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Island artists to show new work in Down Creek Gallery opening Wednesday evening

A photo of the Trumpeter Swan that sojourned this winter on Ocracoke, by Crystal Canterbury.

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Updated Sept. 25, 9:41 a.m., with correct starting time.

New works by island artists Crystal Canterbury, Kitty Mitchell and Debbie Wells will highlight the Expose Yourself to Art reception starting at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 26 in Down Creek Gallery.

The reception is open to all and will include refreshments and live music by April Trueblood.

Wells, who is the WOVV 90.1 FM general manager, began making artwork in the early 1990s, at first concentrating in transparent watercolors. 

Although she has attended several watercolor workshops, she considers herself largely self-taught.  During this early time, Wells showed extensively throughout the state with the North Carolina Watercolor Society and served for three years on their board of directors. 

“It was always a learning experience to show with a large variety of other artists from around the state, to meet and work with them, as we prepared for and participated in our annual shows,” she said.

Wells’ current work with acrylics on canvas, incorporate figurative suggestions in silhouette and landscape in abstracted surroundings. 

She also will show several 3-D pieces, some with bird skulls as the central element and a few small “cow altars.”

“My fascination with the theme of sacred cows continues,” she says.

Sacred Cow Altar, by Debbie Wells.

Photographer Crystal Canterbury has been photographing the island since her arrival, moving to Ocracoke from Columbia, Maryland, in 2010.

Though her background is in music, since relocating to Ocracoke her interests have shifted.

She works for the National Park Service, volunteers for N.E.S.T (Network for Endangered Sea Turtles), maintains the British Cemetery and writes for the Ocracoke Current.

She became interested in photography in 2014 and, since purchasing her first camera in 2015, focuses on scenic photographs and family portraits.

Her work can also be seen on her Facebook page: Crystal Canterbury Photography.

Kitty Martin Mitchell’s work is greatly inspired by her father Charles R. Martin who was a photographer.

Now, Ocracoke Island, its natural beauty, and its resident artists, afford sources of inspiration as she explores various media to bring attention to world events and global awareness.

She has a bachelor of arts degree in studio arts from the University of Pittsburgh and has been the Ocracoke School art teacher for many years.

She takes great pleasure and pride in “watching young artists bloom.” Mitchell believes that teaching has allowed her to stay in touch with the creative playfulness of children. This, Mitchell says, is an inspiring element to her work as she incorporates some of the fearlessness of children into “playing with paint and images.”

‘Your Mask Becomes You,’ painting by Kitty Martin Mitchell