Artist Julyan Davis loves a good story, and his latest series suggests that the darker the tale, the better. His exhibition, Dark Corners: The Appalachian Murder Ballads, opens Thursday, Oct. 17, at the Morris Museum of Art. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a lecture by the artist with music by Greg and Lucretia Speas. A reception will follow.
Born in England, Davis came to the United States 23 years ago after completing studies at the Byam Shaw School of Art in London. His Web site explains that in a nutshell: “Half a life ago, a chapter in an old history book about Napoleonic exiles in Alabama brought me to the South. I am still finding much to paint.”
In the Dark Corners series, Davis’s paintings interpret traditional American, English and Celtic folk ballads through images of the American South. The folk songs of the Appalachians, with their Celtic origins, provide a familiar narrative and a human history that connects to his own background, he has written.
“These stories are old, but one only has to pick up a newspaper to see they remain fully contemporary. Lovers still fall prey to despair and suicide, or end up in the crime report.” The Dark Corners paintings, he said, are “set very much in the present but nothing taking place in them is new.”
See examples of his work at julyandavis.com. The opening reception is free to museum members, and regular admission applies to others.
DR. RICARDO AZZIZ, president of Georgia Regents University, has an exhibit of his ink and collage drawings on view at the Fire House Gallery in Louisville, Ga. The show, This Is Not a Pear in Cleveland, will have an opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19. For location and details, see galleryafire.com.
Since the early 1970s, Azziz has been creating pen-and-ink artwork with a surrealist perspective, where “life events form part of a real-dream world continuum,” and recently has expanded into added color, collage and mixed media. He has also published a book with text and full-color images selected from 30 years of works on paper.
SEVERAL EVENTS are on the calendar for the weekend and beyond. The latest entry in the popular series of drink-and-paint events is Beans and Brushes, a painting class fueled by coffee and taught by Erica Pastecki, taking place from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at Buona Caffe Artisan Roasted Coffee on Central Avenue. Call (706) 869-4074 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for registration information.
• On the literary side, there are two events scheduled Tuesday, Oct. 22. The Sandhills Writers Series at Georgia Regents University’s Summerville campus will present award-winning author A. Manette Ansay and poet William Garrett Wright. The event begins at 1 p.m. in the Jaguar Student Activities Center coffee house. Ansay and Wright will read from their most recent works, and an informal colloquium, book-signing and reception will follow.
Ansay is the author of six novels; was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Pushcart Prize and other honors.
Wright is the author of several poetry collections, winner of the 2005 Breakthrough Poetry Prize and is series editor of The Southern Poetry Anthology. For information, call (706) 737-1500 or e-mail email@example.com.
• That evening, George Singleton and Terry Dalrymple will appear in the James and Mary Oswald Distinguished Writers Series at the University of South Carolina Aiken. The program begins at 8 p.m. at the Etherredge Center on campus. Singleton is considered a master of the comic short story, and his honors include the 2011 Hillsdale Award in Fiction from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He holds the John C. Cobb Endowed Chair in the Humanities at Wofford College. His most recent book is Stray Decorum.
Dalrymple is founding editor of the Concho River Review and is the John Cargile Professor of English at Angelo State University in Texas, where he has taught for more than 30 years. His latest book is Salvation and Other Stories. For more information, call (803) 641-3479 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
AT GALLERY ON THE ROW in downtown Augusta, photographer Jim Dunaway is the featured artist of the month. Dunaway’s photography has won awards in the United States and Europe, and one of his images earned a special commendation in the Bavarian International Circuit 2013. The competition received entries from 63 countries.
Gallery on the Row is also welcoming Judy Maxwell as a gallery partner. Maxwell’s wide range of artistic interests includes jewelry, watercolors and pottery, and she is currently using wool from her alpaca herd at her ranch in Grovetown, combined with other materials, to create her textured fiber works. The gallery has planned a meet the artisans day from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.
THE LUCY CRAFT Laney Museum of Black History will open its annual Quilt Exhibition with a reception from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20. The exhibit includes quilts by the Brown Sugar Stitchers and longtime art exhibitor Pollie Stevenson of New York.
THE AUGUSTA MINI Theater Community Arts and Life Skills School will host its 12th annual Alumni & Friends Chefs Showcase and 38th anniversary celebration at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center on 10th Street. Call (706) 722-0598 for ticket information.
AT THE MORRIS Museum of Art, the Oct. 25 Art at Lunch program will feature husband and wife glass artists Richard Jolley and Tommie Rush, discussing their exhibit on display in the museum’s west lobby gallery. The lunch will be provided by A Catered Affair. Paid reservations are due by Oct. 23. Call (706) 828-3867 for information.