Fred Saunders's painting Coquina will be among the featured pieces of his artwork on display during a Chowan Arts Council Members Exhibit. An opening exhibit will be held Friday evening, May 16. The exhibit will hang in the gallery through May 31. Other featured artists will include Burton Jones and Eric Swenson.

Rebecca Bunch/Chowan Herald

Fred Saunders's painting Coquina will be among the featured pieces of his artwork on display during a Chowan Arts Council Members Exhibit. An opening exhibit will be held Friday evening, May 16. The exhibit will hang in the gallery through May 31. Other featured artists will include Burton Jones and Eric Swenson.

Chowan Arts Council ‘members only’ exhibit opens Friday

From staff reports

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EDENTON — You can call it a “members only” event, but the public is invited to experience the art of Chowan Arts Council members Friday, during a reception in Edenton. It is here that you’ll see new works by some of your neighbors and even some of the region’s favored painters such as Fred Saunders.

The Chowan Arts Council opens its season of events each year with a Members Only Contest during which all members are eligible to submit a current piece of artwork and have it judged at the opening reception.

Voting is open to CAC members only. First, second and third place winners earn the privilege of being the featured artists during a Members Exhibit held each spring.

Featured artists at this year’s exhibit, which opens with a reception on Friday, at 5:30 p.m. at the CAC Gallery in downtown Edenton will be Saunders, Burton Jones, and Eric Swenson. Their work will hang in the gallery throughout the month of May.

Saunders, a Bertie County resident, practiced medicine until 2004. Beginning in the late 1970s, he began producing oils and watercolor paintings that primarily depict the beauty of landscapes, rural and maritime architecture that dot eastern North Carolina.

His work is show throughout the region and has garnered a number of awards for the late-in-life artist.

Jones, who along with Swenson, lives in Chowan County, creates his works of art exclusively in oil. A self-taught artist who has owned and operated two commercial art galleries, Jones primarily focuses his paintings on marine-related subjects.

Saunders and Swenson were recent participants in the Cupola House fundraiser “Easels in the Gardens (and on Porches too).

According to his website, Swenson studied art at Portland State University and Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Swenson said he is interested in the relationship between photography and painting and that interest is reflected in his work.

“The images I’m drawn to are often heroic in nature and I choose them for the visual or emotional quality they resonate,” Swenson wrote on his website. “I resource photographic images anywhere I can find them, whether I take the photographs myself or find them online or in magazines.”

Anyone interested in more information about the exhibit may contact the arts council at 252-482-8005.