Ruin is a Secret Oasis

somewhere-south-of-violet

Somewhere South of Violet, 2008

 

March 13–July 7, 2018

Opening Reception: Thursday, April 19, 2018, 6–8:00 p.m.

It is precisely their fragmentary nature and lack of fixed meaning that render ruins deeply meaningful. They blur boundaries between rural and urban, past and present and are intimately tied to memory, desire and a sense of place.
—Tim Edensor, Industrial Ruins: Space, Aesthetics and Materiality

My studio in downtown Memphis is in an old medicine factory at the end of a dead-end street. Last in a row of empty warehouses, the building is an outpost of long-gone industry, surrounded by empty lots, crumbling edifices and thick copses of trees. The Mississippi River flows by less than a mile away, but leaves this area untouched by its progress.

I am drawn to the forgotten, to the mysterious traces of memory in our physical world. My work references objects and places that continue their slow transformation after someone turns away: rich, charged, vibrating places. Rooted on the edges of our world, these thin spaces are quietly pulsing with a kind of murmuring remembrance: the crumbling wall with flowering vines pushing through the cracks, the drape and sway of a fence that separates nothing from nothingness, the silhouette of folding and unfolding structures. Neglected and abandoned, these mysterious sites live on in an active collapse, their old stories settling into their foundations and becoming new ones as nature reclaims them for their own.

Starting with photographic documentation of these sites, I work through an intricate and laborious process of tracing, drawing and layering of gouache that puts the painting at a remove from the original photograph. Through this method, the image is abstracted and reduced to its essence, while the inherent ephemerality of the site is echoed in the material terrain of found paper. Out of decay and isolation a poetry of resilience and new growth is revealed. The works in Ruin is a Secret Oasis mine this liminal space—the region between the bloom and the decay—and pursue the sense of place these sites inspire. In them, beauty is resilience and an acknowledgement of the ravages of nature and time. Through this imagery I explore a landscape of change and the traces of experience that remain.

—Maysey Craddock

Exhibition made possible by support from the Jane Becker Heidelberg Endowment for the Arts.

Mississippi Collegiate Art Competition

February 6–March 10, 2018

Reception and Awards Ceremony: February 10, 2018, 2–4:00 p.m.
(Awards Ceremony at 3:00 p.m.)

The Mississippi Collegiate Art Competition is a student art exhibition for all four-year college and university students within the state. This exhibit of student work—created in all mediums and completed within the last 12 months—is juried by Dan Brawner, Chair, Graphic Design, Watkins College of Art, Design, & Film (Nashville, TN).

Fault Lines  |  Mary Zicafoose

Left to right: Timeline, 2017, Tectonic Shift, 2017, Fracture, 2017, photograph by Kirby Zicafoose

 

October 3, 2017–February 10, 2018

Opening Reception: Tuesday, October 3, 2017, 6–8:00 p.m.

Like all artists, I have many stories to tell. I am as compelled to create work based on classic archetypal symbols as I am to depict climate change through my representation of tectonic plates, fault lines and land shifts. The selection of work in the Lower Skipwith Gallery, rendered in weft-faced ikat tapestry and as collographic monoprints on paper, is curated from from three recent bodies work: Fault Lines, Mountain for the Buddha, and The Blueprint Series.

Fault Lines: The five most recently completed pieces, Tectonic Shift, Fracture, Timeline, North, South, East & West, and The Capricorn Plate, are thematically driven by politics, human relationships, and land movement. Technically and visually, I take inspiration from modern abstractionists, and draw upon their influence in my signature large, bold color fields juxtaposed against the toothy edge of weft ikat. New series, like all new ventures, start unfamiliar, if not raw, but always with a destination in mind. By definition, they are required to stand alone. It takes several years behind ikat boards, dyepot and loom to develop a complete and integrated series of woven tapestries.

Mountain for the Buddha: The classic and powerful metaphysical triptych of the trinity expressed as mountain, pyramid, triangle and temple is the visual metaphor for this body of work. My intention is to not only reference landscape, but geometry and sacred space, as well, through a total of 13 diptych ikat tapestries and 36 collographic monoprints spanning 5 years.

The Blueprint Series: This series, based on personal identity, was born during a three month artist residency at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE. This, the 7th and culminating tapestry of elaborate thumbprint representations, a silk weft ikat triptych, was selected to represent contemporary US tapestry at the 13th International Tapestry Triennial in Lodz, Poland in 2010.

—Mary Zicafoose


 
 
 
 
 

Unwritten Memoir

Athenia painting

Athenia, 2014

 

August 22–December 9, 2017

Reception: Thursday, September 14, 2017, 6–8:00 p.m.

part of the Annual Membership Party

The art in Unwritten Memoir is a survey of work created by Randy Hayes from 2004 to present. In that time, he began to live part-time, then full-time, in Mississippi. His art is also influenced by travel to Turkey and Japan during that same period. The art reflects his visual memory of three very different cultures and environments: Mississippi, Turkey, and Japan.

Recollections refers to a group of photographs and objects which have a specific connection to one another. This series, included in this exhibition, began about twenty years ago but has never been exhibited before. Also on exhibit is an associated series of small paintings of objects.

Love = Love

By Kent Rogowski

May 23—September 16, 2017

Opening Reception: Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 6–8:00 p.m.

Part of Oxford Arts Crawl

Love=Love is a series of collages that were created using pieces of over 60 store bought puzzles. Although puzzle pieces are unique, and can only fit into one place within a puzzle, they are sometimes interchangeable within a brand. These puzzles were cut using the same die, but depict unrelated images.

