Asheville’s Alicia Armstrong paints memories, longings, dreams, inconsistencies. A single work often incorporates the questions posed by contrasts – both literal and conceptual – and captures the inescapable and dichotomous realities of life: joy and suffering, light and dark, closeness and distance.
Armstrong’s parents, both artists in their own right, fostered her artistic nature and art was an important part of her childhood world. She holds a BFA with a concentration in Oil Painting from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and stood out early on as the winner of the Fine Art department‘s academic leadership award.
The images are contemplative and sometimes playful takes on the often bewildering constructs and confines of postmodern life. Armstrong paints primarily on wood panels using graphite, oil, and charcoal; her process produces highly textural works, whose layers help convey the beauty and struggle of movement and transition. A self-described “mark maker,” her images resonate with a diverse group of viewers and collectors. It’s easy to identify with the struggles of her figures: a man whose bottom half is a wheel, engaging in a Sisyphean struggle up a vaguely delineated mountain, paired with disembodied boats seemingly floating toward an uncertain destination; siblings pushing and pulling at each other over a gulf, or a lifetime; a woman pondering choices.
Her paintings are included in numerous private collections, as well as those of the University of North Carolina at Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium and Asheville’s Bravo Concert Series. They also grace many gallery walls in Asheville and the southeast.