Artists reception on Sunday at Johnson Center

Published 11:00 pm Friday, March 22, 2013

The Johnson Center for the Arts will host an Artists Reception for the “Legacy” exhibition, which includes landscapes from Allyson Comstock, Chuck Hemard and Cynthia Farnell, from 2 until 4 p.m. Sunday. The public is invited to attend.

More than 25 pieces by the three Southern artists are on display in the Muriel Saunders, Chapman-Allred-Jones, Dorothy Hattaway Brantley and the Jane Jernigan Brantley galleries.

“Threads of nature, place, culture and history run through the work of these artists,” said Morgan Drinkard, Johnson Center director. “The contemplative gaze of each artist turns in a different direction within the landscape of the South. “

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Drinkard said that Farnell, an Alabama native, who lives and works in Georgia, conveys her experience of place as it is connected to the flora and fauna of her 1920s era urban Atlanta neighborhood.

“Cynthia Farnell’s lush digital pigment prints of blooming plants serve as metaphors for cycles of death and regeneration as well as beautiful remnants of human presence,” Drinkard said. “The camellias, wisteria and magnolias captured in her photographs create a connection to the neighborhood and its history but, more broadly, they give a sense of place.”

Drinkard said that Hemard is a life-long resident of the South who lives in Georgia and works in Alabama.

“Chuck Hemard’s photographs are beautifully evocative,” she said. “They explore the remnant landscapes of old-growth longleaf pinelands that are nestled in the Southern landscape. He highlights a part of Southern history and also his interest in society’s relationship to place and his concerns about human interaction with the natural world.”

Comstock has lived and worked in Alabama for 23 years. She also draws upon the Southern landscape in her highly textural handmade-paper pieces.

“Pine pollen floating on water becomes both source imagery and media in Allyson Comstock’s work,” Drinkard said. “The visual poetry of nature dusting the surface of Lake Martin with pollen each spring brings attention to the beauty that can be found in nature through close observation.”

Drinkard said that Farnell, Hemard and Comstock approach the Southern landscape from different perspectives but all three convey a deep regard for place and history.

“A sense of time is conveyed through the blooming cycles of nature, the slow growth of trees and plants to achieve maturity, and their rejuvenation through pollination,” Drinkard said. “Overall, a larger message regarding the need to understand the impact of human interactions with nature is foregrounded.”

The “Legacy” exhibit will close April 28. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.