As we have bragged before, we are not afraid to leave the vibrant tumult of the urban core to find art in the metro’s extremities. We devote today’s blog to a visit to Norcross and its gallery/studio space called Kudzu Art Zone.
The Zone currently hosts a juried exhibition that was open to all Georgia artists. Professor Craig Dongoski of Georgia State University, a multimedia artist, served as juror for the open competition.
Openness can be wild and chaotic. Judging by the work selected for exhibition, Dongoski must have been overwhelmed with flower power in the work submitted. There are lots of studies of flowers and fruits on display. Does everyone who thinks of Norcross think of agriculture, wild plants on the borders of pasture land, or the flowered surface of swamp ponds?
What caught Dongoski’s eye as meriting awards were mostly not flowers or even landscapes, but dreams.
The blue ribbon went to Ed McGrath’s painting titled “Whaling Town.” The style resembles that of Mattie Lou O’Kelley, with its compressed perspective, and numerous routine events occurring all at once in miniature and rudimentary forms.
Mr. McGrath was present at the Zone when we visited, and he requested that his work not be photographed. He said his wife had urged him to make the painting, and it was a gift to her, and she did not want it to be photographed. He said he has made many more pictures in the same style and has never shown them publicly.
The red ribbon was awarded to Don Dougan for his three-dimensional work, “Verdigris Dream: Two Natures.” Dougan’s representation of eery feelings that lurk beneath a soothing surface has the power to haunt, and also the power to amuse with its silly collection of found symbols.
The white ribbon was awarded to an artist identified as Vision Bear for the painting titled “Ocelotl Dream.” This work is packed with imagery suggestive of dream-journeying and ritual objects, its colors pulsing with heat and alchemy.
Several honorable mentions were awarded. Here is a tip of the hat to one of the fans of flora, Mary Jane Warren Stone.
Kudzu Art Zone’s Open Juried Exhibition is on display through July 19, 2014.