The Blue Ridge: the works of Rachael Van Dyke


Living in a tiny home, off-grid in Western North Carolina has taught Rachael Van Dyke how to see her own impact on the land. It has taught her how to embrace the sun, the rain, snow, hail and wind. It has inspired her to paint the landscape of the Western Carolinas and all that she sees there.

Rachael, an avid traveller and student of the arts, has participated in artist residencies domestically and abroad. Her work speaks to place and her relationship to it. Rachael joined the Art & Light roster of artists in late 2019 and we are thrilled to open a new year with a solo exhibit of work from this mid-career talent, celebrating the Blue Ridge.

Words from Rachael:

“My husband and I live off the grid in a tiny house we built ourselves. We embrace the ever changing weather of sunshine and hail, evening winds and morning mist. Living off the grid for over two years has made me see how quickly my footprint presses into the earth. I see paths too, in Blue Ridge mountain trails and Appalachian hollers; paths made by hiking enthusiasts and summit seekers, game trails formed from forest creatures, and grooves created by generations of homesteaders. I paint the trace of pathways, the layers of hillside patterns, the straight-up drives to a home barricaded by mountain laurel. I am intrigued by the teetering wooden houses formed by one's own hand, clad with tin and secured with roof-top tires. I am moved by the stories of generations abiding in one place. Though my husband and I have just begun to take root upon our soil, the motions of collecting rainwater, cradling white buckets, chopping and stacking firewood are the beginning of our own imprint upon the land.”