Friday night’s Elkin Gallery Crawl drew in art lovers from all over the area.
At the Foothills Arts Council at 129 Church St., about 75 people turned out for the opening reception of “Roots & Reflections,” featuring new acrylic paintings by local artist Dan Butner. And at 108 Court St. on the eastern side of town, gallery crawl participants were also able to enjoy a show of retrospective works by Butner on display inside of his new EAM (Elkin Artisan Market) Gallery.
Leighanne Martin Wright, executive director of the Foothills Art Council, said, “People really liked his color palette. I don’t know how you would describe his colors, maybe very soft bronzes and blues …”
People also commented on “the feel of his work,” she said. “One person described it as very calming.”
Dick and Christina Connell were among the people admiring Butner’s work at the reception. “I think he’s original and creative,” Christina said. “I like his palette and subdued colors.”
The Connells, who live in Dobson, said they also like the fact that Butner uses words in his art.
Like most of the people who were drawn in by Butner’s art, they were intrigued by a painting of the back of a woman who appeared to be sitting in water. Butner included these words on the card below the painting: “This one’s for you, Mom … dan butner … loves his mom.”
Butner’s mother died of cancer at age 54 last July. Someone purchased the popular painting early in the evening.
Martin Wright said Butner sold a couple of his paintings. “I don’t know how many he sold at his own gallery,” she said.
Joe Fisch of Jonesville was participating in the gallery crawl with his wife, Zulma, and their friend, Mike Tice, who was visiting from Albany, N.Y. Fisch said he would like to see more art events like the gallery crawl in the area.
Fisch said he and Tice were enjoying discussing each of Butner’s paintings and “what draws us into them.” He described Butner’s paintings as “clear and precise.” Tice said he liked the details and crispness in Butner’s work.
Ben Erlandson said he liked the cool tones in Butner’s paintings. “I also like the consistency of the drips,” he said of one painting, “the running paint.”
Wine and food was available for guests at all the locations, including the Brushy Mountain Winery, which joined in on the gallery crawl at the last minute with an exhibit by artist Debbie Carson. Heaven Scent Catering even had a tent at the EAM Gallery.
Keary Reid played the grand piano at the Foothills Arts Council reception, contributing to the festive mood, while singer Bear Stevens entertained people at Brushy Mountain Winery.
Overall, Martin Wright said she thought the gallery crawl was a great success. “It’s been years ago since we did one,” she said. “Everyone said they had a great time, so we’ll probably do it again.”
Next time, Martin Wright said she’d like to have some Elkin Gallery Crawl banners made up so people will know where to go next.
Butner’s work will be display at the Foothills Arts Council for a couple more weeks for those who missed the gallery crawl and would like to see it.
Participants who chose to walk the crawl could either go from the Arts Council to the EAM (Elkin Artisan Market) Gallery at 108 Court Street, the Smalltown Gallery and Studio at 227 W. Main Street or Brushy Mountain Winery at 125 W. Main St.
Tory Casey, owner of Small Town Gallery, said she was pleased with the turnout. She had exhibits on display by ceramic artist Robin Mangum, print/graphic artist Woodie Anderson and fiber artist Tammy Sawyer as well as her own narrative paintings.
Suzanne Puckett of Elkin was one of the people admiring the displays in the gallery, which opened in April. “This used to be my yoga spa,” she said. “This place is wonderful. It’s almost like it was made to be an art gallery.”
Cory Myers, newly elected president of the Foothills Art Council Board of Directors, said Friday was his first time to participate in a gallery crawl. “I got to see a variety of artists and their different styles and techniques,” he said. “I definitely want to do it again. It was cool to go from one place to another. I thought it went over really well.”
Myers said there was a nice turnout overall with wonderful exhibits by the artists that were involved. “Maybe in the future, we’ll have even more artists and locations,” he said.
It was especially nice to see Butner’s paintings, Myers said, as they graduated from South Stokes High School together in 1998.
Reid’s music made the Foothills Arts Council reception even more special, Myers said, adding that he also enjoyed hearing the music at Brushy Mountain Winery.
Myers said he would like to see more future events featuring art and music. It’s nice to see people enjoying downtown Elkin, he said, adding that the renovation of the Reeves Theater will bring even more people into town.
A musician himself, Myers just completed a CD of his original music titled “As the Crow Flies.” He will be holding a CD Release Party at the Foothills Arts Council on Oct. 17 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 336-258-4058.