Augusta's Baker Overstreet is among the rising-star artists featured in Abstract America: New Painting and Sculpture, this summer's blockbuster exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London. He also is drawing the attention of the British press. His painting Flattering Turtleneck topped an Art World magazine article on London's hottest shows.
His father, Judge Carlisle Overstreet, attended the exhibit opening.
"I've never seen anything quite like it," he said. "It was a great turnout for London -- probably 400 to 500 people."
Mr. Overstreet's paintings have been described as both ancient and futuristic, and they are big and bold enough to command attention in Saatchi's expansive new gallery space. (See the installation at www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/current/abstract_america_instimages/7.jpg.)
Gallery owner Charles Saatchi is known for generating controversy with his shows, and this one is no exception. Abstract America has drawn some sharp responses in the British press, with jabs at the concept, content and title.
Mr. Overstreet's work, on the other hand, has been singled out with favorable notes by several British reviewers:
"What do we learn from these young bucks about the state of their States, apart from inhaling the air of some cool kids with cool names ...? Not much, although Baker Overstreet takes bragging rights, not just for the coolest name, but for mixing Trekkie geekery with strip mall architecture, painting Masonic lodges for the illuminati with Native Indian symbology thrown in for good measure." -- Ossian Ward, Time Out London
"Other noteworthy pieces include ... Baker Overstreet's intensely colourful naÃ¯ve and geometric paintings, also reminiscent of the works of Stuart Davis. Overstreet's Flattering Turtleneck (2006) is exceptionally casual, bright, and deceptively engaging in its simplicity."
-- Lauren Palmer, in Thefourohfive.com, and also appearing in other art blogs
That's pretty interesting international attention for the class of 2000 Augusta Prep grad. See more Baker Overstreet work at www.fredericksfreisergallery.com/artists/overstreet/index.html.
Notable events on the local arts calendar:
THE LUCY CRAFT LANEY MUSEUM OF BLACK HISTORY will hold a reception Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. for The Daso Art Collection featuring paintings by Augusta artist John Daso. Admission fees are $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and military, and $2 for students. See www.lucycraftlaneymuseum.com for more information.
THE MORRIS MUSEUM OF ART'S family Sunday program this week features the Be-a-Know-It-All Roadshow. Participants will enjoy a story told through animation and live puppet action and then will create sculpture. The free program begins at 2 p.m.
Next topic in the museum's Art at Lunch series is Howard Finster's Paradise Garden. Tommy Littleton, a friend of the late folk artist and administrator of the garden, and Whitley Nave Jones, artist and gallery owner, will be the speakers. The July 17 program begins at noon with lunch by Dye's Southern Catering. Reservations should be made by Wednesday.
Morris Museum programs on July 19 include a family art break based on the dot paintings by Larry Connatser on view in the galleries. The workshop is scheduled from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and is open to kids 6 and older and their families. There is a registration fee, and children must be accompanied by an adult. On the same day at 2 p.m., Tara and Kevin Scheyer will present Southern stories and songs in the Music at the Morris series. No charge for that one.
If you're having withdrawal symptoms after the end of the Appleby Garden concert series, head across the river. The Henrys -- popular musical duo Henry Wynn Jr. and Henry Wynn III -- will perform tonight at 7 p.m. at Edenfield Park in North Augusta.
Take a blanket or a folding chair for the free outdoor concert.
Check out some of their music and Mr. Henry Jr.'s unique artwork at www.henrywynn.com.