First stop was TEW Galleries where we always love, love, love most of the work. This time for me, it was Sarah Wolfe's figures -- exquisitely simple in its complexity, her work has a poignancy not often seen. And there, sales director Corky Davis was so enthusiastic about the Atlanta Gallery Association's ArtHouse that Linda and I bought our tickets for the next day.
Then, on to the Bennett Street Galleries and Tula Art Center. There's always something interesting here, but this year, many of the studio/galleries had closed and others looked a little stressed. Even so, we found most artists and gallery staff to be upbeat and friendly. The presence of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA) in the old Lowe Gallery space is sure to make a difference.
I was delighted that we did not miss the Lamar Dodd show which closed after the weekend. As a student at LaGrange College in Georgia, I knew his home, his hometown and his connection to the College. My paintings hung as the last alumni art exhibit in the old campus gallery before the opening of the Art Centernamed for him. At MOCA GA (whose Founder and President/CEO Annette Cone-Skeleton is also a LaGrange College graduate), a small retrospective of his enormous body of work, from more than 70 years, gave us a sense of his abilities.
I was goose-bumpy when I recognized a few of the pieces from his "Heart Surgery Series;" I had seen that amazing show some years back. And I enjoyed seeing one of granddaughter Lucy's favorites, "Bargain Basement" on loan from the collection of the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta.
Lamar Dodd's influence on artists and the people of Georgia has spread even to those not in his Art Department at the University of Georgia. Director Emeritus of The High Museum of Art, Gudmund Vigtel curated the show and his excellent essay in the catalog sums it up:
". . . his (Dodd's) persistent search for integrity in art . . . enlightened the minds of Georgians at a time when there was little opportunity to know and understand the meaning of art."
Lunch at Sunflower and a few galleries later which included Thomas Dean, Mason Maurer, Anne Hathaway, Anne Irwin and Bennett Street, we were ready for a break, so we headed to the house and put our feet up. Soon, we were ready to tackle the Castleberry Hill ArtStroll.
In a seedy, rundown area of town, Castleberry Hill Art District offers some fine art, some fine food, some fine loft apartments with fine prices. From experimental to high end, we discovered that no gallery should be missed. I particularly liked Marcia Wood, Meg Aubrey's work at Gallery Stokes and the paintings and the fabulous space of Besharat Gallery where glass stairs played tricks with my vertigo. The evening ended with pajamas and late night conversations and a view of the garden.
"How is it possible to absorb a day of such images?"
"How does what one see affect thought processes, direction in the studio and artists' relationships?"
"How . . . ."
And so ended Friday....
--Lamar Dodd, (details) 2 Heart Surgery paintings
--View from Resting Place
BushStrokes (c) AAB