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Ties that Bind: Southern Art from the Collection

January 14, 2014 – April 27, 2014

Artists of different races, cultural backgrounds and life experiences continually explore and help to shape our assumptions and understandings of Southern culture. Ties that Bind: Southern Art from the Collection features work in a variety of media and made by twentieth-century Southern artists, many of whom were contemporaries of Arkansas artist, Carroll Cloar, or were heirs to his artistic legacy. Organized to complement the landmark retrospective exhibition about Carroll Cloar, Ties that Bind provides further context to his work and encourages viewers to compare and contrast it to that made by other Southern artists. 

Throughout his career, Cloar drew upon myriad sources for inspiration: friends and family, faith, folklore and the surrounding farmland, among others. In Arkansas Barley Fields, Cloar’s contemporary, Louis Freund, similarly depicted the fertile fields of the Delta, as did Henri Linton in Arkanscape #2. The rough and weathered textures of houses and buildings captured by Cloar appear in paintings by Virginia Purvis and Al Allen. Recalling childhood memories, Frances (“Grandma Fran”) Currey-Brown’s A Snowy Winter Day captures a unique sense of place, while Sister Gertrude Morgan’s Jesus I Love You evokes a religious fervor similar to that of Cloar’s The Baptising of Charlie Mae. The lyricism and musical influence in many of Cloar’s paintings—such as Where the Southern Cross the Yellow Dog—is captured first-hand in the photographs by Louis Guida and Cheryl Cohen, while the portrait photographs of Paul DeRigne and Mike Disfarmer portray personalities similar to those who occupied Cloar’s artistic world. Varied though the art is, there are countless currents of mood and memory. As you view the exhibition we invite you to find your own ties that bind the works together.

(Above) W. C. Clay, Guitar, On A Friend's Front Porch, Elaine, 1976, Louis Guida, gelatin silver print, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of the Bicentennial Blues Project, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, 1976. 76.014.00a.15

(Above) Arkansas Barley Fields, circa 1939, Louis Freund, oil on board, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of the Shakespearian Club of Conway, Arkansas, in honor of Mrs. Joe Frauenthal. 1940.005

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