AAS August 2019 Featured Artists
The Franklin Square Gallery in Southport will showcase two of its most innovative artists this summer: Vicki Neilon (2D) and Rebecca Cleary (3D). Their show opens July 29 and runs through August 31.
These artists have their work showcased at the gallery for an entire month. The public is invited to meet them and to view their works, as well as artwork by other members of the gallery, at the First Friday Gallery Walk reception on August 2 from 5 to 7 p.m. Visitors can enjoy light refreshments while strolling through the gallery.
Vicki Neilon, Featured 2D Artist, is a retired teacher, and has been an artist since “I was old enough to pick up a brush”. Originally from West Chester, Pennsylvania, she and her family moved several times with the Army before finally settling down on Ocean Isle Beach, where she has lived for 20 years.
Throughout her military travels around the world and in retirement, she saw many beautiful places which inspired her painting. She also took classes with many different well-known artists, all of whom have influenced her work.
In retirement, she began entering local art shows, and in the last several years, she has won eight awards for her paintings. In 2015 and 2019 she was the Wine Label Contest winner for the Winefest at the Museum of Coastal Carolina on Ocean Isle Beach.
Vicki has learned many different techniques from different instructors, but says she has found her niche in using beautiful colors and in painting a variety of different styles, including abstract and realism. She says, “One of my favorite is what I call funky realism as it is a very freeing style in which you can't make mistakes! A few words to describe me as an artist are versatile, colorful, and funky!”
Rebecca (Becky) Cleary is the 3D artist of the month for August. Becky’s passion for clay began in Pennsylvania at Kutztown University. Following graduation, she taught art for six years at a local high school. After a brief break to raise a family, Becky returned to the art world, instructing Pre-K through eighth grade, with duties that included teaching, designing and helping students create scenery for theatrical productions and concerts.
Becky relocated to Southport in 2004, where she has continued to pursue her enthusiasm for pottery. Not only has she won numerous awards, but she has generously donated many items for various raffles. She also created and donated communion goblets and plates to her church.
Becky says, “I’ve always loved working with my hands, creating something out of almost nothing.” She adds, “The soft, smooth texture and moldable quality of the medium is soothing and calming.” Whether wheel-throwing or hand-building, she takes her time with each piece: forming, trimming, carving, stamping, glazing and firing.
She especially enjoys the challenge of achieving unique glaze effects by layering various colors, and controlling the way some glazes tend to run over the carved surfaces. Her carving takes on the rolling waves of the surf, and her stamped designs usually include leaves and berries found in nature.
Becky sums up her passion for pottery by saying, “Having the opportunity to pursue my craft her is such a blessing. Knowing that the pieces are appreciated and used is a bonus!”