Utilizing mixed media — specifically in painting and photography — he examines the theme of industry versus nature through time, said Cindy Spuria, owner of LIGHT.
“I love his work, the images, textures and tones,” said Katherine Armacost, another artist with work in the gallery.
Metchewais shows his eclectic personality through a series of elements prevalent throughout his life. He skillfully portrays a style that is sarcastic, yet contemplative.
A piece entitled “Saxapahaw” portrays a door of an abandoned textile mill surrounded by the darkened profiles of men. Through the image of this abandoned space, Metchewais speaks to the hardships of textile labor.
Pulled from moments from his upbringing, images of tobacco products are the predominant subject of much of the work due to its roots in the Native American lifestyle, Spuria said.
Form follows function as Metchewais’ prints are folded like blankets to reflect the portability of art and the importance of the fabric to Cree Indian culture.
While each piece tells a unique story, Metchewais maintains a consistency throughout his art.
Along the bottom portion of pieces like “The Origin of Tobacco,” a thick line serves as a table, providing a base for the subjects of his two-dimensional pieces.
In “The Origin of Tobacco,” Metchewais puts his writing skill on display by weaving in a poem that highlights his travels and experiences with tobacco.
Patrons can get a glimpse of the artist’s personal journey within almost all of his pieces. Within the print “Old Highway 86,”
Metchewais photographed and painted his station wagon in a nearby field of grass. It is a piece reminiscent of his early days in the Chapel Hill area.
“There’s a sarcasm and comedy to his work,” Spuria said. “I see these as memories — memories of his grandmother, values and ideals.”
Those in attendance were pleased with the selection of Metchewais’ work.
“I really do like it,” said Mary Johnson, a Chapel Hill resident. “I recommend that everyone to come see it.”