Balsam Range Collaborates With Artist Nancy Hilliard Joyce On Aeonic Artwork
International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainer of the Year Balsam Range has a penchant for using their art to highlight the art of others, carefully selecting paintings and drawings to adorn the covers of their albums.
For the fourth time, Balsam Range has chosen a painting by North Carolina artist Nancy Hilliard Joyce to enhance their music with vivid imagery. Her painting "Inner Workings" is featured on the cover of their upcoming album, Aeonic, to be released from Mountain Home Music Company on January 4.
"Seeing my work translated onto an album cover - it's phenomenal. Truly all of my creativity comes from music. I've never painted without music," says Joyce, a Greenville, South Carolina native who now lives in Concord, North Carolina.
Joyce's first painting to appear on a Balsam Range cover was titled "Moon Over Memphis," and it was commissioned specifically for the album Five, which was released in 2014. This year, the paintings "Inner Workings" and "Black Birds"were featured on the single covers for "The Girl Who Invented The Wheel" and "Get Me Gone."
On Aeonic, "Inner Workings" makes a second appearance. It's a bright and bold interpretation of time and space, depicting the cogs that make clocks tick. Inspired by the movie Hugo, the painting has other ties to a theme Joyce has been working with for more than a decade: Wheels and the idea that what goes around comes around. This concept manifested itself in her work with paintings of bicycles, which turned into paintings of cogs within them, and then the cogs turned into the inner workings of a clock. Those pieces must work together to produce a greater good, much like a band of instruments works together to create music.
Joyce, a lover of bluegrass music and instrumentation, has a keen sense for the similarities between her craft and that of music - and the differences.
"I thought it was fascinating/interesting how a musician can have a hit song and play it again and again and people love it and it gets greater and greater, but as an artist you paint one painting and that's it," says Joyce.
But when musicians use her work to express their vision, it allows for the paintings to be translated in new ways and gives them a second life.
"A great song paints a picture, and a great painting tells a story, each evoking emotions," says Buddy Melton, vocalist and fiddle player of Balsam Range. "Nancy Joyce has the artistic vision and skill to capture emotional elements of our music on canvas. It is a wonderful pairing."
Joyce, who is known as a contemporary, mixed-media artist with Americana flair, has widely collected work displayed in offices, airports, hotels and homes. She regularly uses her art as a platform to raise money for charity and non-profit organizations.
Balsam Range's album Aeonic can be pre-orderd HERE.
About Nancy Hilliard Joyce
Nancy Hilliard Joyce was born in Greenville, South Carolina and was accepted into the Governor's School for the Arts in Visual Art at the age of 16. For 5 years she served on the Board of Trustees at the Asheville Art Museum and was an active member of the River Arts District Association in Asheville, NC. Today, Nancy works primarily from her home studio in Concord, NC. She is passionate about giving back to children in need and regularly uses her art as a platform to raise money for charity and non-profit organizations.
Nancy's paintings are intricate in form and filled with layers of color, perspective, gestures and expression. Her mixed-media art is often created with layers of modeling paste, a range of synthetic polymer paints, various handmade papers and finished with touches of oil paint. She will sometimes sand or wipe down layers to reveal under-layers and build up other sections creating texture and depth; a process that may go on for weeks or end in one day. Nancy's work is appreciated and widely collected throughout the United States in many homes, corporate offices, airports and hotels; she is known as a contemporary, mixed-media artist with an Americana flair.
About Balsam Range
The 2018 International Bluegrass Music Association's Entertainer of the Year, Balsam Range, has become one of the genre's most award-winning acts. Since forming in 2007, the group has garnered 13 IBMA awards on the heels of 8 critically-acclaimed albums. Balsam Range has left audiences spellbound while headlining major festivals from coast-to-coast, selling out venues across the nation and in multiple appearances at the Grand Ole Opry. The band collaborated with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble to record 2 albums, the second of which, Mountain Overture, debuted on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart at #5 and the Classical Crossover Chart at #6. Their previous outing, Mountain Voodoo, debuted at #4 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums Chart and remained on that chart for 45 weeks. Three singles from that album reached #1 on the Bluegrass Today Chart, including "Blue Collar Dreams," which spent three consecutive months at the top. The band most recently claimed the #1 radio chart spot with their single "The Girl Who Invented The Wheel." In addition to winning Entertainer of the Year, Balsam Range vocalist Buddy Melton won IBMA's Male Vocalist of the Year and bass player Tim Surrett won IBMA's Bass Player of the Year in 2018.