‘Complementary Players’ is an Exploration of Balance and Nature

"Walking Weather," by Cynthia Knapp is on display in the Gallery at the Umstead Hotel and Spa until Nov. 30. The exhibit is free.

The swirling energy of Cynthia Knapp’s canvases draw the viewers eye. Her fields of overlapping colors blur and combine, inspiring comparisons to rocks seen through a stream bed or light dappling through a canopy of leaves.

The woodsy environs of The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary are a fitting venue for the Atlanta-based artist’s exhibit, “Complementary Players.” The 16 mixed-media paintings will be on display in the hotel’s gallery through Nov. 30.

Artist Cynthia Knapp explores the balance of line and color in 16 paintings displayed at the Umstead. She is standing next to “Found Objects IV.”

In her artist’s statement, Knapp gives a nod to the physical world, but more important is the interaction between forms and the surrounding space.

“Color, texture and translucence is enhanced by the surrounding absence of that quality, making it more evident,” she writes. “At times the work references topography, rock formations or repetitious natural patterning. Paint and glaze are layered, added and removed, until the forms develop on the painting surface.”

The abstract works sport deliberately vague titles, such as “Walking Weather” and “Creekside Layers,” suggesting rather than dictating what is seen.

“Her work speaks to the aesthetic of The Umstead — abstract and organic, in the colors of nature, and soothing and peaceful to the eye,” said Leah Goodnight, director of marketing at the Umstead.

“Also, she is a Southeastern artist, and that is agreeable with the hotel’s Southern sensibilities and theme of sincere and genuine hospitality.”

Goodnight, who along with Marcelle Kick, The Umstead Hotel and Spa’s design coordinator, selects the artists who are represented.

“I first learned of Cynthia’s work through SAS, as SAS has several of Cynthia’s pieces in their permanent collection around the world,” said Goodnight.

Knapp has been a professional artist for more than 40 years, and her work can be found in private and corporate collections, including those at SAS, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, RJR Nabisco and IBM.

For more information about the free exhibit, visit theumstead.com, and for details about Cynthia Knapp, visit cynthiaknapp.com.

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