Sunday, February 20, 2011

More Heaven Than Earth

"Whenever I am on East Boulevard in Charlotte, I always make it a point to stop in to Red Sky Gallery. The artwork here never disappoints, and the space that houses it serves as the perfect canvas. Some galleries are meant to have soaring ceilings, large open spaces, and blank, white walls - this is not Red Sky. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Although Red Sky chooses art work to fill its walls, there is a strange feeling that the art here, even the rotating exhibits, seek out the gallery on their own and call it home. And home is exactly what it feels like.

The Red Sky building is a house, with separate rooms, staircases and landings - even a kitchen. Behind every corner, around every turn, up every step is another surprise to greet you and engage your senses. The current exhibit here features new works by Devon Burgess and Paul Hastings. Burgess is a glass artist, and Hastings, a painter. Upon first glance of the exhibit I can't help but wonder if these two have met. If their personalities mesh as well as their works, I think they would get along famously. Burgess's glass works are sleek and mysterious, and their shapes seem as if they are fluid and natural, and freshly poured. His vases are so striking and gorgeous all on their own that you wouldn’t even want to interrupt them with a flower.

Upon walking up a flight of stairs I was greeted by a gorgeous canvas, fittingly titled "More Heaven than Earth." The detail of the piece appears to only take up the very bottom of the canvas - about one quarter of the piece. The top three quarters is filled with nothing other than a blue sky. A gorgeous blue, but really, that's it - just a wide open blue sky, not even graced with a single cloud. 

Hastings' paintings got me thinking about how we limit ourselves, box ourselves. They gently remind us to look up once in a while, to jump into that space and make something happen. It's very easy to become wrapped up in our "worlds", and when we forget how small we really are, we lost perspective on how big the world is: what really matters, how to be happy, how certain instances just aren't important in the grand scheme of things. Appreciate the beauty in the little things, and make sure you are grounded. But every once in a while, don't forget to look up. After all, there's more heaven than earth.

-Ali Macaluso

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