Paintings by Bill Bryant & Tony McDonald
Pine Straw Shapes and Vessels by Charlie Viers
July 11 - 28
Please Join Us for the Opening Reception
Saturday, July 11, 5 – 7 p.m.
It’s difficult for artists to visit the American Southwest and not allow the culture and landscape to have a profound effect on their work. Witness the exodus of painters to this region from New York and other parts of the country since the late 50’s and the hundreds of “Southwest Style” galleries that are prevalent in art centers like Santa Fe and Taos. What is difficult to find is artwork that references this region, and other Native American cultural connections, with a fresh and more modern approach to this popular genre. “Indigenous Images”, a three-man exhibit at the Norsworthy Gallery in Shreveport in July, is a show of work that slightly bends the traditional idea of “Southwest Style” artwork.
Bill Bryant is a frequent visitor to New Mexico. As former department head of the School of Fine Art at NSU in Natchitoches, Louisiana, Bryant formed summer classes for students at Ghost Ranch in Albiquiu, New Mexico, for years. Famous as the home of Georgia O’Keefe, this area provided Bryant a color palette and a vocabulary of shapes and images that he continues to use as foundation for his watercolors and paintings. Animals and structures ebb and flow in and around the surface of the paintings, defying gravity much like the images populating a Chagall or a later Matisse. Perspective in Bryant’s works is many times more like that of a Japanese woodcut, providing new, interesting and fun movements of color and shape playing around the design of the paintings. Dr. Bryant is a nationally recognized watercolorist living in Natchitoches, Louisiana. His paintings are in the permanent collection of the Alexandria Museum of Art, the Louisiana Arts and Science Museum, the Meadows Museum of Art and the GW/Corcoran Collection in Washington D.C.
Looking for an iconic image for the basis of a painting series, Tony McDonald discovered the stark shape of hanging dressed deer. Doing some research, he discovered that the image has a firm place in art history. From the flayed bulls of Rembrandt and impressionist Chaim Soutine, to the grim butcher shop / crucifixion paintings of Francis Bacon, the strong image conjures up myth, mortality and pathos. He realized that it was prevalent not only in art history, but in Native American and Southern American hunting culture and that the image touched different people on many different levels. McDonald has relied on this image over the years in a series of works that are being exhibited in this show together for the first time. The watercolors and large acrylic paintings in this exhibit bridge a common narrative from Native American and modern southern hunting ceremonial events. The paintings are thought provoking and provide an interesting contrast to the lyrical works of Bryant. Tony McDonald lives in Leesville, Louisiana and his work has been represented at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Alexandria Museum of Art and he has recently returned from participating in the 12th Havana Arts Biennial in Havana, Cuba.
Charlie Viers has taken the traditional craft of Native American pine straw basket weaving and has accelerated it into an art form of modern ingenuity. Although he still adheres to many of the traditional Native American shapes of the functional bowls and vessels of pine straw weaving, Charlie has expanded the medium to include non-functional sculptural works made from the straw of the longleaf pine. He attends to the entire process by hand: the selection of the material, dying the straw to the colors he needs and shaping and weaving the final products. His weavings shift in and around driftwood and pine knots, reflecting the movements of ancient serpents. Viers’ functional pieces are gems of craftsmanship, and his non-functional pieces are a nod to tradition with a wink to modernity. Charlie Viers is a member of both the Natchitoches Arts Guild Gallery and GALLERY ONE EIIIEVEN in Leesville, and his work is frequently represented in exhibits across the state.
-Tony McDonald, Artist
And remember, Downtown Shreveport is a Cultural District, which means no sales tax is owed on the purchase of original works of art, thanks to the Louisiana Cultural Districts Program.
We also offer limited edition prints, with tax included in the price.
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