The light-filled canvases of Laura Lacambra Shubert & Erin Gregory celebrate the season at Stellers PV’s spring show
If there is one tenet that Stellers Gallery at Ponte Vedra (Stellers PV) owner Hillary Whitaker holds fast to, it is this: “Great artwork will always speak for itself.”
Whitaker and her gallery director, Courtney Tinnesz Hill, are highlighting two painters in their spring show that they say they personally never tire of seeing – Laura Lacambra Shubert, who has been with the gallery for twenty-two years, and Erin Gregory, who joined Stellers in 2016. These are two painters whose work quickly becomes recognizable, with an approach to painting and subject matter that evokes an aesthetic response effortlessly.
Shubert’s work is “more about light than the subject itself,” according to the artist, and Whitaker describes her pieces as uniquely inviting. “Her thick brush strokes and nonspecific subjects create a setting that could be one in which we each live,” she says. “Aesthetically, a piece by Shubert, whether it’s her figures, landscapes, or interiors, leaves you with a feeling that is hard to put into words … you’re drawn to it.”
Describing Gregory’s work as “bold, lively, and always just simply a lot of fun,” Whitaker adds, “Her layers and washes in acrylic produce florals and figures that take an otherwise traditional subject and breathe new life into it.”
“From a distance, my paintings might just read as simple floral paintings,” says Gregory, “but for me they are exciting, ever-changing puzzles to solve.”
“Both Erin and Laura have a brilliant use of color and light,” Hill points out. “Their deliberate application of paint in each painterly brush stoke, great use of light and deliberate color combination evokes a mood and feeling – nostalgic and uplifting.” The fact that both artists cite light as a driving inspiration in their work seems apropos for a springtime show. Their very different histories with Stellers seem fitting, too, as the pair make for a brilliant illustration of Whitaker’s unfailing eye.
Over the years, Whitaker has cultivated her contemporary gallery by taking consignment artwork from regional and local artists, keeping the gallery walls fresh and ever-changing. At the airy and stylish boutique gallery space on North A1A, Stellers PV offers consultation and framing, as well as installation in residences and corporate settings. “Our vision is to increase the accessibility of fine art by promoting and placing quality artwork while maintaining the integrity of our artists,” Whitaker says.
Preferring to allow viewers to first acknowledge their individual emotional response to a piece of art, Whitaker and Hill strive to empower them to know the value in that. “You don’t have to have a background in art history or be an artist to appreciate great artwork,” Whitaker says. “For myself, and for my clients, it is about an emotional response to the work. Then, once a connection has been made, we can follow up with information about the artist, the medium, and the collectability of a particular piece. Hopefully, after a visit, they will feel educated and enlightened.”
“We take pride in having the opportunity to help curate and bring to life the story and culture of our clients’ projects,” Hill adds.
By Meredith T. Matthews
Photos by Jessie Preza