Email her at

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