Mary, Merry, and Miguel

So how was everyone’s Thanksgiving? Are you 5 pounds heavier? I know I am.

I’m also pretty excited about Studio 7 on Trade Street in Winston-Salem. I was simply tooling around Trade, when I randomly decided to duck in this little studio/gallery that was open.  I like going to big museums and mega-popular exhibitions, but it’s the small intimate galleries that often provide a more personal experience.IMG_1387

Upon entering, I had the pleasure of meeting the owner and artistic director of the studio, Marsha Hierl and one of the seven local artists that work and exhibit there (the back of Studio 7 houses studio spaces for seven local artists) Her name is Mary Bailey Thomas, a photographer. As soon as I mentioned that I’m from Guilford, she delved into a detailed account of her late friend and mentor, Merry Moor-Winnett, who taught photography at Guilford many years ago before sadly falling victim to breast cancer. Merry taught Thomas color tinting and a variety of other photo methods.  After hearing her story, I almost felt like I knew Merry (Cool little side note: she was named “Merry” because she was born on Christmas day!). Mary also informed me of how the Green Hill Center in Greensboro established the Merry Moor-Winnett Photography Triennial, featuring works by  NC Photographers to commemorate her influence on the arts community.

Thomas currently teaches at Salem College and the Sawtooth School For Visual Art, and has a long history with Penland, School of Crafts in the mountains of NC. The self-toned color in her work has a very rich, deep quality; the kind that will make one feel as if they are actually sinking into her work. She has a myriad of different techniques ranging from fabric transfer prints to etchings.

Back in the front gallery, I took the time to take in the current exhibit. The work that first caught my eye was that of Miguel Pes, an artist who has hit the ground running with his variety of painting methods, style, and inspiration. Believe it or not, these are all from the same artist:

Miguel is also a close acquaintance of Mary, which I gathered, as she spoke of his journey from electrician to electrician/painter. I love this kind of thing, and I could definitely relate to her description of the way Miguel is always exploring a new era of art as influence for a new piece.

If you go to Studio 7, be sure to check out the other artists’ studios as well. You’ll see paintings, pottery, and jewelry for sale, some of which are made by Marsha Heirl. Don’t forget the gallery hops on the First Friday of every month are this weekend! If you’ve already been to the Greensboro one, you won’t regret checking out the one on Winston-Salem’s Trade Street (not to be confused with Tate Street). A new “Best of the Year” show at Studio 7 will be up for Friday night. You can see works by Miguel and Mary, as well as works form other local artists.

For more information about Studio 7, go to


7PM until 10PM
This holiday-themed gallery hop will feature a mix of music, demonstrations, new exhibitions, and extended gallery hours. Come meet the artists and enjoy refreshments in many of the studio galleries! Free.

For a Downtown Arts District map and directory, go to

Yes, yes, I know…finals are coming up. So just bring some flashcards and you’ll be good to go!

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