A collage by Alexei Gural in "This Is It!"
To bring in the fall season, the Lyndon House Arts Center will host a complete turnover on its walls, with seven new exhibitions offering everything from woodland block prints to self-taught vernacular painting to delicate watercolors. The new shows will be celebrated during an opening reception on Thursday, Sept. 5 from 6–9 p.m.
Autumn’s Arrival: David Hale is easily one of Athens’ most recognizable and multi-faceted artists—an experienced tattooist, illustrator, printmaker and muralist whose work consistently embodies the wild beauty and spirit of nature. His latest venture dives into the world of storytelling through Autumn’s Arrival, a poetic children’s book inspired by the recent adoption of his daughter, Autumn Ember. The 32-page, full-color picture book is illustrated with narrative woodcut compositions that depict the journey of a small rabbit across water and through the air until she is finally united with her new family. Using the method of woodblock reduction print, a total of around 10 prints were initially created for each of the 18 designs using a dozen different colorways, then the favorite color combination of each illustration was selected for the final layout. The accompanying exhibition shares the sketches, carved blocks and original prints that were used to develop the final book, offering an interesting look into the artist’s unique process.
Elemental Clayscapes: Fans of Hale will rejoice in knowing that his work is also featured in a second exhibition, reflecting growth as an artist through collaboration. Combining the talents of Hale and ceramicist Marci Mendel White, “Elemental Clayscapes” presents beautiful porcelain pottery that was thrown on the wheel by White, who then guided Hale through carving each surface using sgraffito techniques.
This Is It!: Focusing specifically on artists who work in the food and beverage sector, “This Is It!: Service Industry Artists” reveals the double lives and diverse talents of employees at local businesses like The Grit, Jittery Joe’s and The World Famous who labor away in their studios while they’re not on the clock pouring your coffee or baking your cakes. The exhibition includes paintings by Lucy Calhoun, Toby Cole, Anna LeBer, Tim Root and Vernon Thornsberry, chalk portraits by Chris Collins, fiber art by Kayla Cox and Elinor Saragoussi, illustrations by Jess Dunlap, collages by Alexei Gural, ceramics by Maximos Salzman, photography by Robyn Waserman and glitter shadowboxes by me, because I happen to moonlight as a bartender at the 40 Watt Club.
James de Molyneux: When collector and painter James de Molyneux relocated to Georgia with his partner to renovate the Smithonia Plantation, originally built in 1863 by a slave owner and early user of convict labor, they brought along an impressive art collection amassed over the last few decades. The exhibition “Purvis Young and James de Molyneux” pairs his own works, which he began creating in response to the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA, in 2017, alongside pieces by the well-known African-American vernacular artist Purvis Young, whose raw paintings on repurposed wood express social, racial and political issues. De Molyneux will offer an opportunity to explore more of his collection and tour his eccentric home in Oglethorpe County on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 1–3 p.m. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nathaniel Burkins: On view in the Lounge Gallery, a space dedicated to quarterly solo exhibitions by artists either beginning or reinvigorating their careers, a new collection of photographs by Nathaniel Burkins represents the culmination of walking thousands of miles while observing the world around him. Whether in New York or Chicago or Europe, the artist has always carried his camera with him in hopes of capturing candid shots of subjects against backdrops of urban architecture. Though Burkins never took a break from taking pictures—a practice he’s kept up for 40 years—this is his first local exhibition since relocating to Athens to raise a family.
Georgia Watercolor Society: Demonstrating the delicate fluidity and gentle charm of the medium, “The Georgia Watercolor Society Member Exhibition of 2019” highlights artists who belong to the nonprofit organization, which was founded in 1975 to advance the art of watercolor painting across the state. Guest juror Myrna Wacknov of the National Watercolor Society selected 64 pieces from a pool of 194 submissions. Keep an eye out for award winners such as Diana Toma’s “Bewildered” portrait of a child eating an orange, Karen Fletcher Braverman’s “String Theory—Holes” of a sprinkled donut hanging by a thread and Anne Bradham’s lush “Broken Open” forest scene.
Collections From Our Community: Last but certainly not least, a new installment of the ongoing series Collections From Our Community shares a clowder of ceramic cats adopted by Rachel Barnes, personal stylist and co-owner of the Manilla Express food truck. Unified by fluffy white coats and pale blue eyes, they range in expression from long-lashed regality to pure derp with outreached tongues.
Celebrate new exhibitions opening at the Lyndon House this fall. "The Georgia Watercolor Society’s Members" exhibition is a juried show that will display a selection of watercolor paintings by its members. "Autumn’s Arrival" exhibits a collection of woodcuts and prints for a new children's book by local artist David Hale. "Elemental Clayscapes" presents a collaboration between Hale and Marci Mendel White. "This is It!" features art by local artists working in the food and beverage industry. "Purvis Young and James de Molyneux" offers pieces by the vernacular artist Young alongside works by de Molyneux, who collected hundreds of Young's paintings. In the Lounge Gallery, Nathaniel Burkins shares candid photographs. Collections From Our Community presents ceramic cats from Rachel Barnes. See Art Notes on p. 11.