Hyder Gallery showcases zebra artwork
Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Updated: Thursday, March 15, 2012 20:03
Downtown Sanford is a quaint area, home to a variety of boutique stores, antique shops and art galleries. Tucked along the brick road of East First Street is the Hyder Gallery Center for Fine Art. New to the area, the family-owned Hyder Gallery is still trying to dig its roots in and has much to offer.
“Zebras, Zebras, Zebras” is the name of the current feature exhibit at the gallery. Lori Harris, artist and assistant director of the Hyder Gallery, displays a collection of eight works of art using a variety of art forms. Harris’ inspiration comes from the bold simplicity in the white and black of a zebra’s stripes.
“The two colors [are] bold and yet simple. It’s very classy and you can do a lot, even the whimsical like my ‘Pink Zebra,’” Harris said.
A macro painting of a zebra with pink fur and great attention to detail, the Pink Zebra is hard to miss.
The Pink Zebra is 17-year-old gallery assistant Emily Hart’s favorite piece of the collection.
“I like the detail of the fur she created using pen, and the frame is black which adds a good contrast to the pink,” Hart said. “It’s a little different.”
The collection took Harris two months to complete, during which she created the works with few references, using mostly visual memory. Ranging from close-up paintings to full-body drawings, each piece has its own special twist. Harris created variety with what could have been a potentially limited subject matter.
Hart said it takes a very focused and determined individual to create a collection like “Zebras, Zebras, Zebras.”
The Hyder Gallery is owned and run by Harris’ mother, Sharon Hyder, 68, of Sanford. Hyder was an art teacher at the University of Virginia at Wise, and Harris recalls having art tools readily available in her house growing up. This made it almost inevitable that she would follow in her mother’s footsteps. Harris currently teaches art classes alongside her mother at the Hyder Gallery.
“She specializes in portraits, but she loves animals,” Hyder said of her daughter’s artistic talents.
The “Zebras, Zebras, Zebras” exhibit displays just that – Harris’ ability to create life-like animal portraits.
As she stands next to two charcoal drawings of zebra portraits, Harris tells a story of how she drew the bottom zebra incorrectly.
She laughed and said, “I call it a Zorse; Zebras have more donkey-like features, but as I was drawing this one, halfway through I noticed I had drawn a horse.”
A soft-spoken woman, Harris quietly points out every detail in each work from the small fly in the corner of her giant zebra painting “The Zebra and the Fly” to the inaccuracy of her depiction of a zebra in what she calls her "Zorse.” Talking to her about the collection is like having a private tour.
Harris spent years searching through different creative careers, once working as a bridal gown seamstress and then as a wedding cake designer, before she took her hobby of painting and made it a full-time job.
The thick black zebra stripes of the collection are a reoccurring theme throughout the Hyder Gallery, not just in Harris’ paintings but also in furniture pieces created by CaVR Designs that accompany the artwork.
In a gallery scattered with artwork, it is easy for works to drown in the sea visual stimulation, but Harris’ black-and-white zebra collection stands out in stark contrast to the multitude of shapes and colors the Hyder Gallery has to offer.
The exhibit is available for viewing until March 22.