This year is starting off great at the University Mus-eum, and everyone at the recent opening of their latest exhibition could attest to that. Independent Expression: Self-Taught Art of the Late 20th Century opened with a reception last month. This preview show is only a taste of more to come later in the year when the museum will exhibit more of the gifted works in September.
It all started with a donation from an L. A. art collector, Gordon W. Bailey to the museum. According to Museum Director, Robert Saarnio, Bailey is a “staunch advocate of Southern self-taught artists.” Mr. Bailey came to know about the museum through his work with Jimmy Thomas who curated this show.
They were collaborating on a Folk Art volume of the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Thomas is an associate director for publications at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.
This preview show contains 14 works, and among the common threads that bind the artists together is that they are all Southern African Americans who have no professional visual art training and use found materials in their work. They work from their souls using intuition and passion to guide them as they create.
To learn more about the exhibit, bring the children to the Family Activity Day “Express Yourself” held Sat. Feb. 16th 10am-noon for ages three and up. You can contact the museum at 915-7073 for more information on this event.
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By Andi Bedsworth