For the month of May, local artists Cathy Nichols and Sylvia McCollum will be featured in the F.W. Gallery at Woolworth Walk. Come meet Cathy and Sylvia and enjoy the opening reception from 5-7 p.m. on May 4.
Cathy is a full-time encaustic artist, oracle card and stencil designer and the author of Storytelling Art Studio: Visual Expressions of Character, Mood and Theme in Mixed Media, as well as the star of the Storytelling Art Collection of DVDs. For many years, you may have also seen her paintings on Sherpani's Modern Vintage line of Elements handbags. In 2014, Cathy moved to Asheville from New York on a quest to survive and thrive as an artist and mom. Her commitment to the artistic life began several years earlier when she pinned up Ghandi's quote, "Be the change that you wish to see in the world" next to a 4x4 foot canvas and tore up her applications to law school.
Cathy likes to use all kinds of “non-regulation” stuff in her paintings such as fire-tempting beeswax cooked on a hotplate, torn paper, melted oil sticks and song lyrics. Growing up, her grandmother called her "Sunshine Girl," and maybe this is why she can never resist sprinkling in a few rhinestones at the last minute. Plus, let’s face it, glitter is fun. Her paintings are little packages of joy shipped out from her to you.
Sylvia’s jewelry designs express universal themes of strength, hope, joy, boldness and humor by incorporating timeless symbols within the shapes, textures, accents and stones to evoke and compliment the passions of the wearer. Many of her designs incorporate circles.
As a two-time breast cancer survivor, she uses circles in her designs to symbolize life, endless hope, and courage. After her first diagnosis in 2009, she developed Circles of Hope. In 2015 when she was diagnosed again, she developed Circles of Hope and Hearts of Love.
Sylvia’s latest collection is called Circles of Hope and Faces of Courage. This collection uses carved buffalo bone as faces paired with various stones, which are chosen because of the metaphysical properties the stones possess. She uses a variety of processes, stones, textures and patinas to get the perfect design for that special treasure for the wearer.
All her work is created in her studio in the Asheville area. It is completely fabricated by her with minor assistance from her two Shi Tzu girls, Luci Moon and Zoey. They provide comedy, emotional support, and inspiration. She uses a variety of silver and gold to transform her thoughts into wearable art. She also uses a variety of stones, textures and patinas to obtain just the design for that special treasure.
25 Haywood Street Asheville, NC 28801 (828) 254-9234;
Gallery Hours: Mon-Thurs. 11-6 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 11-7 p.m., Sun. 11-5 p.m.