Two new shows spotlighting the work of Southern regional artists have opened at the Morris Museum of Art. Both exhibits are drawn from works donated to the museum by astute collectors of Southern art.
Several years ago, with the receipt of a large collection of works from the Julia J. Norrell Collection, the museum acquired several dozen paintings by William H. Clarke, one of Virginia’s most admired self-taught artists. For many years, Norrell has owned a farm in rural southwest Virginia, and on her travels through the region, she discovered Clarke’s work and became one of his most ardent collectors.
Clarke’s exhibit, titled “We’ll Understand It Better By and By,” explores universal themes and ideas. There will be an artist lecture Thursday, May 16, at 6 p.m. in the museum auditorium, with a reception to follow.
• Nancy Farmer and Dr. A. Everette James recently donated a collection of North Carolina pottery to the Morris, and selections will be on display in the museum’s west lobby gallery through Aug. 4.
According to museum director Kevin Grogan, James and Farmer are husband and wife collectors of “all things Southern – quilts, paintings, furniture and pottery.” The pieces donated to the museum come from Seagrove, a small town in Randolph County, N.C., notable for its many potteries, and they represent one of the South’s well-known decorative arts traditions.
• Also on the Morris Museum calendar is an Art at Lunch program May 24, featuring a preview of clips from the documentary film detailing the life of Dave Drake, the famed Edgefield slave potter. Producer Mark Albertin will talk about the film and will also discuss the art of preserving oral histories through documentaries. Lunch will be catered by French Market Grill, and paid reservations are due by May 22.
KRISTIN CASALETTO, art professor at Georgia Regents University, is among eight contemporary artists exhibiting in a show titled “Woman” at Town 220 Gallery in Madison, Ga. Through her printmaking, drawing and sculpture, Casaletto often addresses human and social concerns. In her large woodcut titled Grace’s Long Walk, she incorporates the handwritten text, “Grace the janitor walked to night class … for years and graduated without telling anyone.”
The Madison exhibit includes a range of works in various media, and will remain on display through July 27. Other artists in the exhibit are Katie Brick, Jill Brody, Abner Cope, Patrick McGannon, Richard Olsen, Betti Pettinati-Longinotti and Jean Westmacott.