The City of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department is pleased to announce that concurrent solo exhibitions of fiber works by Renée Fleuranges-Valdes and mixed media works by Pascale Sexton Bilgis will be on display at Park Circle Gallery from January 5-29, 2022. A free reception hosted by the artists will be held at the gallery on Friday, January 7, from 5:00-7:00pm. The public is invited to attend.
Finding JOY! – Fiber works by Renée Fleuranges-Valdes
In Finding JOY!, nationally exhibiting quilter and textile artist Renée Fleuranges-Valdes brings her energetic and exuberant nature to her fiber art, showcasing black femininity. The exhibition debuts two of her latest series, Simple Pleasures and Curvy Ladies, alongside a select few of her other well-known pieces. Simple Pleasures is all about finding joy in everyday activities, like sitting under a tree with friends, a walk along the riverbank, or even a stroll through the park. Using bright colors, vivid imagery, and intricate quilting to create texture, the artists reminds us that life is too short to forget about the simple things in life that bring us joy and unity. The fiber pieces in the Curvy Ladies series celebrate how woman with vision, creativity, and resilience use their passion to advance their chosen agendas and bring joy not only to themselves, but also those who benefit from their success. “In this series I’m celebrating curvy women whose passion has driven them to greatness, despite society’s usual attempt to push them to the sidelines,” Renée explains.
Renée Fleuranges-Valdes has been creating with fiber in one way or another since she was twelve years old, and her love for fiber art has been a passion for the last twenty years. Best known for her use of bright colored fabrics and intricate quilting designs, her work has been displayed in galleries, juried and invitational exhibitions, and museums across the United States. Aside from exhibiting her work, Renée shares her creative style with others by teaching, lecturing, and judging quilt shows. In 2019, Renée moved to North Charleston, SC, from her hometown of Mt. Vernon, NY, after retiring from a successful professional career in the software industry.
Little Flat People – Mixed media works by Pascale Sexton Bilgis
In her exhibition, Little Flat People, local mixed media artist Pascale Sexton Bilgis seamlessly blends two-dimensional and three-dimensional elements to demonstrate the fundamental similarities between people. The artist presents little figures set among pebbles, wood frames, and panels with vibrant abstract expressionist landscapes as backgrounds. “After 2 years creating vivid abstract landscapes with ceramic architectural relief, I wanted to keep working with clay and acrylic colors but in a more meaningful way. One day while collecting pebbles on a beach in southern Turkey, I came up with the “Flat Little People” series,“ Bilgis explains. Made of clay and fired at 2000 degrees, the figures all look alike in that they are flat and uniform, but in truth they are not “flat” at all, they seem to be very lively and interesting. It is up to the viewer to imagine their emotions through their postures and implied actions.
Pascale Sexton Bilgis grew up in a small village in Burgundy, France, and later in Dijon for her studies. At the age of 18, she left her homeland to continue her studies at the University of South Carolina where she received her BA in photography. After graduating, she worked as an archaeological photographer in southern Turkey and as an art assistant at the Pierre LOTI French School of Istanbul. While in Turkey she began to pursue a new passion for painting and ceramics. She moved back to the States in 2016 and became very active in the artist community in South Carolina. Her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions throughout the state and has won numerous awards. She is a member of South Carolina Artists and currently lives on Johns Island, SC.
The Park Circle Gallery is located at 4820 Jenkins Avenue in North Charleston, in what was formerly known as the Olde Village Community Building. Admission is free and free street parking is available on Jenkins Avenue in front of the gallery, as well as on the adjacent streets and in parking lots close by. The gallery is open 10:00am-6:00pm Wednesday-Friday, and Noon-4:00pm on Saturday. Staff and all visitors must wear a face covering while they are in the gallery. Hand sanitizer will be provided upon entry. For more information about PCG, call 843-637-3565 or email [email protected]. For information on other Cultural Arts programs and artist opportunities, visit the Arts & Culture section of the City’s website.