Theatre Art Galleries of High Point, NC will open its 2015 exhibition season with “Vernacular Expressions: Contemporary Folk Art from Three Private Collections”

 "Opening Thurs., Jan. 22 with an Opening Reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the show will bring together more than 50 works by American self-taught artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, all loaned from the private collections of Piedmont Triad residents.

James Harold Jennings
Widely known artists represented in the exhibition include Eddie Arning, David Butler, Raymond Coins, Howard Finster, James Harold Jennings, Eddie Owens Martin (aka St. EOM), Willie Massey, Carl McKenzie, Bruce New, Melissa Polhamus, Royal Robertson, Jack Savitsky, Mary T. Smith and Inez Nathaniel Walker. The exhibition represents a broad spectrum of work created by artists who haven’t undergone any formal academic training. Often loosely categorized as folk art, such work has also been tagged with the contested designation “outsider art,” and some of it has been characterized as visionary. The works to be shown deal with a range of themes, including wild nature, farm life, religion and spirituality, American history, industrial labor, romantic love and celebratory gatherings. These works have been generously loaned for the exhibition by Tom Fairchild, Sarah McWhorter and Chris Roulhac, all of whom live in Greensboro. Fairchild is a native of High Point.

This will be the third in a series of exhibitions guest-curated for Theatre Art Galleries by writer and independent curator Tom Patterson, a resident of Winston-Salem who is internationally known for his books, articles, and essays on contemporary folk art.
Gallery B will host textile artist Elaine O’Neil. Growing up in rural Maine as the daughter of an ardent seamstress, she became inspired to study textiles at the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science. Her work has been shown in galleries up and down the East Coast as well as in the mountains of North Carolina. Elaine regularly does commissions and has created pieces for clients in Russia, England, Greece, Italy, and France, as well as in many states in the U.S. Her work is also in the collections of many colleges, businesses, and hospitals, on the cover of several books and publications, and she has illustrated two children’s books.

Elaine says of her work, “My artistic process begins with the simple, pure memories of my childhood. I strive to conjure up the essence of those good times and capture them through whimsy and color, stitching them together with a sense of humor and delight.  My process begins by approaching each textile collage with a simple sketch. Then through snips and cuts, my scissors, like a painter’s brush, slowly reveal the image. Layer upon layer of fabric, stitched into place using a variety of colors and textures, brings the piece to life. In each piece I create, my hope is to evoke the kind of pleasure and delight of childhood, when life is simple, sweet, and full of endless possibilities. For me, place is more about embodying the essence and the emotionally salient aspects of a location rather than ensuring physical accuracy. I strive to make my pieces LOOK the way you FEEL when you’re at a place. A touch of whimsy here and there allows me to create a place people happily recognize and relate to without re-creating it’s precisely. I hope my art will make you smile each time you look at it.”

The Hallway Gallery will feature “IGNITE HIGH POINT: Updated”. This exhibit will serve as a progress report on new projects that are creating a vibrant center city here in High Point.
And once again, the Kaleidoscope Youth Gallery will host the Annual TAG High School Art Exhibition. Participating schools include Dudley High School, Grimsley High School, High Point Christian Academy, Doris Henderson Newcomers School, Southern Guilford High School, Weaver Academy, Wesleyan Christian Academy, and Westchester Country Day School.
Theatre Art Galleries is located in downtown High Point at 220 E. Commerce Ave. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 12:00-5:00 p.m. For more information contact the TAG office at 336-887-2137 or visit"

- A Press Release

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