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Aldina Nash-Hampe’s ‘Lost at Lunday’ comes to Spruce Pine

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When I first met Aldina Nash-Hampe, she was chopping and collecting wood for the woodstove at the center of her house in Lunday, near Kona. 

It was still a bit chilly outside, and the crispness of the air made it feel as if spring was a lifetime away. I was struck by Aldina’s matter-of-fact and calm demeanor, and her nonchalant way of making sure I was part of her home. We sipped tea while I reveled in the coziness and softness of her space. 

“The house was a wreck when we bought it in 1987,” she said. “I’ve been fixing it up slowly since then.” 

There were paintings everywhere – covering walls, leaning against pieces of furniture, and hiding behind one another in a spare bedroom. I later learned these pieces represented more than 40 years of her history; stories painted while living a life worth telling.

Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Aldina Nash-Hampe has lived a well-traveled life, collecting experiences that have influenced her bold and expressive style. She was a rower in Seattle and an occupational therapist in Asheville. Her paintings are vibrant and passionate, with depth reflective of her eclectic background. Her landscapes are both inviting and bold, leaving the viewer to wonder how she must have felt as she painted our beloved mountain landscapes.  

“Small Church in Kona Valley” is the perfect depiction of her beautiful style, bold brushstrokes balanced with a calming palette. The piece feels as if it has lived its own history, not one predetermined by the artist painting it.

Aldina Nash-Hampe has studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Boston University and with artists Paul Gorka and Jim Lueders. She has lived in the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest and Mexico. She has traveled extensively in Europe and considers herself to be a student of primitive art. 

“Lost at Lunday” will be on display Saturday, June 29, to Saturday, July 27, at Toe River Arts’ Spruce Pine gallery, 269 Oak St. A meet-the-artist reception is 5-7 p.m. Friday, July 12.

Visit www.toeriverarts.org for more information about events, exhibits, and artist and volunteer opportunities.


Nealy Andrews is executive director of Toe River Arts.

The MItchell News

Mailing Address: PO Box 339 
Spruce Pine, NC 28777 
Phone: 828-765-7169
Fax: 828-765-1616