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The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

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The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

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Upcoming event: Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Michael Cartellone to co-host art exhibit at Philip DeAngelo studio

“Bronte,” by Cartellone.

Michael Cartellone, drummer of classic rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd is bringing his love of the arts to the heart of Asheville. On May 25, Cartellone will be hosting a reception for his exhibition titled ‘Bella Italia’ at the Philip DeAngelo studio in the River Arts District. 

The reception on the 25th will be from 10 to 5 p.m., with both Cartellone and D’angelo showcasing their selected pieces. The event is free and open to the public. 

While visiting family in Asheville, Cartellone spent time in the River Arts District where he came across DeAngelo’s studio. 

“I was knocked out by how much great art there was in Asheville, and how many great galleries and how many talented artists there are here,” said Cartellone of his experience in Asheville. “I’ve been showing my art professionally since I was a teenager, internationally even, but I’d never done anything in Asheville.”

After speaking with his brother-in-law about the trip to Asheville and describing the studio and art he saw, Cartellone concluded that it was in fact the Philip DeAngelo studio that sparked his inspiration.

“That day I thought to myself, I need to throw my hat into the ring here. This is such an exciting town with so much great art going on, and it just planted a seed in my head from there,” Cartellone said. 

Inspired and eager to get the gears in motion, Cartellone contacted DeAngelo. 

“I called Philip out of the blue, introduced myself and we hit it off. We realized we both had shared ancestry from Sicily and realized we had both already done Italian-themed paintings,” said Cartellone. “We thought this would be a great opportunity for a joint show where we combine our work, and have this theme of shared history together, and it has turned into this show, ‘Bella Italia.’”

Both Cartellone and DeAngelo had already done some Italian-themed paintings prior to the planning of this exhibition. Cartellone was particularly inspired by his ancestry in Sicily, where he has been able to visit to see family and experience the culture. 

By merging their shared Italian ancestry, the 2 artists had the idea to each create a painting of the same subject, a Greek theater in Taormina, Sicily, while expressing their own individual styles.

“We have very different styles in the way we paint, so the paintings will not look the same; we have different techniques,” said Cartellone. “We are also not sharing the vantage point with each other, as a fun surprise for us and the audience.”

These 2 paintings will hang side by side in the middle of the gallery, as a focal point for the show. 

“That’s where our two worlds will meet,” Cartellone said. 

Cartellone will also be featuring a few other works outside of the Italian theme from his portfolio, alongside DeAngelo. For Cartellone, this includes music-themed paintings. 

One of the paintings is a Lynyrd Skynyrd-themed painting, inspired by their first album’s 50th anniversary.

“I did a painting of the 7 original band members on that album cover, and that painting is called ‘50,’” Cartellone said. “It is a black and white photo-realistic portrait, and this original painting will be at the show.”

Alongside these pieces will be an additional music-inspired painting, titled “Ringo.”

“I am a lifelong Beatles fan; Ringo Starr is my favorite drummer, and this painting is from Ringo’s vantage point, sitting on the drums while the Beatles give their last live performance on that rooftop,” said Cartellone. “It’s a vantage point I have a lot in my own life.”

Cartellone began painting as a kindergartener when a teacher suggested to his parents that he pursue art. 

“Drumming began at 9, and since then those two creative expressions have coexisted in my life; literally 2 halves of a whole,” Cartellone said. “I can’t imagine just doing one and not the other, they’ve been intertwined my entire life.”

Cartellone said these 2 aspects of his life create the perfect artistic balance and are always complementing and enhancing each other. 

“On any given day, I’m either a painter who’s drumming or a drummer who’s painting,” said Cartellone. It’s been a wonderful journey doing both my whole life, and I have no plans to stop.”

He cites Van Gogh and Michelangelo as huge inspirations for his art, and this is evident in his piece titled “The Four Davids.” The piece consists of 4 adjacent paintings of the same subject, each paying homage to a famous artist. 

“They are a double homage, initially to The David and Michaelangelo,” Cartellone said. “I painted four different styles that represent 100 years of art history. You have Picasso, Lichtenstein and Warhol.”

“The Four Davids” will also be featured at the show on May 25. 

The event will be open to the public from 10-5 p.m., and Cartellone and DeAngelo will both be there to connect with the community and all patrons in attendance. 

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