12.21.12 Art Show
Fri., 12/21, 6 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Bottega Art and Wine
208 N. Front St., Downtown • Free
On december 21st, finally the world will see if the long-predicted Mayan apocalypse is real. Friday marks the end of the Mayan calendar. If, in fact, a wayward planet called “Nibiru” is set to collide with Earth, Wilmingtonians should find solace in knowing there will be an art show catered specially for the cataclysmic event.
Local artists Sarah Collier and Candy Pegram encourage everyone to take shelter at Bottega Art and Wine, downtown Wilmington for the 12.21.12 Art Show. They will display a collection of new works that address the “end of times” theme but with a tongue-in-cheek twist in undertones. The one-night-only show and apocalypse party features around 30 new works from both artists.
“We have a very dry sense of humor, so it was hard to come up with [a theme] that wasn’t ridiculous,” Collier says. “Finally it was the show date that prompted the name; the show opening was scheduled for the Nostradamus/Mayan Calendar hoo-ha, so it seemed like the perfect jumping-off point for us.”
A self-proclaimed drifter between Wilmington and Nashville, Tennessee since the 1970s, Collier has built a reputation for herself locally with vintage, collage-like paintings and mixed-media work. She is known to collect advertisement images from the ‘50s and ‘70s, which she incorporates into her artwork. While her work usually broaches the broad theme of human relationships, there are also underlying social commentaries within these pieces.
“As a kid from the 1970s, I feel like visual imagery was really taking hold of our world,” Collier says. “My memories are TV commercials, magazine and family photos; I spent hours in the fabric store with my mom looking at pictures of women in stylish clothing. I feel like media is the way I think and reference the world around me.”
For the 12.21.12 show, Collier has created a series of large collage pieces that reflect “on the apathy our culture exhibits” but also operate on many different levels. Ultimately, she describes her paintings as “hopefully funny.”
“Humor is my ultimate goal,” Collier notes. “Funny lets you step lightly into your feelings. It is important to me to have the viewers make their own experiences with the works. Hopefully, they start with a laugh.”
When she isn’t painting, Collier and her husband dedicate time to their business, The Charm School Dropout, for which they travel the country doing national juried art shows.
A North Carolina native since birth, Candy Pegram moved to Wilmington in 1998 and fell in love with the city. She figured it would be a great location to pursue her artistic ambitions.
“I spent a couple years studying photography,” Pegram says. “Then in 2000 I started refinishing wood and that kind of pushed my creative side into a different direction. I began experimenting with actually painting my doodles on old boards and that’s how it all started.”
Typically using sanded-down wood as a canvas, Pegram’s folk-art style incorporates hefty strokes and bold outlines that evoke a powerful collective pop-culture memory of childhood toys, cartoons and characters. Pegram says her paintings “tend to strike a random yet unidentifiable and familiar chord that hopefully reminds us of our youths, when life was saturated with color and endless wonder.”
She describes her style as a hybrid of folk and pop art. That is, “if someone forgot about that offspring and left them out in the rain and they became all weathered.”
Similar to Collier’s muse, Pegram is also a huge fan of old advertisements from the ‘40s and ‘50s.
“I really dig the colors that were used then,” she says. “I love old movies—the old-movie channel comforts me like nothing else.”
Bottega will be serving up drinks and light fare all night; all works by Collier and Pegram will be available to purchase throughout the evening.
“Come socialize, buy some drinks and buy some art like there is no tomorrow, because there will be no tomorrow,” Pegram says. “The Mayans said so, and what they say goes.”