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Published Tue, Jan 29, 2013 08:00 PM
Modified Mon, Jan 28, 2013 12:38 PM

Clayton photographer leads February art show

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The work of a Clayton photographer, Jeff Horton, and a Raleigh painter, Joanie Tiska Kennedy, will be showcased in February at the Clayton Center.

Horton is a Judge’s Choice award-winner from the 2012 Art Faire competition in Clayton, and Kennedy, who divides her time between Raleigh and Topsail Island, has focused on painting coastal scenes in acrylic for the past dozen years.

A free, meet-the-artists reception for Horton and Kennedy is 6-7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 in the lobby of The Clayton Center, 111 E. Second St. Light refreshments will be served.

The exhibit runs Feb. 1-March 1 and is free and open to the public. The center is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Both the reception and exhibition are sponsored by Clayton Visual Arts, Inc.

Horton began his photographic journey while in graduate school in 1985 after a photographer friend recommended he ask his parents for a Nikon FE2 35mm camera for Christmas.

At first, he says he enjoyed taking pictures of most anything including such as flowers, landscapes, sports and people. But in the 1990s he began to focus on weddings and portraits to make ends meet while still working a full-time job.

Around 2000, he refocused again, this time on landscapes, which became his photographic passion.

As the years progressed so did his equipment. Always using Nikon gear for his 35mm work and now for his digital work, he also used Hasselblad cameras for a number of years because these cameras are known for their fine-grain images and remarkable lenses.

He says he is always striving to find that next “great image.”

“When I first began taking pictures 27 years ago, I was usually more disappointed than pleased with what I had taken. My goal has always been to give the viewer the feeling of what it would be like to actually be at the place where the image was taken – to enjoy the beautiful clouds and sky, to feel the sunshine and to hear the sounds of nature.

“My influences are everything I see, feel and experience, whether it’s in my house, driving down the road or walking the woods in my neighborhood. I have always admired the work of Ansel Adams and other great photographers who use and manipulate light and contrast to create dramatic photographs,” Horton said.

Kennedy is a founding member in 1984 of Raleigh’s Artspace, where she was a studio artist for 10 years and now is an associate member.

Most of her acrylic paintings have been of landscapes and abstracts. However, after 9/11, she began a new era, concentrating on the North Carolina coast. She divides her time between her home in Raleigh and Topsail Island. Kennedy is married and has three grown daughters and three grandchildren.

Her work has been shown and collected through out the country from Maine to Florida to California. It is in collections by Wachovia Bank, First Union Bank, Branch Banking and Trust Co., Ernst & Young LLP and Carolina Cardiology Consultants.

Kennedy is associated with many North Carolina galleries and has had one- and two-person shows throughout the state.

“I love painting at the beach! My subject matter is the disappearing scenes that make the East Coast special ... old wood fishing piers, crabpots of the fishermen, wooden rocking chairs, sand fences.

“I am fortunate enough to spend a lot of time at the coast in the spring and fall, and my paintings now contain more lines and bolder color with an almost harsh contrast of bright sunlight and shadow,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy attended East Carolina University, N.C. State University School of Design, and took classes at Lincoln Land Community College in Illinois, Bennington College in Vermont, and Meredith College in Raleigh.

Her web site is joaniekennedy.com.

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    Jeff Horton - THE CLAYTON CENTER

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