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Heritage art teacher featured in gallery

posted Jan 30, 2018, 5:40 AM by Cheryl Shuffler   [ updated Feb 1, 2018, 7:41 AM ]

Heritage Middle School art teacher David Clayton will exhibit abstract paintings at the Rock School Arts Gallaries. The opening reception for the exhibit is from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8 at the Old Rock School in Valdese. Clayton grew up in Cullowhee, North Carolina. After high school, he left his mountain community to study art at East Carolina University, where he received a bachelor's of fine arts degree. He later extended his studies, receiving a teacher’s certification from Lenoir-Rhyne College. In 1989, Clayton started working for Burke County Public Schools. For the past 28 years he has taught art at every grade level, fostering young people's understanding and love of art. He said, “My art is a process of discovery. Ideas are conceived, personal imagery is selected, preliminary drawings are developed, and then I paint. Through exploration, subject and imagery yields to the versatility and possibility of the media. Color, line, pattern, texture become paramount. The initial imagery becomes a structure, not unlike the frame of a house, upon which I explore the abstract. It is difficult for me to talk about my approach to a painting without mentioning the word varied. On a single work the paint may be applied many different ways. Thick, opaque paints are applied next to thin washes and glazes. Edges range from soft to hard. Lines and marks oscillate between deliberate and found. In this diversity, I seek resolution. In this apparent chaos, a visual unity.” Clayton and his wife, Hope, have three sons, Jake, Aaron, and Ansel. Also on display will be the work of Chris Parsons, an art teacher from Bethlehem, North Carolina. The Rock School art galleries are located at 400 Main St. W., on the right side entrance, second floor of the Old Rock School Building. Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays by appointment. Call 828-879-2129. Visit rockschoolartgalleries.com or www.visitvaldese.com.