(This post is part of our My Favorite Exhibit series, in which artists and art professionals discuss the most meaningful art shows they've been involved in — see more here)
In 2018, I was the featured artist at the Kate Freeman Clark Gallery in Holly Springs, Miss., when it re-opened after renovations.
It was an honor to see the upgraded museum and be able to contribute to their efforts. Kate was a prolific and talented Mississippi artist who studied for years in upstate NY with William Merritt Chase around the turn of the 20th Century. Like all women artists of her time she faced many obstacles, and she received little recognition, but in her will she provided for her works to be housed in a new building near her family home, which now attracts visitors from all over the world.
Exhibiting there was particularly special because I love Kate’s work, and relate to her landscape painting style. At the event, with family and many collectors present, I spoke these words:
“My works are a reflection of a simple and blessed life. My paintings are influenced by my deep abiding love of my native soil and respect for all people, not a statement about humankind’s capacity. I hope it reads as a story through art about life in the hills and the quiet Mississippi delta of my childhood. It is a salute to where I was born and raised and demonstrates what I observed during my life. I hope it is something for the South to relate to, be proud of, and people from elsewhere can be happy to view.”