By Mary Karr

There are few things as satisfying on a chilly winter day as the delicious comfort of a cup of hot tea or hot chocolate in a warm house gazing out on a scene reminiscent of a Currier and Ives print.  We ponder the past year filled with many memories, some wonderful and also a few rather terrifying.  Thankful our town and the rest of the Hickory Nut Gorge were spared from the destruction of a massive fire by the devoted, tireless work of many firefighters and other volunteers, we feel very lucky.

As an artist I have always appreciated the care that has been taken to preserve the rich heritage we enjoy of our famous painters.  Over hundreds of years art work has survived floods and fires because someone has guarded them from extinction.  What a miracle it is to see a Michelangelo or a Monet in perfect condition after many years of being painted.

Speaking of masters, it is always exciting to hear about a new show being planned to commemorate the work of a famous painter.  Such an event is coming soon to the Renolda Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem.  The subject of this spectacular show will be the work of one of America’s most famous painters, Georgia O’Keefe (1887-1986).  Born in rural Wisconsin, she spent her childhood on a farm, and began painting when she was fifteen having moved to Virginia with her family.  She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and at the Art Students League in New York.  She spent two years working as an art supervisor in the public school system in Amarillo, Texas.  In 1915 some of her work was shown to Alfred Stieglitz and from then on their careers were entwined.  They were married in 1924.  Alfred Stieglitz was the owner of the famous art gallery in New York known as “291”.  Georgia O’Keefe is recognized as an exceptional American artist for her experimental ability to produce fresh new styles of abstraction and realism in her paintings.  The show promises to be an exciting one, and I will follow up on all the details as they become available.

Our Lake Lure artists continue to produce new works and are using our cool winter weather to catch up on their inventory.  Please look for new works being displayed at the Mountains Library, local restaurants, and galleries.