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Woodie Anderson’s spirit animals stalk the Triad

by Jordan Green

jordan@yesweekly.com

Megan Kilpatrick Moen and Matt Moen, the owners of Kilpatrick Design, were looking for local artists to showcase in their new studio on Trade Street when they found themselves admiring a series of unidentified prints displayed on panels on a patch of ground next to the Cherry Street parking deck in Winston-Salem.

They contacted Lee Mecum, a curator who places art in nontraditional venues.

One of the prints that caught their eye depicts two female figures walking hand in hand in front of a skyline interposed with a Moravian teapot and a cloud cover constructed from overlapping doily prints. The figures are shown with exposed hearts, ribs and lungs seemingly poised between hope and peril.

“That looks like Woodie Anderson,” Mecum said. Mecum also quickly identified another piece favored by the Moens as being the work of Chad Beroth. And so arrangements were made to display their work in the studio.

The galleries that line Trade and Sixth streets in Winston-Salem stayed open late for the customary First Friday ritual, with the holiday season adding a brisk acceleration to the proceedings. Many galleries, including the cutting-edge Delurk, are curating group shows to get the biggest bank out of the holiday, and some artists, such as Beroth, are exhibiting at multiple venues.

An open workspace equipped with about six sleek desktop computers with a kitchenette outfitted with marble occupying the back, Kilpatrick Design proved to be well suited for a quick costume change into a sophisticated social gathering spot. Ralph Womble, the Winston-Salem financier and arts patron, held court near the front and bearded creatives lounged on an ample black leather couch near the bar.

Anderson’s work, typically screen prints of female figures with slightly disembodied faces on wood paneling, created a striking presence amidst the knots of socialites. A graphic designer, Anderson collects images of hands and faces from catalogues and then reassembles them into figures whose jarring constructions evince reflection on female self-image along with representations imposed on women. She embraces mistakes, such as the blotting effect known as “orange peel” when ink bleeds from its intended mold.

“I like to work with it in a way that I don’t know how it comes out,” Anderson said. “I prefer there to be errors — some things that would be technically incorrect in a commercial job.”

Screen-printing lends itself to incorporating found images, Anderson said. She added, “It also means that you can make art that’s affordable because you can make multiple prints. That’s important to me.”

Some of the prints currently on display at Kilpatrick Design came out of an exhibit curated by Tristin Miller at the Green Bean in Greensboro in which the participating artists were asked to paint their spirit animals.

“My spirit animal was not what I guessed it was,” Anderson said.

After some prodding she revealed that it was a wolverine, which she learned through a personality test.

“I didn’t even know that was a real animal,” she marveled. “The whole idea of spirit animals is good and bad. Gluttony is one aspect of a wolverine. You can have gluttony for something great like knowledge, but gluttony can obviously be bad. There’s also the quality of fierce protection. I wanted to pair that with feminine elements.”

Like many of Anderson’s other screen prints, the spirit animal series depicts female figures with exposed ribs, but some additionally superimpose canine incisors over the women’s mouths. “(spirit animal) core values” is perhaps the softest in the series, showing a house in the palm of the woman’s hand, an overlay of ferns and purple mountains in the background.

“I like to hope that the work speaks for itself,” Anderson said. “It may say different things to different people and say something different to someone than what I intended. I think it’s problematic for artists if they’re not willing to give up ownership of their work.”

The Elsewhere artists collaborative in Greensboro is accepting applications for 2014 residencies. The call for applications states, “Elsewhere’s three-story museum offers an evolving environment of living installations, public studios and materials that provides an experimental context for investigating material culture, rethinking process and practice, and developing new collaborative approaches. Elsewhere is an active participant in the vitalization of its emerging downtown neighborhood, and an exceptional place for rethinking things in everyday life.”

Visit goelsewhere.org/residencies for more information.

Nick Bragg, former executive director of Reynolda House, hosts a canvas-stretching workshop at Washington Perk in Winston-Salem on Thursday at 6 p.m. The event will also feature fine-wine sampling.

Scuppernong Books in Greensboro hosts an appearance by Alex Albright, author of The Forgotten First: B-1 and the Integration of the Modern Navy, on Friday at 7 p.m. Also in Greensboro on Friday, Josephus hosts his poetry café, including live music and vendors, at the Khalif Event Center from 9 to 11 p.m.

The Sawtooth Center for Visual Art hosts a sale of works by clients of the Enrichment Center at its gallery in the Milton Rhodes Arts Center in Winston-Salem on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Enrichment Center Percussion Ensemble performs from 1 to 3 p.m.

The Hirsch Wellness Network hosts a special event for cancer survivors, caregivers and their families to honor the life of artist Merry Moor Winnett at the Sechrest Art Gallery on the campus of High Point University on Dec. 15 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Call 336.803.1815 for more information.

Michael Edward Smith hosts an afternoon of art, music and food at 2802 Shady Lawn Drive in Greensboro on Dec. 15. !

WANNA go?

A joint exhibit of work by Woodie Anderson and Chad Beroth is on display at Kilpatrick Design, located at 801 N. Trade St. in Winston- Salem. Anderson also participates in an exhibit with SEED Collective, entitled Physical Universes, at the Davis Gallery in the Milton Rhodes Arts Center in Winston-Salem from Jan. 9 to Jan. 25.

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