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Art Crosses the Mason-Dixon Line in "Southern Sampler" Exhibition

Eight Artists Hold High the Banner of the New South

In the Garden: Cuckoo by Anne Lemanski

Tim Massey, the director of the Tower Fine Arts Center Gallery, comes from Tennessee. The candid photos he takes on his visits home depict rolling hills and contraptions full of Southern ingenuity. As a Southerner working in Western New York, he might occasionally feel like a fish out of water. With Southern Sampler: Contemporary Artists of the New South, the new exhibition he has curated, he is offering us Yankees a glimpse of what Southerners are saying these days, through their art. Southern Sampler will run from January 30 through March 4, 2018, at the Gallery, located at 180 Holley Street, Brockport. The exhibit is free and open to the public, as is the opening reception on Tuesday, January 30, from 4 – 6 pm.

Massey says, “In the Northeast, much of what is known about the American South exists as myth and stereotype. However, artists of the New South are as diverse as any other region. Their work both perpetuates and dispels myth, examines paradigms, honors cultural heritage and explores new realms.”

Chadwick Tolley, of Evans, GA, wants to let his art speak for itself, north or south; east or west: “I do not intend to create autobiographical images but through the process of developing meaning, I often use my own personal experience as a point of reference. I hope that by examining my own experience, I can connect or relate to something universal. As I work to resolve images, personal imagery will emerge but it should be ambiguous enough to allow for personal interpretation.”

Atlanta resident Masud Olufani, who will be on campus to give a gallery lecture on February 21, looks at creating art this way: “My objects aspire to be visual poems—works of art that reach beyond themselves to reveal something meaningful about the human experience. I attempt to create work which blends formal elegance, emotional integrity, and spiritual resonance. At the core of my creative impulse lies a principal which is diametrically opposed to the cynicism and doubt that seems to shape and define the present worldview—hope.”

Carolyn Ford, of Gaffney, SC, had, perhaps, a bit more of a “Southern Gothic” upbringing. She was spending her “childhood in the suburbs outside of Nashville amongst the children of country music stars, [when] her father decided to move the family to their pre-Civil War family farm. With the combination of the creativity from songwriters’ lyrics, her grandmother’s Weekly World News papers, and the rural yarns spun, she began to expand upon her own stories. As an avid traveler, she relishes learning odd folklore of each place she experiences thus attempting to sneak in some humor or stretch the truth in her art.”

Other participating artists include Scott Keen, Richmond, VA; Anne Lemanski, Spruce Pine, NC; Charmaine Minniefield, Decatur, GA; Gary Monroe, Knoxville, TN; and Tamara Reynolds, Nashville, TN.

Gallery hours: Monday – Friday: 10 am - 5 pm, Sunday: 1 - 4 pm

contact: Tower Fine Arts Center Gallery: 395-2805
submitted: Wed, Jan 17, 2018 by ssoloway
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