This year's featured artwork,The Cary Collection, was put together by local artist Eric McRay.
"My heart paintings are about the quick communication of an icon or symbol. We are already familiar with this image, the heart, thus we have an established impression of what it's trying to communicate to us. The heart as a symbol represents passion, love and zeal. It all relates to our emotions. The question is then what makes us happy? Then the next step in viewing the heart paintings is exploring the content within the heart and determining are the feeling mutual and what do we love?"
From soul to brush to canvas, Eric's art overflows with bright colors, expressive styles, and energized designs, which he employs to capture the vibrancy and intensity of his subjects. He is on the road to reinvention, constantly challenging himself, and exploring his visual language.
McRay received a BFA at the Maryland Institute, College of Art, where he earned a four-year scholarship for his artistic talent. A native of Washington, DC, McRay moved to North Carolina and has been exhibiting since 1987. In November 1998, he was juried into Raleigh’s prestigious Artspace. Since opening his Artspace studio in downtown Raleigh, McRay has served in the offices of vice president and president of the Artspace Artists Association, as well as served on Artspace’s board of directors and Executive Committee.
Some of his collectors include the SAS Institute, American Tobacco Campus, North Carolina Central University Art Museum, Duke University Medical Center, Duke Health Raleigh Hospital, NC State University, UNC-Chapel Hill and Western Wake Hospital, as well as many private collectors locally, nationally and internationally. Also, McRay was privileged to participate in the Art in Embassies Program, which displayed his works in the US Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark.