A Rare Look into the Creative Process

In a new exhibition called Line Touch Trace, the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) is about to offer a rare look at the thought processes of 13 artists.

They’re all from Carolina, and their 30 works on paper are all drawn, whether in ink, graphite, charcoal, conté crayon, or ballpoint pen.

“It offers a privileged view into the creative process,” says Edie Carpenter, director of curatorial and artistic programs at Greenhill, the visual arts space in Greensboro, N.C. “There’s such a wide variety of approaches in process – some are very conscious, and some are not, but it’s the way these artists go about it.”

Line Touch Trace is about their ability to use the line and how to blend parts with their hands to create tones and variations,” says Jennifer Dasal, curator at NCMA. “It’s bringing these three techniques together to communicate the ideas of the drawn world.”

Both abstract and figurative work are represented. All are linked together by imagery that suggests the kind of imaginative thinking that brings a work of art into being.

Carpenter approached NCMA’s Dasal with the idea initially, then selected the artists and their work. It’s to be displayed in the museum’s North Carolina Gallery, which opened in the Edward Durell Stone-designed building in 2010.

“We wanted first to highlight these fantastic North Carolina artists, but also to give works on paper a greater visibility,” Dasal says. “For me the most important part is to have this partnership with Greenhill — to reach out to another area institution and bring parts of North Carolina together.”

Greenhill was founded 40 years ago to provide an exhibition space for professional artists, by a group of local artists and arts professionals. It mounts five exhibitions every year, and is the only institution in the state dedicated to the work of living North Carolina artists.

“There was a need for exhibition space because there’s a kind of effervescent arts community here,” Carpenter says..

Line Touch Trace opens at NCMA on August 30, and will feature works by Selena Beaudry, Tamie Beldue, Lori Esposito, Kiki Farish, John Gall, John Hill Jr., Fritz Janschka, Kenn Kotara, Kreh Mellick, Matthew Micca, Ippy Patterson, Isaac Payne, and Jason Watson.

It runs through March 8, 2015.

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Tamie Beldue, Float, 2013, graphite, watercolor, and encaustic on panel, 40 x 40 in., Courtesy of the artist, © 2013 Tamie Beldue

Lori Esposito, Star Flung, 2013, two-sided graphite on translucent Mylar, 21 x 21 in., Courtesy of the artist, © 2013 Lori Esposito

Kiki Farish, Move, 2012, graphite on clayboard, 14 x 22 in., Courtesy of the artist, © 2012 Kiki Farish

Fritz Janschka, Joyce’s Calendar, 1995, ink on paper, 19 3/4 x 27 3/4 in., Courtesy of the artist, © 1995 Fritz Janschka

Fritz Janschka, A Beginning, 2005, ink on paper, 21 x 13 in., Courtesy of the artist, © 2005 Fritz Janschka

Matthew Micca, The Return 5, 2010, ball-point pen, colored pencil, and white charcoal on paper, 16 x 16 in., Collection of Rebekah Kates, © 2010 Matthew Micca

Isaac Payne, Billboard, 2013, charcoal, ink, Conté, transparent gesso, and oil paint on combined papers, 58 x 82 1/2 in., Courtesy of the artist, © 2013 Isaac Payne

Isaac Payne, New Philosophers, 2013, ink, Conté, gesso, and oil paint on paper collage, 38 1/2 x 74 1/2 in., Courtesy of the artist, © 2013 Isaac Payne

Jason Watson, Punch Drunk Monk, 2009, graphite, colored pencil, acrylic wash, and gouache on paper, 50 x 38 in., Courtesy of the artist, © 2009 Jason Watson