April Kinley & Heather Tompkins: A Two-Person Exhibition

Gallery 27 is pleased to present a smart arrangement of work exploring the lives of two local artists, April Kinley, and Heather Tompkins. Together they present some of the most beautiful and lovingly executed pieces the gallery has to offer. Both artists have developed a unique and style of their own in their respective genres.


April Kinley

April Kinley, a Lincolnton resident, is a self-trained artist who works in several mediums from painting, photography, stained glass and mixed media. Much of her artwork utilizes re-purposed materials. Her current work is a series of paintings composed of collages of her 8-year-old daughter’s repurposed artwork. Her daughter Noël renders drawings and paintings which April later dismantles and rearranged the artwork into new images. Then she finishes the pieces with a layer of resin. Many of her pieces are inspired by nature, girl/womanhood, and adversity. One-piece front the series, Interpretive Woman, was awarded Best in Show in Charlotte’s 16th annual National Arts Program Exhibit.

Artists Statement: “I love all of my daughter’s art from her first scribble to her more detailed work of today. I feel strongly about the artwork of children.  I wanted to use them to create a bigger image so they could be transformed and preserved for the future. The vibrant colors that a child is drawn to create and interesting contrast when molded into new shapes from the world around us.”


Heather Tompkins

Heather began painting as a means to bring life to the stark white walls of her newlywed home 15 years ago. But it was the calming meditative routine of creating something, and the sense of pulling out the chaotic colors in her head that kept Heather reaching for her brushes time and time again.  Her love for creating art has expanded from painting to sketching, macrame, and re-purposing found items and furniture. Now there is no shortage of inspiration for her to draw from, and she hopes to someday be able to create full time. 

“Sometimes I’ll dream in certain color combinations and the images will just play behind my eyes everywhere I look. It’s kind of like having a song stuck in your head. The only way to calm the jungle of colors stuck in my head is to grab a canvas and create them in front of me.”  

“There is so much beauty in the world, I just want to be a part of adding to it.”

“My boys watch me paint at home and I love when they ask if they can paint too. I always try to say “yes” when they ask, because I never want them to lose their creativity. I read somewhere that we are all born as creative beings, but at a certain point in our youth we stop creating and most of us never pick it back up. I want them to always have the desire to create.”