Skip to main content

The French Connection | By Margaret Fisher

02/01/2010 12:33PM, Published by Anonymous, Categories:



Sunday, Oct. 11 “We journeyed to the cliff town of Rocamador today. … There is a grand cathedral in the top center of town. Those on pilgrimages would walk up the hundreds of stone steps on their knees to reach the cathedral. Walking down those same steps I felt a wave of emotion fill me.”

 

New city, new baby, new grief, new joy, and now another “first,” artist Jeniffer Hutchins’ first solo show in Fayetteville. Like layer upon layer of paint upon canvas, it’s an exhibit of transformation. From the first meeting of brush to paper, she discovered in school a passion for oil painting and fellow artist Dan Hutchins. They married in 2000 and the next year, Hutchins finished a degree in art education from Rhode Island College. She began a succession of teaching jobs that took her from Rhode Island to San Diego and back east to Raleigh. “I just love that energy being around children,” she said, “but I decided I wasn’t devoting time to art.” So she quit teaching and focused on painting. The North Carolina scenery inspired two series of landscapes, “Carolina Back-Roads,” exhibited at The Nature of Art Gallery in Cary, and “Our Backyard” at the Sertoma Art Center in Raleigh. Hutchins even collaborated with a photographer to capture just the right light, the perfect outdoor moment in the “Backyard” series. In fact, Hutchins rarely turns her brush on people, and even when she does, seldom are they the focal point. In “Gone Fishing,” an empty dock becomes the viewer’s dock, no one else’s. It’s a tool Hutchins often uses to make a link between a painting and its audience. “It connects the viewer with the place,” she said. “It sort of becomes the connection between man and nature and man and God, to bring it in that deeper level.” But above all, it’s a sense of peace that Hutchins wants to convey in her paintings, a lush field in “Fenceposts” or a rich sunset in “Grace.” But Hutchins also knows about life’s upheavals. Two years ago, her husband accepted a job as a lead artist at Immersion Media, a Fayetteville computer animation and graphic design firm. The couple also discovered they were expecting their first child. Hutchins called her mother, Janice Gilbert, in Rhode Island with the exciting news. Hutchins said her mother was so elated it gave her reason to take care of a medical problem she had been avoiding and hadn’t mentioned to anyone. Within the week, Gilbert saw a doctor about the lump on her arm, a lump that turned out to be a rare form of cancer which had spread to her brain and lungs. As Gilbert endured brain surgery and chemotherapy, Hutchins was faced with buying and painting a house, moving, adjusting to pregnancy and worrying about her mother. “It was just an overwhelming amount of emotions at that time,” she said. Her mother insisted she was doing well and her daughter didn’t need to come to Rhode Island. Then, her aunt called in tears and told her she needed to come right away. At her mother’s side, Hutchins only had time for a few words – Gilbert would never live to meet her grandson. Hutchins was soon overwhelmed with mind-boggling obligations and expectations in Rhode Island and in between, in Raleigh and Fayetteville. “Honestly, I would wake up in the morning and not know where I (was),” she said. With all the turmoil, she completely stopped painting. Sometime after the birth of her son, she began to feel a deep guilt about having given up the artistic part of herself. But with a new baby to take care of, there was little time for creative indulgences. Instead of oil painting, Hutchins turned to journaling and collages using acrylics. She had done both before, but now she was using the medium as a means to sort through her emotions and reconnect with her creativity. At first, she simply slapped paint around with her hands. Her first collage was dark. She added meaningful quotes mingled with paint, then various kinds of paper. Just as she made these first forays back into the world of art, an opportunity arrived for an artist’s retreat to France. With her husband’s encouragement, she went. “It’s what I needed to push me to the next step,” she said. In early October, Hutchins traveled to France with a group of North Carolina artists. For a week, she and 12 other women made the ancient Le Vieux Couvent their retreat. The church bells would ring at 7 a.m. to begin days filled with delicious food and travels to out-of-the-way villages and scenic areas. Hutchins kept a journal of her time in France. She also began sketching quick drawings in charcoal and capturing hundreds of photos to be used as artistic fodder back home. When she returned to Fayetteville, Hutchins finished her first painting in two years, a tiny cottage in a floral garden. The trip to France not only refreshed and inspired her, it gave her a different outlook on art. Her repertoire of collages has changed as she layers paint, photographs, magazine cutouts and inspiring quotes with thoughts and emotions. Nature and inspiring words have replaced dark gloomy colors. The collages portray the present with hints of the past peeking through; the art is evolving. Hutchins says the changes, even the temporary departure from painting, were necessary steps in her creative search for self. No longer does she define herself as an oil painter but as an artist. “(Change) forces you to realize your own definition of self and who you think you were,” Hutchins said recently, “and, more importantly, who you feel you are now.” Jeniffer Hutchins will be exhibiting a variety of her works at Olde Town Gallery, 124 Maxwell Street, March 4 through May 31. A reception will be held at 7 p.m., March 4.



latest news and events


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/19/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/20/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Fayetteville FireAntz Game

    01/20/2017
    07:30PM

    Come see the Fayetteville FireAntz, a professional minor-league hockey team, battle it out agains...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/20/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Yoga for Runners

    01/21/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    Join The Runners Spot & Clare from Clarityoga for a yoga clinic for runners on January 21st at 9:...


