Gardner-Webb University to Host Distinguished Artist Exhibit Beginning Aug. 25

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Show to Feature the Work of Artist Andrea Worley Through Sept. 25

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—From the realistic to the abstract, Andrea Worley will offer a wide variety of artistic expression in Gardner-Webb University’s Tucker Student Center gallery during the months of August and September. Yet all of her works, from paintings and drawings of the Los Angeles riots in the 1990s to pieces in which she invents her own unique environments, stem from the same innate desire to create.

“I can’t help but paint or draw,” Worley shared. “I can never retire from it, and it never leaves me or goes away. I dream about it. I can’t sit with a piece of paper or pen without drawing. It’s something that God put into some of us, and it’s so much a part of who I am.”

Worley is the 2015 GWU Art Department’s Distinguished Artist, and her exhibit, “Failure” collages and drawings, will be on display from Aug. 25 through Sept. 25. An opening reception is scheduled for Sept. 3 from 4-5:15 p.m., followed by an artist lecture from 5:15-6 p.m. in Faith Hall of the Tucker Student Center.

Much of the work on display at Gardner-Webb was part of a show at the Green Rice Gallery in Charlotte’s North Davidson (NoDa) district. But some of the pieces will be displayed for the first time, such as what Worley calls her “Birth Painting.” The piece includes childhood clothing such as a pink bonnet, her birth announcements, photos of her and her family, one of her early drawings, and words from her life’s early dreams.

Interested in art from a young age, Worley earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.) in the 1970s and her Master of Fine Arts degree from East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, Tenn.) in the 1990s. She has previously exhibited work at Gardner-Webb in both solo and faculty art shows.

Worley was born in Chattanooga, Tenn., and her career has taken her to places in Indiana, Florida and now North Carolina. Her life experiences across the country have influenced her realistic-style work, such as the L.A. Riots series, inspired by her time living in Southern California in the early 1990s. “I think you can really get into a subject, like the riots, better in a series,” she offered. “You’re growing as the work continues. Eventually you’ve gone so far you’re in a new series. I like a series that leads to change, development and growth.”

Her experiences have also led her to a discovery and love of creating abstract art, which she continues to explore now. “It’s only through realism that you can learn the basics of art,” Worley explained. “No one could start out doing abstraction. You need to know realism in order to know how to make lines, lights and darks. I’m into abstraction now. I don’t create what I see anymore. I create what I feel and what I see that looks good. I love inventing environments where there wasn’t anything there before.”

For more information about the show, contact the Gardner-Webb Art Department at 704-406-4656 or visit

Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request 48 hours prior to the event. Please call 704.406.4253 or email with your request.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).