Mary Bassell art 2014                In the Shadows, Kitty Mitchell                                           Wave, Katy Mitchell


South Point Road by Mary Bassell           In the shadows by Kitty Mitchell                    Wave by Katy Mitchell

Down Creek Gallery, 260 Irvin Garrish Highway, in the heart of the village next to Community Square has a new owner. Islander Marissa Gross purchased the gallery in July and plans to continue the successes of previous owner Tony McGowan, who had it for nine years.

“I feel that (my purchasing this gallery) is one of the few times in my life that I’m in the right place at the right time,” Gross said before one of the Thursday evening artists’ reception she plans to continue.

A photographer with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Arizona, Gross has worked in gallery management, as a visual merchandiser with J. Crew and, most recently, as a massage therapist. She is also an avid daily runner having competed in seven marathons and countless 10k events including the Ocracoke race held in April. Down Creek will continue the tradition of showcasing local artists work in August with two new “Expose Yourself to Art” openings from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14 and 28.  These openings are open to all and feature refreshments and live music.

Thursday, Aug. 14, will highlight new works by island pastel artist Mary Bassell.

She has worked in various media including papier-mâché, watercolor and jewelry, and has designed residential stained glass windows.  Working in pastel for more than 15 years, Bassell is drawn to the physical and immediate response of pastel on paper.  The liveliness of the pastel palette allows for a fresh and spontaneous exploration of the play of light and shadows that the atmosphere and the ambient light Ocracoke offers.  A long-time studio artist, Bassell recently has become enamored with working outdoors, or in plein air.

“It is the ordinary things about the Ocracoke landscape that catches my attention, like the edge of the marsh, the trail of a sandy road or the reflections of sky in water,” she says.

At her studio on the Back Road she also offers pastel painting classes.

Mother-daughter duo Kitty Martin Mitchell and Katy Mitchell will show their new works at the gallery on Aug. 28.

Kitty earned a bachelor’s degree in studio arts at the University of Pittsburgh and has been painting ever since. She has exhibited in many juried shows including currently at the Cape Fear Studios 2014 Annual National 2-D Exhibit. She has taught art at Ocracoke School for 24 years and enjoys watching young artists bloom. Teaching gives her a chance to stay in touch with the creative playfulness of children and she incorporates some of their fearlessness into her own experimenting with paint and images.

Katy Mitchell studied art at Appalachian State University and currently operates the Pigments of Your Imagination Paint Parties at Deepwater Theater with her mother. The multi-talented Katy has been designing clothes and has also recently released her second album “Katy Sings the Blues,” available at island shops. Katy will also provide music for the opening reception.

For more information on the artists visit the gallery, or call 252-928-4400.



Former Down Creek Gallery owner with new owner Marissa Gross  photo by C Leinbach

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