Albany Museum of Art welcomes three new exhibitions featuring Southern artists

·4 min read

Mar. 7—ALBANY — The Albany Museum of Art has opened three new exhibitions featuring works by a renowned photographer from Bainbridge, a self-taught artist from Alabama known for his storytelling and unique style, and college and university educators from south Georgia and north Florida.

Some of the first visitors were high school students in the Advanced Curriculum Spanish IV class at Deerfield-Windsor School. The class regularly helps the AMA create Spanish translations of its gallery guides. The class and teacher Jessica Carr worked to create the Spanish-language guide for "Butch Anthony: Art, Nature, and Intertwangleism" that will continue in the Haley Gallery through July 31.

"We were so thrilled to have high school students from DWS visit the AMA this morning for the opening of our spring exhibitions," AMA Director of Education and Public Programming Annie Vanoteghem said. "It has been a breath of fresh air to have the galleries alive with conversation and observation. I am looking forward to welcoming more groups in the months to come."

Anthony created a particular genre of art that he dubbed "Intertwangleism" in the early 1990s, utilizing various media and techniques to craft unique masterpieces. He is influenced in no small measure by his time at Auburn University, where his studies in zoology, geology and biology later manifested in his use of veins and bones in his artwork.

"Butch Anthony brings so much of the scientist/artist to his work, so much that it's almost impossible to see where his love for science and the creative begins and ends," said AMA Executive Director Andrew J. Wulf. "Perhaps more importantly, his work truly celebrates the human and animal worlds, and the intersections thereof."

Anthony has exhibited a keen eye for assembling seemingly disparate objects and art into one-of-a-kind artworks, combining his interest in fine art and design with his collecting of objects found in nature, such as bones, insects, shells and other artifacts.

In "Art, Nature, and Intertwangleism," you can find references to Charles Darwin and his work, as well as James Audubon. There also is a "Cabinet of Curiosities" in the center of the gallery.

Anthony is the creator of internationally recognized attractions, including the Museum of Wonder, The World's First Drive-Thru Museum, and The Possum Trot, where his artwork is displayed and sold.

New to the East Gallery are 29 photographs by the late Paul Kwilecki, who spent a lifetime capturing intimate images of life in Bainbridge and Decatur County. The black-and-white photographs in "Work, Worship & Community," all shot on 35mm film, look for "the core of what it is to be human," AMA Guest Curator Didi Dunphy said. "(Through) images of laborers, churchgoers, some enjoying leisure and neighbors, Kwilecki shows us a grave reminder of the socio-political gap in rural and small-town Georgia and those who live and work in the region."

The exhibition was made possible by The Do Good Fund, a Columbus, Ga.-based public charity with a photography collection that represents "a visual narrative of the ever-changing South," Dunphy noted.

"It is a privilege to show the work of master photographer Paul Kwilecki," Wulf said. "His images serve more than documentary purposes. They reveal the intimate life of a single location in the South. His work serves on so many levels, but as an anthropologist in Decatur County, his home, he brings out the deep emotional realities of everyday people."

"Work, Worship & Community" will continue in the East gallery through June 26.

Upstairs in the McCormack Gallery, artworks by 13 faculty members of universities and colleges in south Georgia and north Florida are on display in "Educators as Artists: 4th College Faculty Juried Exhibition."

Institutions represented in the exhibition include Albany State University, Valdosta State University, Florida State University, Columbus State University, Georgia Southwestern State University and Florida A&M University.

"It's a joy to celebrate local and regional artists at surrounding colleges and universities in what proves to be another meaningful array of creative talent," Wulf said.

"Educators as Artists" continues in the McCormack Gallery through June 26.

Also continuing are the ongoing exhibition "Escape Plan" in the West Gallery, and "Works by Tom Ferguson," which continues through April 30 in the Hodges Gallery.

The AMA is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Thursdays. Located at 311 Meadowlark Drive adjacent to the Albany State University West Campus, admission is free to everyone.