Anthony Garcia-Copian’s visions for his paintings often come to him in the quiet spaces of his meditation practice.
He responds to memories and the emotions he feels from others, seeking to replicate those experiences in his abstract paintings.
Sometimes the memories and emotions are solid and clear, other times he works to capture a foggy, fleeting idea.
Almost always, though, when Garcia-Copian sits in front of a canvas, he enjoys a chance for expression and solitude.
“It’s very quiet,” he said. “I’m so relaxed when I’m painting.”
Garcia-Copian’s show “All Souls Dream” opens Friday at Litmus Gallery as part of Raleigh’s monthly First Friday gallery walk.
Garcia-Copian’s artistic pursuits largely have centered on his work as a playwright. Decades ago, he met Tennessee Williams and attended a workshop with Edward Albee, events that inspired his first play, “The Bleeding Narcissus.”
His work, which often deploys dark humor to address social issues, has been staged in Miami, Atlanta and North Carolina.
While he had long dabbled in painting, his interest in visual arts came to the fore several years ago because he felt so strongly about what he was seeing in his visions while meditating, part of his spiritual practice.
Like writing plays, painting became a way for Garcia-Copian, of Raleigh, to process what he was feeling or thinking about the world.
“They both give me an emotional exorcism,” he said.
Painting also has allowed Garcia-Copian to help the causes he cares about.
He’s donated work to benefit Safe Haven for Cats and to the Red Light Project, which works to end human trafficking.
“It’s very important that I try to contribute in some way,” he said.
Garcia-Copian said he’s not much concerned with the prices on his paintings or how they’re received by critics. He just wants them to find homes with people who love them and to continue his own artistic journey.
“I just want pleasure from it,” he said.
Litmus Gallery is at 312 W. Cabarrus St. An opening reception for “All Souls Dream” will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday.
Want to go?
First Friday, from 6 to 9 p.m., is a monthly art event in downtown Raleigh. Galleries stay open late, and many restaurants offer special deals. To learn more, go online to FirstFridayRaleigh.com.
More First Friday
▪ Adam Cave Fine Art, 115 1/2 E. Hargett St.: oils on aluminum by David Dunlop
▪ Artspace, 201 E. Davie St.: “Retrospective and a Fond Farwell,” work by Max Halperen and “Make a Scene,” work by Amy S. Hoppe
▪ CAM Raleigh, 409 W. Martin St.: “Wonderland,” mid-career survey by Sarah Ann Johnson
▪ Flanders Art Gallery, 505 S. Blount St.: “Artist/Inventor,” work by various artists
▪ Gallery C, 540 N. Blount St.: Japanese woodblock prints
▪ Lee Hansley Gallery, 225 Glenwood Drive: paintings by Herb Jackson
▪ Local Color Gallery, 311 W. Martin St.: “Glimpse of Spring,” work by painter Bekah Haslett and metalsmith Allison Dahle
▪ Lump, 505 S. Blount St.: “Real Talk Catastrophe,” work by Amanda Barr
▪ Nature Art Gallery of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 W. Jones St.: “Shells,” work by A.B. “Bud” Cooper
▪ Nicole’s Studio and Art Gallery, 719 N. Person St.: “Travels With Judy Crane & Nicole Kennedy”
▪ Roundabout Art Collective, 305 Oberlin Road: “Creature Feature,” mixed media and encaustics by Nathan Hoffman and “Visually Speaking,” jewelry by Netiti Mota Moori
▪ Trinity Gallery, 549 N. Blount St.: “From Raleigh to Ocracoke,” oils by Fen Rascoe
▪ Visual Art Exchange, 309 W. Martin St.: “Darkroom + Foundry,” contemporary photography