Art Explosion in Albemarle

Art has exploded in Albemarle at Falling Rivers Gallery – it is our annual Summer Art Explosion happening through August 4th. Nineteen artists from here and the surrounding area entered 67 pieces of art for judging in four categories: 2-dimensional art, 3-dimensional art, altered photography, and unaltered photography. Each category was awarded first, second, and third place prizes (along with honorable mentions) and a Best of Show was awarded to the top entry.

As usual, the judge had her hands full sorting through all the great entries. Here are the winners:

2D Art:

1st Place – Susan Lackey for “Her Hands” (watercolor)

2nd Place – Dorothy Gibson for “Tribal Princess” (paper)

3rd Place – Clif Rippenhagen for “Engagement” (watercolor)

Honorable Mention: Susan Lackey for “Summer Afternoon” (watercolor)

3D Art:

1st Place – David Arey for “Unchain My Heart” (wood)

2nd Place – Pamela Buchanan for “Random Weave Sculpture” (basketry)

3rd Place – David Ritzheimer for “Horse” (wood)

Honorable Mention – David Arey for Summer Snowflakes” (Mixed Media)

Unaltered Photography:

1st Place – Rodney Rock for “Homeless but not Humorous”

2nd Place – Jessica Waldron for “Boone’s Cave”

3rd Place – Reda Icenhour for “Out of the Water”

Honorable Mention – Clif Rippenhagen for “Pretty in Pink”

Altered Photography:

1st Place – Ed Lipe for “Drama”

2nd Place – Bill Feree for “Moonlight and Rust”

3rd place – Rodney Rock for “Spellman”

Honorable Mention – Ed Lipe for “Catfish”

Best of Show:

Ed Lipe for ‘Steamed” (Unaltered photography)

Congratulations to all the winners! Their remarkable work will be on display at Falling Rivers Gallery through August 4th. Make sure to stop by and check out the show as well as the great work by our gallery regulars.

If you would like a more complete look at the show, we have a video on our facebook page that you may enjoy.

Steampunk Airship Lands at Falling Rivers Gallery

The “Welcome to Mystery” Gala and Auction promised mystery, and it was delivered as a beautiful model of a steampunk airship – now resident at Falling Rivers Gallery. Measuring eight feet long, over three feet wide, and around eight feet tall, it is the largest known steampunk airship model in existence.

Designed and built by local artist Ed Lipe and based on significant input from a design committee, the airship was constructed to celebrate and recognize the artists, patrons and donors that support Falling Rivers Gallery and the Stanly Arts Guild and keep the visual arts alive in Stanly County.

The Planning Phase

Concept Drawing of Airship

Planning for the airship and the Gala began in December 2016, and a prototype airship was delivered to the committee in early 2017 to help understand the size and scale of the vessel, as well as to understand the building challenges for creating a complex hull at such a small scale. This was the first ship hull that Lipe had ever constructed, so there was quite a learning curve.

The Building Phase

Bulkhead design

Cabin design

The final basic hull design was completed on paper in April, and work started on the ship in earnest shortly thereafter. Multiple trips to the local hardware store were needed as the components were identified and incorporated

The design was tweaked in places as the final form came to life and the cabin was tailored to blend with the hull shape.

Balloon design

However, the balloon portion of the ship was getting a late start, so a “quick” solution was developed – to use large exercise balls as the main component, capturing them in a frame that matched the ship materials. Once a design was chosen, the balloon structure came together quickly – which was good because it was completed only days before the party.

Final Assembly

Balloon Structure Being Loaded for Installation

Final assembly of the airship in the gallery began on Thursday, June 15th, with the Gala planned for the upcoming Saturday. The balloons were installed and hoisted into position on Thursday, the ship was brought in and mounted on Friday, and the final touches were made Saturday morning before the Gala that evening.

Steampunk Airship Features

Steampunk Airship Cabin Details

Steampunk Airship Power Source

Steampunk Airship Wheelhouse Details

The Gala attendees all enjoyed the airship “mystery”, and all its great features, including button-tufted upholstery, a bubbling engine, a working propeller and running lights on the balloon.

You can enjoy it too. Stop by the gallery and check out our steampunk airship. And while you are there, check out all the other great art in Falling Rivers Gallery.