Last year, North Carolina lost one of its greatest artists, Sallie Middleton. Middleton was an Asheville resident and spent her childhood in Chunn’s Cove. Her father had been a dyed-in-the-wool naturalist, forever outside looking and watching, and he instilled in Sallie the love he felt for nature. She was taught to notice everything.
As a young woman, Sallie did what every other well-heeled young lady of her time did: she married, performed charitable duties, worked for a political party, and dabbled in art as a hobby. After some years, when her marriage failed, she brought her children back to Asheville and they took up residence in her uncle’s home in Chunn’s Cove, where her art began to take shape. She remained there and worked at her painting for several decades before her death.
From July 16th through December 5th, 2010, the Asheville Museum will be hosting a retrospective of Sallie’s paintings. You will be able to see for yourself some of the most detailed and perfect reproductions of nature you will ever have the opportunity to see. You might enjoy searching for Sallie’s trademark blue jay feather that she included somewhere in most of her paintings. Sometimes they are very well concealed.
If you would like a preview of what to expect at the exhibit, you can check out The Magical Realm of Sallie Middleton by Celestine Sibley. The reproductions are very well done and offer a tantalizing glimpse into the world and imaginings of this very gifted North Carolina artist.