Down Creek Gallery continues its Summer Art Series — Expose Yourself to Art — with new works from local artists Debbie Wells, Crystal Canterbury, and Kitty Mitchell.

The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the Ocracoke gallery, 260 Irvin Garrish Hwy. The event, which is free and open to the public, also includes live musical entertainment by April Trueblood, adult beverages, and hors d’ oeuvres.

Debbie Wells

Wells’ foray into art began in the early 1990s, concentrating initially on transparent watercolor paintings on paper. Although she attended several watercolor workshops in the beginning, she considers herself largely self-taught. During this early time, Wells showed extensively throughout the state with the North Carolina Watercolor Society and served for three years on their board of directors.

“It was always a learning experience to show with a large variety of other artists from around the state, to meet and work with them, as we prepared for and participated in our annual shows,” Wells says. “My current paintings are acrylic on canvas, most starting with the same black ground or under painting. These images incorporate figurative suggestions in silhouette and landscape elements in abstracted surroundings. I am also showing several 3-D pieces, some with bird skulls as the central element and a few small cow altars — as my fascination with the theme of sacred cows — continues.”

Crystal Canterbury

Canterbury has been photographing the island upon her arrival, moving to Ocracoke from Columbia, Maryland, in 2010. Her background is in music, but since relocating to Ocracoke, her interests have shifted. She now volunteers regularly for the National Park Service and Network for Endangered Sea Turtles, works at the Ocracoke Visitor Center, maintains the British Cemetery, and writes for the Ocracoke Current. She became interested in photography in 2014, and, since purchasing her first camera in 2015, has thoroughly enjoyed taking scenic photographs and family portraits alike. You can find her work shown at Down Creek Gallery and Facebook at Crystal Canterbury Photography.

Kitty Martin Mitchell

Mitchell’s work is greatly inspired by her father Charles R. Martin, who was a photographer. She explores multiple mediums, oils, graphite, and acrylic paint. Mitchell often utilizes many themes within her paintings that bring attention to world events, centralizing on global awareness. Kitty earned a Bachelor of Art degree with a focus in studio arts at The University of Pittsburgh and has been painting ever since.

Mitchell currently instructs the art program at Ocracoke School. Mitchell says teaching has allowed her to stay in touch with the creative playfulness of children.


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