In the midst of fall and winter looming around the corner, daylight continues to dwindle, dimming the sky a little earlier with each passing day. For many of those who work indoors 40 hours a week, time to enjoy the sunshine becomes increasingly limited. Some suffer from seasonal depression as they spend many of the remaining hours of the day outside of the office in the dark. Still, there is always spring to look forward to. Artist Cheryl Kent captures this concept in her drawings in her upcoming show at Ward Hair Salon, opening on October 29. Her artwork embodies the show’s theme of finding light within darkness.
Kent is from Hillsboro, New Jersey, and is currently a hair stylist at Ward. In the last four years, however, she discovered a new hobby in drawing that has since developed into another aspect of her career.
“There are many things that have inspired me to become an artist,” Kent says. “Nature is probably the most influential. I have always noticed unique beauty in things that are sometimes overlooked—one of them being the beauty in tree bark. It holds such beauty. It protects the tree of which others marvel.”
Kent creates her drawings with charcoal and pen-and-ink on paper. She begins with a layer of charcoal on paper and uses electric erasers and brushes to expose the light underneath. The drawing is also created with pen-and-ink and pastels, generally taking 20 to 40 hours to complete the final product.
“Drawing the unique qualities that nature possesses is something I love doing, as well as opening the eyes of what others may miss,” Kent states. “The power to inspire, take a second look and open the mind … this is what inspires me to draw. I have been drawing for the past four years and love every minute of it.”
Kent’s artwork is heavily influenced by the environment, as seen through the presence of trees, flowers, and animals in her drawings. Its geometry and textures call on Kent forthright. However, other artists, too, show up as inspiration.
“Cy Twombly really fascinates me,” Kent says. “I love the way he plays with lines and colors. Color is something that intimidates me, and I admire his courage with it.”
Although new to the field of drawing, Kent’s work has been debuted in several shows and exhibits throughout the last few years. In 2014, she teamed up with local jewelry maker Suzi Drake of Whistlepig Workshop and painter Sullivan Anlyan to put together “The Triple Threat” at Annex Surf Supply in Wrightsville Beach. Last year, Kent collaborated with Drake and Annex Surf Supply again in “Eternal Summer Camp.” This time around, Kent will fly solo with 10 new pieces, all 8 inches by 8 inches or smaller.
“[They’re] very detailed drawing elements,” Kent divulges. “There will be one large piece from last year that has inspired a lot of my new pieces. I may also incorporate some other pieces from last year but you will have to come see the show to find out!”
Kent’s exhibit will be hosted by LOCAL: Art + Ideas. Founded by Beth Handler Riebe in 2013, the organization works to promote regional artists to new local and national audiences. The support is great for new artists like Kent, who may not have built a relationship, yet with an established art gallery.
“LOCAL’s goal is to give voice to artistic ideas, such as mine, that flourish outside of traditional channels, large metropolitan areas, and cultural networks,” Kent explains. “My exhibition is LOCAL’s seventh, and its first not being held Riebe’s residence. She and I are thrilled to partner with Ward for the project.”
The exhibition will be held on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Ward Hair Salon, where Kent works as a hair stylist. The first night of the exhibit will feature an opening reception that welcomes the general public. Cohosting the event with LOCAL is Mary Padgett, owner of Ward, and fellow artist and hair stylist.
“Her hosting the exhibition shows her support of local artists,” Kent states. “She and I expect this to be the first of many future exhibits to be held at her salon.”
Kent’s artwork will continue to be displayed on Sunday, Oct. 30 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., as well as Tuesday, Nov. 1, through Friday, Nov. 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free to the general public.
“An online exhibition and sale for those outside of Wilmington, or who were not able to attend the exhibition, will take place from November 11 through the 30 at www.local-art-ideas.com,” Kent adds.
Drawings by Cheryl Kent
Opening October 29, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Hanging until Nov. 4
Ward Hair Salon
3333 Wrightsville Ave.
Free • www.local-art-ideas.com