  • Be a part of Fayetteville’s newest premier event, Fayetteville’s Ultimate Lip Sync Showdown, to b...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Fayetteville FireAntz Game

    01/21/2017
    07:30PM

    Come see the Fayetteville FireAntz, a professional minor-league hockey team, battle it out agains...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/21/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Tai Chi for Health

    01/24/2017
    10:00AM

    Practice this flowing eastern exercise with instructor Rich Martin while overlooking the Garden. ...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/19/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/20/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Fayetteville FireAntz Game

    01/20/2017
    07:30PM

    Come see the Fayetteville FireAntz, a professional minor-league hockey team, battle it out agains...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/20/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Yoga for Runners

    01/21/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    Join The Runners Spot & Clare from Clarityoga for a yoga clinic for runners on January 21st at 9:...


  • Be a part of Fayetteville’s newest premier event, Fayetteville’s Ultimate Lip Sync Showdown, to b...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Fayetteville FireAntz Game

    01/21/2017
    07:30PM

    Come see the Fayetteville FireAntz, a professional minor-league hockey team, battle it out agains...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/21/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Be a part of Fayetteville’s newest premier event, Fayetteville’s Ultimate Lip Sync Showdown, to b...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/22/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Hot Chocolate 4 Miler

    01/22/2017
    04:00PM — 05:00PM

    Who doesn't love a hot cup of cocoa on those cold winter days? We sure do! Join The Runners Spot ...


  • Tai Chi for Health

    01/24/2017
    10:00AM

    Practice this flowing eastern exercise with instructor Rich Martin while overlooking the Garden. ...


  • Slimming Event: Chance to Win!

    01/26/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Get your girlfriends together for this fun and informative event and a chance to win a FREE sessi...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/26/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • The Museum of the Cape Fear will sponsor the 16th Annual Civil War Quiz Bowl. Contestants will te...


  • Hang Out Thursdays & Social Ballroom Dance

    01/26/2017
    07:00PM — 11:00PM

    Come join the fun every 4th Thursday of the month! Hang Out Thursdays & Social Ballroom Dance V...


  • Handel: Water Music

    01/26/2017
    07:30PM

    Thursday, January 26th, 2017 | 7:30pm St. John’s Episcopal Church 302 Green St., Fayetteville, ...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • 5th Annual Evening of Excellence & Expo

    01/27/2017
    12:00PM — 08:00PM

    You are cordially invited to the biggest beauty & aesthetics event in North Carolina!  View the e...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/27/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/27/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Birthday Dance & Potluck

    01/27/2017
    09:00PM — 01:00AM

    Celebrate your birthday month with others every 4th Friday of the month! Birthday dance & potluc...


  • CountrySide's All American Dream Meet

    01/28/2017
    08:00AM — 10:00PM

    January 28 & 29, 2017 Off-Site Location: Reid Ross Classical School 3200 Ramsey Street Faye...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • CountrySide's All American Dream Meet

    01/29/2017
    08:00AM — 08:00PM

    January 28 & 29, 2017 Off-Site Location: Reid Ross Classical School 3200 Ramsey Street Faye...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    01/29/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Child Trafficking Forum

    01/30/2017
    06:30PM

    The Child Advocacy Center and the Fayetteville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc...


  • Tai Chi for Health

    01/31/2017
    10:00AM

    Practice this flowing eastern exercise with instructor Rich Martin while overlooking the Garden. ...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/02/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/03/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Super Bowl Pub Run

    02/03/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Wear your favorite Football Jersey and go for a 2 mile run/walk or 3.5 mile run/walk. We will be...


  • Didg Revolution is composed of Darren Liebman, Rob Thomas, and Tanya Gerard. Thomas and Gerard ar...


  • Fayetteville FireAntz Game

    02/03/2017
    07:30PM

    Come see the Fayetteville FireAntz, a professional minor-league hockey team, battle it out agains...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/03/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


  • Fayetteville FireAntz Game

    02/04/2017
    07:30PM

    Come see the Fayetteville FireAntz, a professional minor-league hockey team, battle it out agains...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/04/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • Classic Nashville Roadshow

    02/05/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    Classic Nashville Roadshow brings you some of the most unforgettable songs in country history jus...


  • 5k Beginner Running Series

    02/05/2017
    04:00PM — 05:00PM

    4 week Training series: Let the Runners Spot help you train for your 1st 5k this year. This is ...


  • Tai Chi for Health

    02/07/2017
    10:00AM

    Practice this flowing eastern exercise with instructor Rich Martin while overlooking the Garden. ...


  • Free Diabetes Clinic

    02/08/2017
    09:30AM — 12:00PM

    Better Health will offer a free diabetes clinic at the Spring Lake Senior Center, located on 301 ...


  • The David McCune International Art Gallery at Methodist University will host a photography exhibi...


  • Fall in love with The Little Mermaid all over again, featuring Ariel, Sebastian and more in this ...


CityView Facebook
CityView Family Facebook