The last four days have been full of exhibit related festivities. I drove my Army Wife series to North Carolina last Wednesday and spent the afternoon helping to install it, along with photos by Hunter Rudd, at the Arts Council of Moore County in Southern Pines for our show, Homefront & Downrange.
This came about because friend and fellow SAQA member, Nanette Zeller really wanted to see my solo show in Charlottesville a year and a half ago, but was unable to make it. She decided to bring the show to her. And she did! Working with Chris Dunn of ACMC, they have created not only a a lovely exhibit of my work, but an entire event, telling the story of military life through the eyes of a spouse, a service member (Hunter’s photos), veterans via The Combat Paper Project, and the kids through the Military Child Education Coalition. All the artwork together tells a compelling story, and each facet reinforces the others.
It took a lot of sponsors to make this event happen, so to thai them, Hunter and I gave a presentation Thursday morning at one, Belle Meade, and then we had a private reception Thursday night.
Friday night was another reception, open to the public and part of Southern Pines’ First Friday event. There was a good turnout and I enjoyed talking about my art and stories with visitors on both nights. I think we all agreed that it was all about the stories — mine, Hunter’s, and the viewers’.
Hunter talks about one of his photos.
Everything was about contrasts and comparisons. On the contrast side, the show is male/female, home front/downrange, soft textiles/hard prints on metal, and the most surprising to me was that I am the pushy one and Hunter’s is quieter, waiting for the viewer to suss out the story.
On the comparison side, there’s repetition in colors and visual textures. My work is up close and personal in the narratives and his is up close and personal because of the portraits. Both our works are BIG! We agreed scale helped to pull the viewer in in a very visceral way.
Nanette talks to visitors about the work too. This is nearly as much her show as mine. It couldn’t have happened without her.
I wish I could have stayed for the Combat Paper workshop, but I needed to get home to my kids and our upcoming move. There will be a Military Appreciation Day on the 20th as well, and I very much hope that it is as well attended and received as our opening receptions were. The show is on view until July 10th for anyone in the area to come visit.
It was a special four days, and part of that was because I got to stay across the street to the Weymouth Center for Arts and Humanities. It’s the historic home of a local writer and is now a retreat for writers to come and work in peace and quiet.
I loved the Jeffersonian serpentine wall, as well as all the nooks and passageways to explore in the house.
This funny guy watched me from the end of the hall.
It was all steeped in Southern charm, if you ask me.