Charlene Nield
The Art of Happenstance: Chance Meetings & Destined Friends

About the Exhibition

The Allegany Arts Council is pleased to announce Alexandria, Virginia-based artist Charlene Nield's exhibition, The Art of Happenstance: Chance Meetings & Destined Friends, to take place May 1-29, 2021 in the Saville Gallery. Originally from Allegany County, Charlene Nield creates paintings that celebrate color and the human and animal forms in all their glorious imperfections. Her work is funky and eclectic, combining representative, figurative, and abstract elements. In addition to Nield’s solo work, the show also includes pieces painted in collaboration with artist Ann Pickett. The two women work collaboratively under the name à deux, painting on the same surface at the same time.

Artist Statement

In many ways my exhibition, The Art of Happenstance: Chance Meetings & Destined Friends, is a homecoming for me and a bit of a personal exploration of what has happened since I’ve been gone.  But more importantly, this exhibition is about relationships, real and imagined, and my giddiness for the pure joy of life.

I never dreamed of being an artist, never even considered it, and certainly never trained for it, I was an avid art collector and was encouraged by an artist whose work I admired to pick up a brush and try my hand.  I was in my sixties when I first took that suggestion seriously and 10 years ago I had my first painting exhibited.

From the time I started painting I was delighted with the quirkiness of an uneven shoulder or an out-of-proportion appendage.  Rarely do my figures have facial features which invites the viewer to mentally complete the painting. From the outset I develop a relationship with the figure I’m painting. A personality emerges and a story unfolds and develops through layer upon layer of paint.  Color, texture, line and pattern helps to set the tone and mood. There’s always an underlying simplicity in the setting, a celebration of the subject and the moment and a reflection on the whimsy in everyday life.

As we collectively pass through the dark hours of the Covid pandemic and political divisiveness, it is more imperative than ever that we find a place of lightness and joy to renew our spirit.  My hope is that this exhibition is that crack in the universe where we can still find brightness and whimsy, letting the light shine through.