The Artside

Keith Claussen is a guest arts columnist | Contact Keith

The Artside: Folk art collection has grown at Morris

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Bill Tait's American presidents carved from bedposts are on display at the Morris Museum of Art.
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A few years ago, the Morris Museum of Art significantly enhanced its folk art and photography holdings with the acquisition of nearly 1,000 works from noted Washington, D.C., collector Julia J. Norrell. Since early December, museum visitors have had a chance to see examples of her Civil War-era photographs, and now there are selected works from her folk art collection on display.

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Tim Cooper's Dog is among the folk art objects at the Morris Museum of Art.
Tim Cooper's Dog is among the folk art objects at the Morris Museum of Art.

Mounted in the museum’s west lobby, the small folk-art exhibit includes such unique three-dimensional objects as Bill Tait’s portraits of every American president from Washington to Clinton – carved out of bedposts. There are also whimsical works such as Marie Smith’s Chainsaw Rooster, and Dog by Tim Cooper. In the stairwell gallery, another small show highlights the theme of community that pervades Norrell’s collection. The show includes paintings, prints and photographs created by a variety of artists.

There will be an opportunity to meet Norrell and hear about her collections at the museum’s Art at Lunch series Friday, Feb. 8. A catered lunch begins at noon, with the program to follow. Paid reservations are due in advance, but it may be worth a call to (706) 724-7501 to see if space is available.

SEVERAL GALLERIES in downtown Augusta have opened new exhibits for February.

• Area artists are welcoming the opening of Artist’s Local 1155, appropriately located at 1155 Broad St. Artist-owner Peter Stitt, who took over the space formerly occupied by Gaardensity, says he plans to mount a new show every month, showing primarily local artists but also introducing regional artists such as Savannah photographer Bailey Davidson, whose works are on display.

Stitt is a graduate of Westside High School, studied photography at Northeastern University in Boston, and did graduate work at Savannah College of Art and Design. He brings experience with a co-op gallery in Savannah to his new venture with Artist’s Local 1155. Eventually, he plans to offer space to other artists in addition to the changing exhibits.

• Brothers Tim Lee and Robert Lee are showing at Oddfellows Gallery, now re-located to 1036 Broad St. Tim Lee’s illustration work has been published by national and international magazines, corporations and design firms, and he exhibits paintings in galleries throughout the country. Younger brother Robert is co-owner of Methane Studios, whose package designs, logos and posters include such clients as Honda, Liberty Mutual, Blue Q and Dave Matthews Band.

• At Gallery on the Row, Cyndy Epps is the featured artist for February. An artist since childhood, Epps received a B.F.A. degree in graphic design from Savannah College of Art and Design. In 2009 she began teaching at the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art and in 2011 joined Gallery on the Row as a partner. She is a past president of the Artists’ Guild of Columbia County and president of Columbia County Arts.

THE AIKEN CENTER FOR THE ARTS will hold a gallery reception Thursday, Feb. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. to celebrate the opening of several new exhibits.

Jennifer Onofrio Fornes: Traces spotlights nontraditional photographic portraits created by the Aiken resident and art professor at GRU in Augusta. With this new series of ephemeral images, she says she is concerned with the less visible aspects of the physical, exploring transience in the context of eastern notions of transcendence.

• Aiken’s equine world is highlighted in exhibits featuring sculpture by Kathleen Friedenberg and paintings by Booth Malone. Friedenberg began her career as a veterinary surgeon in England. After coming to the U.S. and studying commercial art, she spent several years doing medical and veterinary illustration. She studied sculpture with Zenos and Evangelos Frudakis. She has won numerous awards, including the medal of honor at both the Catharine Lorillard Wolf Art Club and American Artists Professional League in New York.

Malone’s equestrian paintings hang in private and corporate collections on both sides of the Atlantic. His paintings have appeared on the covers of various horse-oriented publications, and in 2006 he was official artist of the Breeders Club (Churchill Downs) and the Centennial Show for the Masters of Fox Hound Association. A resident of Columbus, Ga., he is working on a historical novel and researching a series of paintings on the Civil War.

• An additional exhibit, Aiken Horse Through the Lens, features equine images by photographers George Buggs, Mike Klieman and D.S. Owens. In the Aiken Artist Guild Gallery, Suzan Sallstrom is showing horse paintings in watercolor, pastel and colored pencil, as well as depictions of carriage horses and ponies. Raised in upstate New York near Millbrook hunt country, she now lives in Leesville, S.C., where she and her husband train and show Morgan horses.

• Congratulations to artists who received awards at the Aiken Artist Guild’s recent Aiken-Retrospective show at the ACA. Ann LeMay was honored for her abstract painting, Tom Supensky for sculpture, and David Owens for photography.

A BIT FARTHER out of town, there are a couple of exhibits to note.

• GRU art professor Brian Rust joins University of Georgia art professor Jack Kehoe, furniture maker Kipley Meyer and artist Dwight Smith for Earthy Abstraction, an exhibit on view at Town 220 Restaurant and Gallery in Madison, Ga.

Rust is showing found-object sculpture and collages inspired by the natural world. Kehoe creates nonobjective sculptural forms in marble and stone; and Meyer uses chisel and chainsaw to shape hardwoods. Smith’s mixed media paintings and drawings incorporate elements of soil and sand in their texturized surfaces. The show continues through April 28.

• At Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art has two new exhibits. Power Seeker is a survey of complex cut-paper sculptures by Michael Velliquette, while Intimate Patterns by Karen Ann Myers examines the psychological complexity of female identity in paintings, screenprints and collages.

Myers will talk about her work at 5 p.m. Feb. 21, with a reception to follow. See class.georgiasouthern.edu/art for more details.


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