South Charlotte

Society's gallery is unique

It's a real find for art lovers: a gallery located in the hallways of a business complex in Matthews.

It's the perfect place to display and offer the works of artist Bruce Chandler's students.

The Golden Palette Society has nearly 300 pieces of fresh, exciting watercolors, oils and prints on display at the Executive Center in Matthews.

"I wanted to provide a place where my students could display their work, where no one feels intimidated," said Chandler.

Mike Thomas, a tenant of the Matthews Executive Center and one of Chandler's students, had an idea. He introduced Chandler to Debbie and Bruce Olmstead, managers of the Executive Center.

The Olmsteads, along with Debbie's parents, Bob and Jane Williams, owners of the property, partnered with Chandler to provide a place to display the Golden Palette Society's artwork.

The artwork includes originals in all mediums: watercolor, acrylics, oils and pastels.

"Not having to compete in the high-end market, the paintings are priced from $50," Chandler said.

"I paint because I love it," Thomas said. He never thought about competing for a prize until Chandler encouraged him. His talent was rewarded.

"I won a third place honorable mention for a painting displayed at a Presbyterian Hospital art show across the street," he said.

Chandler instills in her students the desire to achieve.

"Because you picked up that brush and started to paint you are ahead of so many others," she said. "You can work in watercolors, acrylics, oils and find your way."

Chandler attended Maryland School of Art and Design, workshops with national instructors and intensive studies seminar in New Mexico. She has been teaching classes for children and adults for more than 35 years.

She paints commissioned works and local and historic landmarks. She also does murals in homes, churches and businesses, the largest of which is 79 feet and was located at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport before the new concourse was added.

Additionally, she has done biblical illustrations to be used abroad.

Chandler, 72, has to her credit numerous awards as an artist and a judge throughout the Southeast.

A former resident of Georgetown, S.C., she exhibits her paintings at the Rice Museum in Georgetown where she is artist-in-resident and teaches on a scheduled basis. She has lived in Charlotte for eight years.

Every quarter, Chandler has a reception at the Executive Center that is open to the public. The next one is scheduled for Feb. 9. In addition to the art on display, Chandler will have guest artists, material bins (inexpensive works without frames) and musical entertainment.

Thirty-five to 40 percent of the works displayed are replaced after each event, so the artwork is fresh to the viewer.

But you don't have to wait for an event to see and purchase the students' art.

Individuals can visit the Golden Palette Society art show at the Executive Center Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.