Monday, June 21, 2010

'Painters’ Reel: Contemporary Painting in Georgia' Now at the Morris Museum of Art

Painters’ Reel: Contemporary Painting in Georgia, featuring the work of eleven of Georgia’s leading contemporary artists, opened to the public on June 19 at the Morris Museum of Art. Organized by Macon’s Museum of Arts and Sciences, the exhibition remains on view at the Morris Museum through September 26, 2010.

The exhibition was originally organized by Corrine Colarusso, acting as a guest curator on behalf of the Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences. After Eric O’Dell, curator of exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Sciences, invited her participation, she provided the premise for the exhibition and devised the selection process that identified the artists included in it.

However, she says, ”in a sense, the exhibition organized itself.” Corrine Colarusso first invited the participation of two other Georgia painters, Don Cooper and Cheryl Goldsleger, whose work had been a source of particular pleasure, intellectual stimulation, and engagement to her over many years. After selecting their work, she invited them to choose the next participants, using the same highly personal criteria as the basis for selection. They, in turn, asked the next, and so on. Although it is unusual, this selection process seems peculiarly appropriate for this exhibition.

As Kevin Grogan, director of the Morris Museum of Art states, “This method of selection is strangely consistent with the process that attends painting: deciding when and where to begin, trusting instinct, making a decision regarding direction (even though the ultimate destination is unknown), and following that direction to its conclusion before pursuing another line of development until it feels done, until it feels that everything that can be said on this subject has now been said—while all the time presuming that the painting, when finished, will make sense in some way. Like all creative work, painting inevitably involves a leap of faith.”

Painters’ Reel demonstrates that these are fruitful times for painting in Georgia. The region teems with good painters, and the highly select group that makes up Painter’s Reel is proof that this is so. They range in age from mid-thirties to mid-seventies. They live and work in Augusta, Athens, Atlanta, and Savannah. They do not espouse a single stylistic approach. If anything, this selection demonstrates that there are many ways of seeing and just as many ways to capture the thing seen—and, sometimes, felt.

The artists represented in the exhibition include Scott Belville, Athens; Betsy Cain, Savannah; Corrine Colarusso, Atlanta; Don Cooper, Atlanta; Cheryl Goldsleger, Athens; Stefanie Jackson, Athens; Marcus Kenney, Savannah; Philip Morsberger, Augusta; Tom Nakashima, Augusta; Rocio Rodriguez, Atlanta; and Art Rosenbaum, Athens.

The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color catalogue that is available through the Morris Museum store. It includes reproductions of each of the artist’s work, as well as biographical information and a critical appreciation of each artist by one of the other artists in the exhibition.

Related Events:

Thursday, June 24, 5:30–8:00 p.m.

Opening Party: Painters’ Reel: Contemporary Painting in Georgia

Meet the artists featured in the exhibition Painters’ Reel. Heavy hors d’oeuvres by Tastefully Yours; cash bar. Admission fee includes museum admission, food and two bar tickets. Space is limited, paid reservations can be made by calling 706-724-7501 by June 17. Members, $10; nonmember, $15

Morris Museum of Art Founded in 1985, the Morris Museum of Art is the oldest museum in the country that is devoted to the art and artists of the American South. The museum’s permanent collection of approximately five thousand paintings, watercolors, drawings, prints, photographs, and sculptures, dating from the late eighteenth century to the present, is displayed in galleries dedicated to, among other things, Nineteenth-Century portraiture, the Civil War, Southern Stories, Still Life, Landscape, Southern Impressionism, Southerners at Play, Regionalism, Modernism, and Contemporary. It is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., and on Sunday, noon–5:00 p.m. For more information about the Morris Museum of Art, visit the museum’s web site at or call 706-724-7501.

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