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"Riding the Stick Horse" by Laura Hughes at The ArtsCenter Nicholson Gallery

“There’s no one with intelligence in this town except that man over there playing with the children, the one riding the stick horse. He has keen, fiery insight and vast dignity like the night sky, but he conceals it in the madness of child’s play.” – Rumi

These large-scale equine paintings are a wild and free exploration of the grace and power of the horse form. Their titles are taken from the 13th-century Sufi mystic Rūmī’s poems, who’s themes deal with union with the Beloved/God. Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry and dance as a path for reaching God. I believe this transcendent experience is also found in any creative pursuit. This wildly colorful and textural group of paintings seek to capture the magnificence of the horse, with generous decorative reality.

Laura Berendsen Hughes is a graphic designer and fine artist. She has a BFA in sculpture from UNC – Chapel Hill and has lived in Durham for over 40 years. While her work as a graphic artist and illustrator has always been about composition and communication, she has recently returned to working in fine art where the goal is original creativity not messaging. She is exhibiting acrylic equine inspired paintings on that bridge realism and abstraction and rely on the beauty and drama of the horse as an alternative to the human figure.

Painting title: “There is a Community of the Spirit” – Rumi
40” x 65” Acrylic on Board

Exhibition on display April 2 – May 12.

Opening Reception: Friday, April 13th 6-8pm in the Nicholson Gallery and will be held in conjunction with the 2nd Friday ArtWalk.