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June 5, 2019

Paper Flowers and Power Structures: New Exhibitions for Summer at the Lyndon House

Art Notes

"Puppy" by Kelly Boehmer in "Raucous"

Offering a retrospective look at the Athens art scene over the past century, as well as a glance into exciting new work by contemporary artists from across the state, the Lyndon House Arts Center has four new exhibitions slated for summer. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, June 6 from 6–8 p.m.

Raucous: Curated by Beth Sale in response to the rampant inequalities that still exist between men and women, “Raucous” features five women artists who explore gender dynamics and power structures through visually stunning and unapologetic work.

Kelly Boehmer, a professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design, created “Puppy,” the monstrous, slightly grotesque yet inarguably mesmerizing sculpture that appears on this week’s cover of Flagpole. Her hand-sewn works often incorporate feminine materials, like colorful fabrics and artificial flowers, that soften the blow of sharp teeth and entrails. Jaime Bull also creates soft sculptures that repurpose materials, like “Jan,” an enormous woman’s torso composed of plastic bags squeezed into a giant vintage swimsuit.

Aiming to reverse the traditional power dynamic between the male artist and female muse, Vivian Liddell’s current body of work focuses on the male nude, as well as male group rituals, such as tailgating, that serve as an opportunity for intimacy between men. In her abstracted paintings, Christina Foard uses the tabletop as an arena for further contemplating ideas pertaining to relationships and family. Erin McIntosh, another abstract painter, creates biomorphic forms that call to mind embryos and the internal worlds of bodies.

Cut and Paste: From the two-dimensional silhouette portraits of Jerushia Graham to the three-dimensional pulp vessels of Elizabeth Lide, “Cut and Paste: Works of Paper” spotlights 11 artists from across the state who stand out for their ability to push and pull the properties of paper into exciting new forms. Selected by curator Didi Dunphy, the lineup also includes Steven L. Anderson, Matt Haffner and Lucha Rodriguez of Atlanta; Betsy Cain of Savannah; Imi Hwangbo and Samuel Stabler of Athens; Hannah Israel of Columbus; Teresa Bramlette Reeves of Kennesaw; and Kalina Wińska of Valdosta.

“Cut and Paste” is the second installment of “Highlighting Contemporary Art in Georgia,” a triennial series of traveling exhibitions that began in 2016 with “Pushing the Press: Printmaking in the South.” Co-organized by the Georgia Museum of Art and LHAC, the show will travel to museums in Atlanta, Macon, Albany and Savannah within the next year.

Presented in conjunction with “Cut and Paste,” Heidi Stabler’s “Paper Plants and Flowers” are lifelike sculptures grown from her combined passions for design, horticulture and the arts. A landscape architect who practiced in London and New York before returning to Athens in 2015 with husband Samuel, she builds arrangements by first studying each flower’s anatomy, texture and color, and then translating those unique qualities into exquisitely dyed and shaped paper recreations.

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Erin McIntosh in "Raucous"

A Century of Art: Following the Georgia Museum’s recent opening of “Our Town and Beyond,” a citywide celebration commemorating the 100th anniversary of one of the area’s oldest cultural organizations continues with the “A Century of Art: The Athens Art Association, 1919–2019.” Founded by artist and educator Laura Blackshear and 20 or so charter members to promote the production and visibility of the arts in Athens, the group continues to thrive today. Meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at the Lyndon House, where members gather to share ideas, opportunities and camaraderie.

Among works by longtime members such as Lucy Stanton, Millie Dearing, Nancy Roberson and Hildegarde Timberlake, the exhibition aims to represent each decade and is presented chronologically. Several recognizable landmarks appear across the walls, inviting viewers to consider the passage of time. Additional exhibitions highlighting the AAA will open at the Athens-Clarke County Library in August and the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in November.

Easement: On view in the Lounge Gallery, a space dedicated to quarterly solo exhibitions by artists who are either emerging or re-invigorating their careers, “Easement” shares vignettes of domestic spaces by Sarah Cowan White. A painter and art educator who graduated from the Lamar Dodd School of Art in 2015, White creates nostalgic interior scenes that offer an opportunity to contemplate how personal memories become frequently attached to objects and places.

Deliberately depicted with a lack of specificity, the rooms allow the viewer’s imagination to decorate using their own narratives and projections. The discomfort felt by entering a presumably private space is juxtaposed with the comfort of recognizing familiar architectural details and the recollection of memory.

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