In the Eyes of the Beholder

In the Eyes of the Beholder


TRYON — Upstairs Artspace (UA) in Tryon opens its 44th season with three new exhibits, Feb. 6 through March 15.

The exhibitions open Saturday, Feb. 6 with an Open House, noon — 7 p.m.; the artists will be present at 4 p.m.. Social distancing and masks are required.

“Even When It’s Dark” presents paintings and photographs by Doug McAbee that reflect thoughts and emotions during COVID-19. Fantastical imagery in the paintings brightens a difficult time. His photographs, called “art remixes,” combine familiar classic works of art with quirky self-portraits of McAbee simulating the works with DIY costumes, props, pets and even family members. So far, the Spartanburg artist has finished 57 remixes and posted them on social media to “overwhelming” response. He is currently faculty at Lander University.

Addam Duncan’s “Lasting Impressions,” is a new series of black and white paintings in the style of photorealism. These speak to memories of intimate, nostalgic moments experienced this past year: a child sleeping, sharpening a pencil, listening to music. Duncan is a self-taught artist from South Carolina’s Upstate. His versatility includes printmaking, sculpting and tattoo design.

Honoring African American History month this February, “In the Eyes of the Beholder” features work by Roscoe Conn and Joseph Pearson that focuses on Black life experiences. Conn is an established mixed media/collage artist who calls his art “a journey of Black eyesight and insight.” The Rutherfordton resident who exhibited at the gallery in its early years, sees the pandemic as an opportunity for artists to fashion a new vision of the future, which he strives for in his new artworks.

Pearson is an Asheville artist well known for painting, portraiture, drawing and mural art. His paintings at the Upstairs are of intimate, often charged glimpses of everyday Black lives: a haircut, homework, or Thanksgiving dinner. His figures have quiet moodiness, and a sense of inner strength. Pearson has an impressive record of exhibits, public commissions, and awards.

UA is a non-profit organization supported in part by the Polk County Community Foundation and by donations by our members and community.

Located at 49 S. Trade St, the gallery is open Tuesday — Saturday, noon — 5 p.m.. www.