Gallery Director Sarah Wilson recently went on an art scouting trip to the Huntsville Museum of Art to view the exhibition The Red Clay Survey: 2012 Exhibition of Contemporary Southern Art. On view until September 16th, The Red Clay Survey is a recurring juried exhibition open to artists in 11 Southern states that seeks to “recognize and encourage excellence” in artwork and to “provide a permanent record of the development of regional art.” The 80 works on display this year encompass a wide range of styles and media by over 61 different artists, all chosen by jurors Janet Monafo and Paul Rahilly through a two-stage evaluation process.
Photographer Jose Betancourt, who will be exhibiting his work with Susan Weil at the Tinney Contemporary next month has a piece in the show, and Sarah also discovered a few new names that you’ll want to keep your eye on. Artist Carl Gombert’s stamped “Geometrics” are absolutely entrancing, while his realist paintings and drawings seek to capture the expressions of the human face much in a way that brings to mind the work of Ali Cavanaugh. Atlanta-based John Sumner’s expressive photographs capture peeks into the lives of those living in his homeland of the American South in a way that only an “insider” could, evoking a certain sense of timelessness.
Another standout was artist Kath Girdler Engler, the child of a veteran antique dealer who finds unique ways to combine unconventional materials into beautiful pieces of art, using “old, broken, discarded items” as an important part of her sculptures. Many of Kath’s pieces are heavily themed with the relationship between mother and child and are influenced by “serene Cycladic forms” and Greek mythology.
The exhibition is a fantastic way to gain exposure to many Southern artists on the rise, and we encourage you to make a trip before it closes on September 16th! If you’ve already been to the show, who were your favorite artists or pieces?