University professor chosen for art show

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Troy University professor Jerry Johnson is among 16 artist from Alabama and Tennessee to have their work featured in the exhibit, “Genius Loci: The Spirit of Place” at the Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery in Wetumpka.

The exhibit includes more than 50 works that interpret the theme, ranging for realism to abstract and includes fiber, photography, painting and sculpture.

Johnson’s work seemed destined to be a part of “The Spirit of Place” exhibit.

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“I was working on a series, ‘A Place of Sense’ that is actually a play on words,” Johnson said. “I had done surrealist type drawings but I took a hiatus from the fine arts for about 15 years. Then, I got a bug to make art again.”

When the fine art bug bit, Johnson was working with computer digitations and thought it would be neat to repurpose his original artwork with digital image editing.

“I have always enjoyed a surreal state of place – a place where the imagination is the reality,” Johnson said. “By appropriating my own analog renderings that once portrayed slices of life, I have created a newer place where my once analog pieces have been digitally reborn and juxtaposed into a new interior space.”

Imagine a Baroque piece hanging in some old antique place.

That’s what Johnson imagined.

Included in the “Genius Loci: The Spirit of Place” exhibit are three of Johnson’s analog drawing/digital formations, “The Return of The Anti-Ravenesque,” “Rose Bombs and Collateral Damage” and “Worm-Mucking and Feeling Pail.”

“The Return of the Anti-Ravenesque” is the signature digital piece that launched his new narrative.

The “Anti-Ravenesque” explores Johnson’s life when he said he was most vulnerable as a young father and husband. In contrast, the “Worm-Mucking and Feeling Pail” is a tongue-in-cheek illustration that addresses Johnson’s routine “run-in” with a colleague that always over-watered plants in the office area causing a deluge of red-soiled water to flood the floor as if it were spilled blood.

“I’m delighted that I have garnered such favor regarding this new exploration,” Johnson said. “Just in 2013 alone, I have had works from this digital series, “A Place of Sense” accepted into exhibit spaces in several states.”

“A Place of Sense” has been exhibited in Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi, Maryland and New York. Here in Alabama, works from this series have been exhibited at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and the Alabama Society of Arts and Crafts in Montgomery.

Gallery hours for “Genius Loci: The Spirit of Place” at the Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery in Wetumpka are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The exhibit runs through Sept. 27.