Elizabeth BradfordThe Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) is excited to announce the opening of “Elizabeth Bradford: Time + Terrain”, curated by Carla Hanzal. The exhibition will be on view from August 13 to November 19, 2016, with an opening reception on Thursday, September 1st from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Museum. The event is free and open to the public. Guests are invited to enjoy hors d’oeuvres, beverages, and live music as they experience the works on display.

“What an honor to be hosting the paintings of Elizabeth Bradford,” states Lee Carol Giduz, Executive Director at the Museum. “Viewing her work is a conversation with nature. At a distance, the scene appears before you as through an open window and draws you in, while up close, you experience the intricate details, dramatic colors, and the many qualities of brushstrokes. What unfolds are stories of the layered and delicate beauty of our natural world.”

Elizabeth Bradford gleans images from the rural landscape surrounding her family’s ancestral farm in northern Mecklenburg County, where she lives. The expanded scope of her artwork also includes impressions of countries she explores, as well as the wilderness where she kayaks, hikes, and camps. “Slowly, over time, my attention turned to wild places,” explains Bradford. “I found myself breathing deep sighs of relief when I stepped out of civilization and into the forest … I have come to believe that I am now painting the permanent—that wildness will never be fully controlled.”

Hanzal adds, “While the natural terrain is mutable—affected by seasons, weather conditions, and light—human interventions also significantly impact its evolution as global temperatures rise and untrammeled habitat is developed. Bradford’s paintings both eulogize what is being lost, and offer glimpses of the untamable existing beyond control.” Bradford constructs complex compositions, utilizing precise layers of color and dynamic mark-making to evoke form, light, and shadow. Bradford compares her paintings to the tessera in a mosaic or the pixels of a photograph, fracturing the image into its component parts, which then coalesce into a whole. Her paintings invite contemplation of the familiar and the lovely within a natural setting, but the uncanny of the unknown and the mysterious also beckon. 

“Elizabeth Bradford: Time + Terrain” invites the viewer to study the natural world, to explore it deeply. The exhibition includes 40 paintings of various scale—some large and encompassing, and others that are more intimately scaled, all reflecting her naturalist’s sensibilities. Revealing her recent investigations with sites in the Southeast, several paintings are borrowed from museums within North Carolina, where her paintings have been selected for permanent collections. Time + Terrain explores, in part, the historical continuum of the region’s natural environment serving as an essential source of inspiration. Bradford’s eloquent writings chronicling her various insights and observations are incorporated into the exhibition and accompanying hardcover catalogue. The full-color, 64-page catalogue features an interview between Bradford and the curator, Carla Hanzal.

The Blowing Rock Art & History Museum is located at the corner of Main & Chestnut Street in downtown Blowing Rock, NC. The Museum opened in 2011. “Elizabeth Bradford: Time + Terrain” is presented by Wells Fargo Private Bank.

About the Artist

Elizabeth Bradford studied art at Randolph Macon Woman’s College, the University of North Carolina, and at Davidson College, and recently completed a residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and at Skopart on the Greek island of Skopelos. She is represented in numerous corporate and private collections, and was included in the United States’ State Department’s Art in Embassies Program, which places representative work by American artists in embassies around the world. 

In 2006, Bradford was chosen as the featured artist for North Carolina’s first statewide Women’s Conference.  She has had many solo exhibitions, including shows at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Davidson College, and Hood College. 

Bradford’s work explores intricate formal patterns found in nature and reveals a personal experience of color. Though representational, there is a connection with the traditions of abstract art, as well as the Pattern and Decoration movement and Pop Art. Bradford’s paintings investigate landscape and the power of place, with special affection for the Southeast.

Related Events & Public Programming

Fall Exhibition Celebration

Thursday, September 1 at 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Celebrate the opening of “Elizabeth Bradford: Time + Terrain” and several other new exhibitions. Free and open to the public.

Thursday Art & Culture Talk, featuring Elizabeth Bradford

Thursday, September 15 at 6 p.m.

Join us for an engaging lecture with featured artist, Elizabeth Bradford, followed by a Q&A session with the artist. Members: Free / Non-Members: $5

Coffee with the Curator, with Carla Hanzal

Tuesday, September 20 at 11 a.m.

Gain behind-the-scenes insight into our featured exhibition, “Elizabeth Bradford: Time + Terrain”, on a gallery tour with the curator, Carla Hanzal. Members: Free / Non-Members: General Admission

Scholars & Scones, with Dr. Liz Baird,

Chief of  School and Lifelong Education at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Thursday, September 22 at 11 a.m.

Enjoy complimentary coffee and scones during a talk with Dr. Liz Baird, who will discuss the importance of getting outdoors. She has acted as a wilderness guide for trips our featured artist, Elizabeth Bradford, has taken. Suggested donation of $5.

Thursday Art & Culture Talk, featuring Will Harlan

Thursday, October 20 at 6 p.m.

Join us for an engaging talk with Will Harlan on his book, Untamed (Grove Press, 2015), which tells the story of Carol Ruckdeschel. Ruckdeschel spent time in the wilderness of Cumberland Island, a place our featured artist, Elizabeth Bradford, used for inspiration in several of her paintings. Members: Free / Non-Members: $5

Weekly Docent Tours

Every Thursday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. through October

Tour our current exhibitions, including “Elizabeth Bradford: Time + Terrain”, with one of our knowledgeable docents as your guide. Tours are complimentary with general admission.

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Blowing Rock Art & History Museum

The Blowing Rock Art & History Museum seeks to provide cultural enrichment to the High Country communities by promoting the arts and Southern Appalachian heritage and history through educational programs, exhibitions, activities and permanent collections. General admission to the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum is $7 for adults and $6 for students, seniors, and children ages 5 and up. Free for active military. Donations are accepted for full admission to the Museum on Thursdays. Located at 159 Chestnut Street on the corner of Chestnut and Main in Blowing Rock, N.C., the Museum is open 10 a.m.  to 5 p.m. Tues-Wed, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thurs, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fri-Sat. The Museum is open 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays June-Nov. For more information, please call 828-295-9099 or visit www.blowingrockmuseum.org.