Published on October 31st, 2018 | by TLV News0
Artists’ Reception for Coulter Fussell and Andrew Blanchard at Southside Gallery November 1
Southside Gallery will feature I Hear Southern Voices by painter/printmaker Andrew Blanchard and New Work by quilter Coulter Fussell through the month of November.
The exhibition will be on display October 30–December. An artists’ reception is scheduled for Thursday, November 1, 5–8 pm.
Both Blanchard and Fussell have had past exhibitions at Southside Gallery. This is Blanchard’s seventh exhibition at Southside. His most recent exhibition was in November of 2015. This is Fussell’s second exhibition at Southside. It’s the first time she has exhibited her quilts. Fussell’s first exhibition at Southside was a 2012 show featuring her paintings.
Andrew Blanchard’s new body of work carries on his long running theme of southern identity and dysfunction. The works explore the political, cultural, and social atmosphere of the South, often with dark humor and graphic imagery. An avid reader, Blanchard also includes a number of literary references in his work—some direct, some intimated. As Blanchard states, “What began as a literary word grab as an homage to the likes of Mississippians Michael Farris Smith, Jesmyn Ward, Elizabeth Spencer, Ralph Nordan, Barry Hannah, and Larry Brown, over this past spring during my sabbatical evolved into social commentary on a national level. Not just works based upon our region in the American South, but by utilizing voices that I’m accustomed to revering in order to make a more united based visual statement.” Much of his work also examines family dynamics, interpersonal relationships and parenthood.
Coulter Fussell’s new quilts are experimental works of art made of wide ranging materials. Unconventional textiles—natural and synthetic—such as commodity rice bags, a painted canvas, waitress aprons, reflective vests, AstroTurf, and t-shirts can all be found in Fussell’s quilts on display in this exhibition. The quilts are abstract compositions, taking on unorthodox forms. Evoking a number of artistic associations and influences as varied as abstract expressionist paintings and folk art assemblages, Fussell’s quilts are visually delightful. Fussell, who is also a painter, incorporates design elements of painting into her work. Layers of materials overlap one another to develop textural and tonal changes, similar to painterly brushwork.
Fussell describes her work: “My pieces are never really about anything specific on an individual basis. They are more about general associations to memory, connections through time and space, evidence of physical existence, and the wordless feelings. Mainly I think about composition, darks and lights. They’re more about the visual puzzle of beauty and balance than anything. They’re almost strictly an exercise in manipulating and an homage to the mystifying (at least to me) miracle, of sorts, that is sight and touch.”