Originally created 03/03/05

Artist's yarns depict Southern, African traditions



Annie Greene has been stringing art lovers along for more than 30 years.

Using a technique called yarn painting, the LaGrange, Ga., artist glues yarn of various colors onto paper to create vivid, detailed pictures.

One depicts an elderly couple and a young boy sitting on a country porch with chickens on the ground nearby. Another shows two women washing clothes outside on scrubbing boards. Yet another depicts a yard full of schoolchildren playing.

"The works started out as Southern traditions of things I witnessed throughout my life - children's games we played, cooking on a wood-burning stove, bathing in tin tub," said Mrs. Greene, whose Painting with Yarn exhibit will be featured at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History during March and April. An opening ceremony for the 35-piece collection will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the museum, 1116 Phillips St.

The exhibit includes pieces from her different series of works, which include themes of the 1940s, Africa, landscapes and still life, song and dance, destitution, church, play, and her travels.

After years of painting with oils and acrylics, Mrs. Greene got the idea in the early 1970s to use yarn as a medium from a magazine illustration. Uncertain about the style, the former schoolteacher said she decided to try it out with her junior high school students first.

"They sat so quietly and worked on it and enjoyed it so much I thought that it must have been something," she said. "So they motivated me to try it."

Since then, she's created mixed media pieces by fusing yarn with acrylic paint, newspaper, textured paper and fabrics, feathers, Mardi Gras masks, beads and "any material I thought would help me carry out an idea," she said.

The Laney exhibit is one of three featuring Ms. Greene's works that are rotating through Georgia galleries. Painting with Yarn is the second yarn exhibit Mrs. Greene has brought to the Laney Museum in six years.

"When I first started I never thought it would have made the impact upon others as it tends to have made," she said. "People seem to be interested in the yarn because they haven't seen yarn taken to this extent."

Reach C. Samantha McKevie at (706) 823-3552 or samantha.mckevie@augustachronicle.com.

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: Annie Greene's Painting with Yarn exhibit opening

WHERE: Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, 1116 Phillips St.

WHEN: 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday

INFORMATION: 724-3576, or www.lucycraftlaneymuseum. com, anniegreene.com