Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Works by Elena Barna at City Gallery in May

Works by Elena Barna will be on display at the North Charleston City Gallery during the month of April. Barna, winner of the 2012 North Charleston Arts Festival Design Competition, will display works in acrylic and oils featuring a variety of subjects, including her winning piece, My Muse.

The artist's work will be on display May 1-31, 2012. A free opening reception will be held at the gallery on May 5, from 10:00am-4:00pm and May 6, from 2:00pm-5:00pm. The artists will be present and the public is invited to attend.

Titled Expanding the Horizon, Barna’s first solo exhibition strives to show viewers the many sides of her art. Works on display showcase the breadth of her inspirations and will include portraits, still lifes, and nature scenes. “The first and major inspiration for my art is people,” Barna explains. “I’ve done some body painting in the past and have translated that process onto canvas.” Viewers will enjoy portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Bob Marley, as well depictions of the artist’s friends and family. Other portraits share the same style and inspiration as her winning design, featuring a beautiful woman disappearing into a mosaic atmosphere.

Another prominent source of inspiration for the artist comes from her homeland, Russia. “I’ve done some work with Russian old style painting,” she says. “In general it’s flowers and some flowery designs mainly inspired by masterpieces by Russian artist Mikhail Vrubel.”

Barna’s style is heavily inspired by the Impressionism and Post-impressionism art movements, as well as Art Nouveau. She cites Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin, Monet, Degas, and Alphonse Mucha as artists she admires. Preferring to work in acrylic and oil, her work features vivid colors, thick application of paint, distinctive brush strokes, and realistic subject matter, mainly people. Form and color are central to her aesthetic and shimmering surfaces and rich dabs of paint characterize her paintings.

Born in 1987 in Volgograd, Russia, Elena Barna came to Charleston in 2008 to work for the summer and learn about life in America.  To her surprise, she fell in love with the city, the Carolina Lowcountry, and resident Josh Barna.  After returning home to complete her education and the long process of legal immigration, Elena and Josh were married following her return to Charleston in 2009.  She currently lives and works in North Charleston with Josh and their bull mastiff, Phoenix.

The North Charleston City Gallery is located in the Charleston Area Convention Center with free parking and admission during regular Convention Center operating hours 9:00am-5:00pm, daily.  Inquiries regarding the artist or purchase information may be directed to the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843) 740-5854. For information on additional exhibits, programs, and events, visit the Cultural Arts section of the City’s website at www.northcharleston.org. For information about the North Charleston Arts Festival visit www.NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com.

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