“Sanctuary,” a powerful and unique site-specific arts installation by Appalachian-born artist Val Lyle is on display at The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts in Boone NC. The exhibition comprises large-scale textiles, sculpture and paintings designed especially for the Mayer Gallery’s towering 28-foot-high atrium. The distinctive installation is the eighth solo incarnation of the artist’s meditation on her native mountain heritage, with each version adding new works.
A reception is scheduled for Friday November 4 from 6 to 9pm., and there will be an Artist Talk from 7 to 8pm on Wednesday November 9. Both special events will take place at The Turchin Center for Visual Arts.
Focusing on creating contemporary art through an Appalachian lens, Sanctuary places abstraction and deconstructionism within the context of dilapidated wooden barns. Striking use of negative flat space off-sets vibrant color. Contemporary compositions in large scale works transcend regional nostalgia. Vernacular materials and architecture are the subjects.
“When I moved back to Appalachia after years of art making in New York City, I was compelled to address my ancestry through a new series of works,” Lyle explains. “I was amazed and pleased to discover that elements of my heritage had been present in my work all along.”
“Within the gallery space, I construct an immersion environment that references the interior of a wooden barn. Actual tobacco and a thousand strands of used hay-bailing twine from my grandfather’s barn add unmistakable aromas to evoke deep memories. It truly is a work that engages all of our senses.”
“Appalachian Vision” is nearly 100 yards of hand painted silk, double-hung so that the image is fittingly ephemeral. Made to put the viewer inside of a tobacco barn looking out, the light between the boards is richly colored like a stained glass window. The arch shaped roofline in the work adds to the feeling of a cathedral’s grace in a humble abode.
Hand-worn tobacco sticks seem to fly off the wall forming a running figure sixteen feet tall that is both coming apart and forming itself in its haste. Change is slow and feared and inevitable and critically needed here.
During her career Lyle has produced more than a dozen major series of works using non-traditional materials. Pushing figurative abstraction in a variety of media has given the opportunity for several permanent outdoor sculpture installations. Lyle has work in museum, corporate and private collections and has received extremely positive national reviews.
Lyle has received funding for this exhibition in part by The National Endowment for the Arts and The Tennessee Arts Commission.
The exhibition began on September 2, and will continue through January 21st, 2012.
Lyle currently serves as a faculty member in the Emory & Henry College Art Department. For more about the artist, please visit www.VGLyle.com or email Val@ValLyle.com.