Using only the flowers and skies from each of the puzzles, I created a series of entirely new compositions by recombining the puzzle pieces. These spectacular, fantastical and surreal landscapes sit in direct contrast to the banal and bucolic images of the original puzzles.

Art-Crawl

Lasting Impressions: Restoring Kate Freeman Clark

My First Sky, Shinnecock, no date

 

March 28—July 22, 2017

Reception: Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 6–8:00 p.m.

In the spring of 1896, twenty-year-old Kate Freeman Clark, originally from Holly Springs, Mississippi, enrolled in an oil-painting class offered by William Merritt Chase, one of America’s most well-known impressionists and the owner of the Chase School of Art. Clark studied with him over the next two decades and became a proficient painter in her own right. She produced hundreds of paintings in various genres and media, including pastoral landscapes in oil and watercolor, lyrically inspired scenes, and Munich school–influenced portraiture.

Kate Freeman Clark accumulated an impressive exhibition record showing at the Boston Art Club, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Corcoran Gallery, the Carnegie Institute, the New York School of Art, the National Academy of Design, and the Society of American Artists among others. She worked at a time when female artists often used a gender-ambiguous pseudonym to receive serious professional attention. Thus, when she began submitting her paintings to juried exhibitions, she often signed simply as “Freeman Clark.” Many of her canvases remain unsigned and almost all of them are undated.

Her painterly impressions of the Shinnecock Hills in upstate New York testify to a deep enjoyment of and immersion in the experience of plein air painting. Of this landscape she said, “This is the most ravishingly beautiful picturesque place I have ever been & I am having such a fascinating time that I feel as if I should like to spend a year here and explore every nook in this charming country.”

In 1923, Kate Freeman Clark stored her entire collection of paintings in bales at a warehouse in New York City and returned to her family homestead in Holly Springs, where she lived until her death in 1957. After her death, her canvases, many of them damaged from years of storage, were recovered, and a gallery in her memory was built in her hometown. Clark’s work stands as a testimony to her talent, pleasure, and mission in painting. As she said, “The artist’s mission [is] to open the eye of the unseeing to the beauties that are all about them.”

Out of her numerous paintings, only two are set in Mississippi. The astonishing uniqueness of the entirety of the Kate Freeman Clark art collection lies in its compendious scope. Art collector Howard Stebbins estimated that “the Clark group [is] perhaps the largest art collection in the world painted by a single artist.”

This exhibition pays tribute to a prodigious and prolific female artist from Mississippi. It seeks to reintroduce Kate Freeman Clark’s work to the history of American painting by drawing attention to the ongoing restoration of her career and her canvases.

SPONSORS:

Lester and Susan Fant III

Bank of Holly Springs, David B. Person, First State Bank, Tim and Lisa Liddy, Tyson Drugs Inc., and, Ellis Stubbs State Farm Insurance

Special thanks to: Kate Freeman Clark Art Gallery and Walter Webb, Curator

Dunhuang through the Lens of James and Lucy Lo

mogao-cave-north-wall-1943

January 10—April 29, 2017

Reception: Tuesday, January 31, 2017, 6–8:00 p.m.

James and Lucy Lo photographed the intricately painted and sculpted Mogao and Yulin Caves from 1943-44. Their images transcend the standards of documentary photography into pure artistry.

Sponsors: Photos courtesy of the Lo Archive and the P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for East Asian Art and exhibition made possible by a generous donation from The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation

Apocrypha

Apocrypha-1-detail

August 9—December 10, 2016

Opening Reception: Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 6–8:00 p.m.

Part of Oxford Arts Crawl

Apocrypha loosely translates as “hidden writings”. The original significance of the objects in Jason “Twiggy” Lott’s assemblages has been hidden or lost to time. They were lost but now are found and must be granted new life and new significance.

Art-Crawl

Our Faith Affirmed—Works from the Gordon W. Bailey Collection

Angels Playing Music by Purvis Young

Angels Playing Music by Purvis Young


September 10 2014 – August 8 2015

The University of Mississippi Museum of Art presents Our Faith Affirmed—Works from the Gordon W. Bailey Collection. Curated by the Los Angeles-based, scholar and collector Gordon W. Bailey the important exhibition features works by 27 artists, born between 1900 and 1959. Many of the artists are widely known and several, most notably, Thornton Dial Sr, Roy Ferdinand, Bessie Harvey, Lonnie Holley, Robert Howell, Joe Light, Charlie Lucas, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, and Purvis Young are considered self-taught masters.

The powerful exhibition underscores the significance of Southern vernacular artists whose influence extends far beyond the realm of aesthetics. The artworks exude an authority of experience and directness of expression that bears witness to the considerable weight of Southern history, the saga of American politics, and, most clearly, to their faith and clarity of vision. Bailey suggested: “The arts are our cultural mortar. They solidify the bridges connecting diverse communities. Though the region is rooted in conflict, there are many good people of all races, genders, and socio-economic levels pulling, or in some cases, pushing in the same direction.”

Image: Angels Playing Music, Purvis Young

Gods and Men: Iconography and Identity in the Ancient World

Arethusa

May 10–August 24, 2016

Reception: Tuesday, May 24, 2016, 6–8:00 p.m.

This exhibit takes a closer examination of the image of ancient gods, kings, and the common man. Their depictions contain a visual language, once easily understood throughout the ancient world.

Part of the Oxford Arts Crawl

Exhibition support from the Friends of the Museum.

Friends of the Museum