Painting the Permanent

In 2018, April 2018, Doby Jane Porter

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North Carolina artist Elizabeth Bradford will open two concurrent shows at The Umstead Hotel and The Mahler art gallery downtown. Bradford began her career painting the farms and gardens of the elderly residents who populated the rural community near her family’s farm in north Mecklenburg County. She watched as years passed and the farms and gardens gave way to subdivisions and shopping centers.

“I was glad to have painted my elegy for the way it had been,” Bradford says. “In some way, it gave a sense of permanence to what was impermanent.”

Bradford’s exhibit will feature her latest work, “Wild and Sacred,” realistic depictions of nature ranging from tree roots growing into a creek bed to cattails flourishing in a duck pond.

“I learned I could sit in one spot in the woods and paint for hours, lost in the natural opulence,” Bradford explains. “Animals and birds would cease to see me as a threat because I was still for so long. I have come to believe that I am now painting the permanent…”

Bradford’s work is featured in permanent collections across the state, including UNC-Greensboro’s Weatherspoon Art Museum, the Mint Museum, the Kenan Center and UNC Rex Heart and Vascular Hospital.

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