I now know what a clerestory is, after my visit to Dane Carder’s studio in the old May Hosiery Mill.  It’s an upper level with windows and no floor, allowing generous helpings of daylight to push effortlessly into every corner of the space below.  The diffused light that results is perfect for showing a palette’s true colors, so necessary for Dane’s dramatic renderings of Civil War era photographs in paint.  His series, Ghosts and Hopes, lines the east wall of the studio, familiar faces stoically reminding the viewer that there was so little to smile about in those years of sad loss.  From time to time, Dane will host another artist’s work for a few weeks on this same wall, providing a gallery opportunity for the area.

Dane works alone.  He prefers the solitude that allows his bountiful energies room to have their full effect.  Tables and cabinets abound, along with several reminders of his all-important family - red and white plastic chairs from a family kitchen, his great grandmother’s dresser (which his young daughter occasionally appropriates as her work surface), and his own clothes chest from boyhood days.  Perhaps the most curious is the white wooden table chair with only one arm, and a red one at that.  And then there is the comfy couch for break time, further cushioned by the quilted college bannered blanket.  All work and no play....

From the artist:   (When asked why so much interest in the Civil War)  “I was born here.  It’s in the dirt.  In the air.”

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