Riding the Stick Horse by Laura Hughes

in the Nicholson Gallery



“There’s no one with intelligence in this town except that man over there playing with the children, the one riding the stick horse. He has keen, fiery insight and vast dignity like the night sky, but he conceals it in the madness of child’s play.” – Rumi


These large-scale equine paintings are a wild and free exploration of the grace and power of the horse form. Their titles are taken from the 13th-century Sufi mystic Rūmī’s poems, who’s themes deal with union with the Beloved/God. Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry and dance as a path for reaching God. I believe this transcendent experience is also found in any creative pursuit. This wildly colorful and textural group of paintings seek to capture the magnificence of the horse, with generous decorative reality.


Laura Berendsen Hughes is a graphic designer and fine artist. She has a BFA in sculpture from UNC – Chapel Hill and has lived in Durham for over 40 years. While her work as a graphic artist and illustrator has always been about composition and communication, she has recently returned to working in fine art where the goal is original creativity not messaging. She is exhibiting acrylic equine inspired paintings on that bridge realism and abstraction and rely on the beauty and drama of the horse as an alternative to the human figure.




Painting title: “There is a Community of the Spirit” – Rumi

40” x 65” Acrylic on Board


Exhibition on display April 2 – May 12.


Opening Reception: Friday, April 13th 6-8pm in the Nicholson Gallery and will be held in conjunction with the 2nd Friday ArtWalk.


Microcosmic Reflections

by April’s Emerging Artist Dorian Monsalve

in the ArtsCenter Corridor



Dorian’s artwork consists of scratching away layers of colored ink that he applies by dripping/covering with plastic and other organic elements, to create texture and imagery. Using sharp knives, a fiber glass brush, steel wool and other tools, he reveals and creates highly detailed miniature dreamscapes.


Dorian has been experimenting with this medium for 12 years, always challenging himself and bringing this medium “experimental scratchboard” to a new level. He always feel inspired and transported into an infinite surreal world full of bright colors, deep contrast, fantasy images, and miniature beings awaiting to be revealed.


As he continues experimenting and evolving with this medium, he becomes more aware of his own purpose in life:


“To recognize oneself a microcosmos and all living beings as one with the universe; to bring awareness of the collective consciousness through art as a healing tool, and to awaken by accepting and loving one another just as we are. I am one with the Universe, therefore creativity is infinite.”


Exhibition on display April 2-30.


Opening Reception: Friday, April 13th 6-8pm in the Nicholson Gallery and will be held in conjunction with the 2nd Friday ArtWalk.


Applications are accepted on a continuous basis for the Nicholson Gallery. If you are interested in exhibiting in the Nicholson Gallery at The ArtsCenter, contact Dan Mayer at dmayer@artscenterlive.org. Applications for the Emerging Artist Series will be accepted during select periods.


Annual ArtsCenter Exhibits:

  • Student Exhibit (March)
  • Instructor Exhibit (September)
  • Community Art Exhibit (December)


**Please note that all gallery sales are final.