The Gallery

The gallery at Glencoe Museum exhibits the art and works of contemporary Appalachian artists from around the New River Valley and Southwest Virginia.

Driven to Abstraction

Featuring the works of Ruth Cline and Shaun C. Whiteside


Ruth Cline

Just Dive In by Ruth ClineRuth Cline has always loved to draw, paint and do all things visually creative. She studied speech pathology and audiology and received her master’s degree in special education. Eventually, she went back to school to get an art degree. She studied Illustration with an emphasis in portraiture at UNC Charlotte and graduated summa cum laude with a BFA. Life got in the way of becoming a full-time artist for a number of years, but recently she has returned to her first love.

Artist Statement:

My abstract work is influenced by my love of old billboards with numerous layers peeling away, with aged walls, with their blistered paint, especially the ones that show advertisements fading away. I like the playful surprise of colors peeking through the patinas.

I also draw inspiration from elements of nature. One day while walking down the sidewalk of a large city, we came upon large panels of granite. The patterns were amazing. I had to take photos. The patterns from worm’s and other creature’s travels can be found in old bark, the patterns that raindrops make on a sidewalk provide inspiration too. But the relationships between shapes as well as colors, simple combinations of color and line, all play a key part in my artwork.

I begin with a loose idea as a starting point. I print my papers using a gelatin plate using several of acrylic paint. I like to explore different techniques and color combinations. Many times a print that has great texture becomes my base. From there, I start creating some of the larger shapes or make some marks that will be the next layer. I keep adding and subtracting until I’m satisfied with the result. But sometimes I’m not satisfied, but don’t know what it needs. I may put it aside for a few days or even a year before I find the piece(s) that will make it complete.

I leave my artwork open to interpretation by the viewer and hope you enjoy viewing them!

Shaun C. Whiteside

Shape study by Shaun C. WhitesideShaun C. Whiteside works with acrylic paint in a style most influenced by Abstract Expressionism, with an emphasis on the metaphysical and emotional realm, rather than on optical reality. Using several layers of thin glazes, partially washed away, he creates oppressively dense atmospheric environments, with biomorphic, liquid shapes within them.

Whiteside graduated with a BA from CNU’s art department in 2007, and received an MFA from Radford University in 2011, where he studied under Doctor Halide Salam. He is currently an adjunct instructor at Radford University.

Artist Statement:

My work explores the metaphysical or emotional realm through a painting and drawing process that employs physical forces. I depict emotional energies such as grief, despair, isolation, and anxiety by utilizing physical energies such as gravity, water erosion, and sedimentation. By working on a vertical, horizontal, or slightly inclined surface, I use gravity itself as a medium to develop imagery that is dictated by natural law. Water erosion and sedimentation also determine parts of the visual outcome, as pigments are swept away from certain areas, and deposited in others where water accumulates and evaporates. I use the visual forms that develop to depict emotional forces and energies that are unseen but very real powers in the world. I see it as my duty as an artist to render visible these invisible sensations, and my creative process acts as a metaphor for the themes of powerlessness that inspire my work. Moreover, by incorporating natural forces into my drawing and painting process, I am simultaneously exalting natural order while decrying the iniquities created by human order. I sometimes combine this process with selected geometric shapes to create a spatial frame of reference as well as tension in the juxtaposition of the natural with the artificial.

Both the emotions I depict and the process I use are rooted in natural energies; therefore I refer to my work as a New Naturalism. Rather than using ‘naturalism’ in the traditional aesthetic sense, in reference to a precise duplication of nature’s outward appearance, I explore a concept of naturalism that involves obedience to natural forces. In the words of Robert Motherwell, “one might say that the true way to ‘imitate’ nature is to employ its own processes.”

“Driven to Abstraction” is on display through June 1, 2018. Plan your visit.