LENOIR — The Caldwell Arts Council announced a new exhibition titled “Outside the Lines,” featuring paintings by Steve Brooks and Joe Lafone of Hickory. The exhibition will open Friday, July 1 and continue through Friday, Aug. 26.

“A self-described ‘tongue-in-cheek religious painter,’ Joe Lafone once had a dream where God commanded him to paint endless images of Grandfather Mountain, a credible still life, and to iron his shirts,” said Brooks. “As Joe states, ‘Two out of three ain’t bad.’ I have painted and exhibited with Joe for 18 years. Together we hung shows in street fairs, restaurants, galleries, museums, and yes, tattoo parlors.”

“Many of these shows were of our collaborations,” Brooks continued. “Coined ‘Tag Team Paintings,’ these works always started with me drawing and making the underpainting and ended with Joe doing the sizzle on top. I always used specific colors on the underpainting to influence what Joe would put on top; however, Joe always managed to surprise me with a fresh mix of his own color choices and outrageous paint handling. Although I never thought of myself as a student, I am tremendously influenced by Joe. His unique color sense, technique, and philosophy continue to inform my work. Joe’s artistic journey has taken him many places in the art world, and I am glad to have been along for the ride.”

The Caldwell Arts Council is located at 601 College Ave SW in Lenoir and is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.caldwellarts.com.

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