The City of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department is pleased to announce that paintings by Christy Aitken of Columbia, SC, and Liz McKay of Maiden, NC, will be on exhibit at the North Charleston City Gallery from October 1-31, 2019. The concurrent solo exhibitions are free and open to the public.
To Be Human – Paintings by Christy Aitken
Christy Aitken is a contemporary painter living in Columbia, South Carolina. Her exhibit, To Be Human, consists of twenty-three acrylic and oil paintings on wood that depict isolated people, often in fragmented spaces and open landscapes. A traditionally trained painter, Aitken uses a daily journaling and sketching practice to step away from her “realistic” tendencies and introduce a looser, more spontaneous style. Her inspirations and meditations on deeply human themes – mortality, loneliness, fear of the unknown, and solitude – are expressed using bright, saturated colors juxtaposed with intentionally unfinished portions of canvas. Endurance and hope are represented in her paintings through her use of “lost” and “found” lines that connect back in the composition, and the reoccurring symbol of the Loblolly Pine Tree.
Christy Aitken received her BFA in Painting from the Atlanta College of Art. Her work has been exhibited in numerous group and solo shows throughout South Carolina. In 2018 her painting Disconnected Shadows received a merit award from Greenwood Art Center during the South Carolina Festival of Flowers Juried Art Show in Greenwood, SC. She is currently represented by OTM Gallery and Portfolio Art Gallery, both in Columbia, SC. Learn more about the artist at www.christyaitken.art.
The Weight of All That Is – Mixed Media Paintings by Liz McKay
Liz McKay is a mixed media painter and jeweler. The paintings in her exhibit, titled The Weight of All That Is, feature a motif of large ovoid stones central to the compositions; a representation of the current heaviness of today’s socio/political climate and the artists’ personal struggles with depression and anxiety. McKay creates these pieces by layering color and pattern in multiple mediums onto various substrates and applying the substrates to heavy watercolor paper. She then paints over the collage and scrapes away areas of paint between each layer. This allows an unconscious composition to emerge. As her intuition and process combine, she makes color and final composition choices to increase the dynamic tension.
Liz McKay is a graduate of Winthrop University and current resident of Maiden, NC. She has developed a studio practice that helps her deal with anxiety and depression. Beyond her personal studio practice, McKay works as an art instructor and specializes in teaching art to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her paintings and jewelry have been exhibited in galleries in North and South Carolina. Learn more about the artist at www.meanmusestudio.com.
The North Charleston City Gallery is situated in two corridors of the Charleston Area Convention Center, located at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. The exhibition space is at the northwest corner of the Convention Center adjacent to the Coliseum, facing International Boulevard. Parking and admission are free. The gallery is open 9:00am-5:00pm daily, with an attendant present Tuesdays 12-5pm, Wednesdays 11am-5pm, Thursdays 11am-7:30pm, and Fridays 11am-5pm. Inquiries regarding the artists or purchase information may be directed to the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843)740-5854. For information on additional exhibits, programs, and events, visit the Arts & Culture section of the City’s website.