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Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Exhibits: Bill Traylor at the High Museum

Becky

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This week I had the pleasure of heading to one of my favorite museums, The High Museum of Art here in Atlanta.* While the biggest current draw is the exhibition Picasso to Warhol: Fourteen Modern Masters, I was headed over to see Bill Traylor: Drawings from the Collections of The High Museum of Art and The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

Traylor was a self-taught African-American folk artist. Born a slave in 1854, he finally left the plantation to move to Montgomery Alabama around 1928, sleeping in the store room of a funeral home at night while drawing on the sidewalks by day.  He would sit outside and draw the world walking by, usually on the back of old cardboard ads he found on the street and in the trash. His media of choice (and availablilty) were pencil, watercolor, poster paint, charcoal and crayons. He was able to capture so much movement, emotion and personality with such simple drawings. While they are distinctly folk art, there are a lot of qualities that are at once primitive and modern, from the way he abstracts silhouettes of people to his use of color.

The cardboard is the back of an old sign advertisement for Sensation cigarettes, thus its odd size.

If you have chance to catch this show, you really should not miss it. It combines collections of the two museums. What’s so wonderful about standing 12 inches from one of these works, separated only by a pane of glass, is that you can see the dirt, wrinkles and tears on the cardboard. You can see the rhythm of the pencil strokes up close. You can see where the artist’s finger smeared the charcoal. I hadn’t been this moved by a show since I went to see the quilts made by the women from Gee’s Bend.

Learn more about Traylor and about Charles Shannon, a fellow artist who collected and preserved Traylor’s drawings ever since meeting him in 1939 at highmuseum.org.

All images via highmuseum.org.

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Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Inspiration Monday: Funky Stuff Around Town

Becky

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I was just chatting with my friend Christina who said she’d bought MORE yard art at the Inman Park Festival this weekend. She was worried she’d become that crazy old lady whose yard looks more like a junkyard than a sculpture garden. I assured her that it was a very Southern thing to do, and that she should go for it (one crazy old lady to another). Anyway, I thought I’d share just a few funky things I’ve spied around town lately.

What kind of funky stuff have you seen around your town lately? Have you put any of the funk in your own yard?

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Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Southern Culture at The Inman Park Festival

Becky

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On Sunday the sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, and the corndogs were deep-frying. The Inman Park Festival was in full swing, with plenty of live music, artisans, and quirky characters in attendance. I thought I’d share a few fun shots of the festivities, even though they are a little blurry and taken from a phone..

Missionary Mary Procter is one of my all-time favorites. Here are a few more shots of her work:

The day would not have been complete without another favorite, no, his name is not Miss Pinky, it’s Chris Cross Dresser:

Say what you want about the South, but Atlanta is awesome!

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Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Pictures from Doo-Nanny

Becky

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While I didn’t make it Doo-Nanny this weekend, Drew and Sara did, and they sent along plenty of great pictures of all the fun they had in Alabama, hanging out with all the artists (including Natalie Chanin) and musicians and assorted southern characters at Butch Anthony’s farm in Seale Alabama. They gave me so many awesome photos that I could not even begin to edit, so I’ll insert a gallery of a fraction of them at the bottom. Here’s a peek:

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