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Home Is Where the Art Is


Please don’t make me out to be an aficionado,” Mark Lynch quipped, when asked about his favorite style of art. The owner of Quality Sound and Video on Bragg Boulevard and his wife, Denise, a Certified Financial Planner with Morgan Stanley, have been collecting eye-catching pieces for the past thirty years to display in their home. 

Mark journeyed to Fort Bragg in the 1970s as an Army Aviator. Here is where he met his hometown girl. They are working parents to only child, Vincent. Not only are their lives filled with business, but also charity as Mark was a past District Governor of Rotary Club 7730 and currently serves on the boards for Community Concerts and the Crown Complex. Denise co-chairs the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign in Cumberland County and also serves as co-chair of the Women’s Giving Circle. It can be argued that philanthropists usually have impressive art collections. But, Mark is quick to share, “For me, art collection isn’t a wealth building exercise. It’s an opportunity to have quality work enhance your life while you’re at home.”

Mark and Denise choose pieces that remind them of significant times in their lives or pieces that commemorate trips they have taken. From the Lantana Cottages of Bermuda to Spain and South America, the goal to which they aspire: “the timeline of our life and travels,” can be found on the walls of their home. 

Their Life In Art

One of Mark’s favorite pieces, a nighttime island scene by Steven Power, was purchased on a family trip to Hawaii, yet is of a Tahitian shoreline. The painting style is hand-embellished oil, which is a modern way to capture vibrant landscapes by mechanically transferring a photograph or painting to canvas, then adding, or “embellishing,” original detail by hand. An increasingly popular niche in the art world, embellished paintings often offers a collector the opportunity to own an original at a more affordable price. 

One of Denise’s favorite artists is Romero Britto, a Brazillian pop artist, painter and sculptor. Mark and Denise’s Britto collection includes everything from what Mark jokingly described as, “a well-framed poster” to a sculpture and a print signed by the artist himself. “There are many different ways to enjoy the work of an artist,” Mark said.  

Other notables in their eclectic home collection include an original drawing of Mickey and Minnie Mouse by David Willardson, best known for his work in creating Disney’s animated movie posters from the 1980s into the early 2000s. Now part of the “pep art movement,” Willardson renders these cultural icons with vibrant color and elevated personality. 

The Lynch’s original art collection is rounded out by a three-dimensional acrylic and an oil painting by popular Canadian artist Eric Waugh, and work by Fayetteville’s own Greg Hathaway, owner of Greg’s Art, Pottery & Gifts on Maxwell Street. 

Where to Start

Mark’s humble approach to collecting art simplifies what may seem a very daunting, cerebral and expensive hobby. Instead, he suggests finding pieces that have personal meaning. “Don’t worry about whether a famous person painted it. Focus on what you like and make sure what you’re paying is in line with your desire for the piece.” Mark suggested online research in discerning a fair price for art, but he cautioned, “Whether it costs five dollars or one million dollars, it needs to have some meaning to you.” 

On a trip to Madrid several years ago, Mark and Denise ventured to the Museo de Prada. There, they purchased a few colorful paintings that are at the entrance to Casa de Lynch. “The artist’s name is Yantani. I remember so I know if he ever becomes famous," chuckled Denise.

Local Opportunities & Exposure

Anne Rawson, Community Investments Director of the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County, echoed Mark’s visceral sentiments when approaching art: “You can say that you simply purchase a few pieces of art, or you can say that you’re a collector with a more deliberate approach to what you purchase. Either way, the connector is passion – to get pieces that speak deeply to you. All collections begin that way.” 

For residents of Fayetteville and Cumberland County, there exists a wealth of learning opportunities and exposure to local artists (for free!). 

Through June 21st, the Arts Council, at 301 Hay Street, will host their annual Public Works 2014, sponsored by the Public Works Commission. In this public call (where all local artists are invited to participate), more than 100 works will represent a cross section of subjects, styles and skill levels of the community. 

In July, the Arts Council will feature an edgy exhibit called “Expressions of an Environment” from June 27th through July 19th, where local residents can experience the intensity of the urban environment through art. 

Of collectors in particular, Anne stressed their vital role the art community. Her feelings are embodied by Mary Gabriel in one of her favorite quotes regarding two of the most famous art collectors in history, Etta and Claribel Cone:

“Collectors are the invisible, indispensable, and underappreciated hand that first provides artists with the money needed to create their work, and then provides the public the opportunity to see their creations. All collectors but a few are left out of the folklore of art history, as if the people who pay for the art are somehow less important than the other personages orbiting the artist – the dealer, for example, or even the critic. But the collectors’ passion for art, not to mention their discerning eye for up-and-coming artists, have allowed some of the world’s greatest artists to survive and thrive – and contemporary audiences to appreciate them first-hand. But for the collectors, art history might well have taken an entirely different shape and direction.’’