2011-2012

Virginia Rocks! The History of Rockabilly in the Commonwealth
July 1 – December 1, 2011
The Price-Strongwell Galleries

Like a teacher pushed to the edge, rockabilly grabbed teenagers by the ears in the early 1950s and kept shaking for nearly a decade. With Elvis Presley leading the charge, the music was powered by a driving bass, sharp up-front guitar licks catchy teen-scene lyrics, and stage antics gushing with attitude. The rock ‘n’ roll revolution was officially underway. Virginia Rocks: A History of Rockabilly in the Commonwealth explores the careers of dozens of 1950s rockers from across the state. Most of them barely got beyond cutting a couple of 45s and playing the high school dance, but a few—such as Norfolk’s Gene Vincent and Halifax County’s Janis Martin—held center stage on the rockabilly scene in the U.S. and abroad. John Lennon, Jim Morrison, Jeff Beck, and Bob Dylan have all paid tribute to Virginia’s rockabilly greats. Objects will include rockabilly performers’ costumes and musical instruments (even a pair of Elvis’s shoes!), studio equipment, records, photographs, and video footage.

 

Visions of Paradise: Paintings by Rob Vander Zee Inspired by Travels to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands
July 22 – November 6, 2011
The United-Legard Galleries

Virginia based painter Rob Vander Zee creates enchanted, fantastic worlds brimming with imagined plant life and mutant creatures. This ongoing series “Visions of Paradise” evolved from earlier explorations of the landscape and figure, and was initially inspired by his travels in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands in 2009. Vander Zee’s strange and beautiful flora and fauna reflect his interest in the future evolution of life forms. These works are parables for how science sis reshaping life on earth, or as the critic Jonathan Goodman describes them, “scenes of a postnuclear landscape in which almost anything can happen.”

 

From These Hills 2011: Contemporary Art in the Southern Appalachian Highlands
October 14, 2011 – February 19, 2012
United Company Regional Art Gallery

William King Museum is proud to present the tenth From These Hills biennial exhibition. Historically, this exhibition boasts a wide range of media and subjects with reference to this notable time and place. Our Guest Juror, Amy Moorefield, selected the following twenty-three artists to be featured in this 2011 exhibition after reviewing portfolios submitted by artists from Southwest Virginia, Northeast Tennessee, Western North Carolina, Eastern Kentucky, and Southern West Virginia. Artist included: Jeffrey Allison, Jennifer D. Anderson, Betsy Hale Bannan, Laken Grace Bridges, Christine Carr, Aleta Cortes, Brian Counihan, Ralph Eaton, Younseal Eum, Mira Gerard, Travis Graves, Alison Hall, Travis Head, Greg Howser, Scott Hubener, Jake Ingram, Clover Archer Lyle, Alison Pack, Simone Paterson, Isaac Powell, Dawn Roe, Jenny Snead, Liz Murphy Thomas.

 

Hazel Larsen Archer: Black Mountain College Photographer
November 18, 2011 – April 8, 2012
The United-Legard Galleries

When Hazel Larsen arrived at Black Mountain College for the
1944 Summer Institute, the college was host to gifted artists in many disciplines. Under the influence of her mentor, Josef Albers, the young photographer developed a visual aesthetic power and sensitivity. She stayed at the college for nine years, first as a student and then as a faculty member. Full of insight and beauty, Hazel Larsen Archer’s Black Mountain College photographs provide an invaluable record of time, place and a group of people that changed our culture.

 

 

Dress-Up: A Regional Portrait of Childhood
Dec 16, 2011 – May 13, 2012
The Price-Strongwell Galleries

In conjunction with the 2012 program MINDS WIDE OPEN: Virginia Celebrates Children in the Arts, William King Museum will playfully evoke the lives and adventures of children growing up in Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. At all social and economic levels, children tended to dress like miniature adults, with only slight differentiation in lengths of skirts or knickers. This exhibition will explore the interaction of art and fashion with children’s lives in the region, through examples of historic costume and period portraiture. Other items such as toys, furniture, and journals will compliment the subject of childhood from this bygone era.

 

Color Me Bad: Animation, Pop, Satire
March 9 – August 5, 2012
The United Company Regional Art Gallery

The idea of an aesthetic fusion of popular culture with Appalachian vernacular in many ways invites a calamity of principles and taste. Brian Clinebell, Peter Morgan, and Jessica Walker grew up in Abingdon at the end of twentieth century with color televisions and new-media saturation yet surrounded by the tchotchkes and Americana that are favored in the mountains of Appalachia. The work in this exhibition will focus on art-making as a place for humor and social critique as well as present alternative applications of animation and graphic imagery. Collectively the work will offer an unexpected narrative about what it means to be from this unique region and new generation of artists.

 

Circles in the Sand: Aboriginal Art from Australia’s Central Desert in the Kluge-Ruhe Collection
April 28 – September 9, 2012
The United-Legard Galleries

Circles in the Sand: Aboriginal Art from Australia’s Central Desert in the Kluge-Ruhe Collection includes work from three desert communities – Papunya, Yuendumu and Balgo – each with their own distinct history and style of painting. In putting together this exhibition, Kluge-Ruhe focused on the art centers associated with these communities, which not only market art on behalf of the artists, but also serve community interests and empower Aboriginal people to achieve their own goals.

 


 

Shining Light: Folk Artists Nancy Johnson and Minnie Ma Scyphers
June 8 – December 30, 2012
The Price-Strongwell Galleries

Nancy Johnson is a studio artist at Abingdon’s Arts Depot. Much of her work is inspired by family history and childhood memory. She also references the early history of African-Americans from the region and beyond. Johnson incorporates a range of materials including paint, glitter, stickers, pencil shavings and paper. Her gift for story-telling is at once surprising and amusing, candid and heartfelt.

Minnie Ma Scyphers’s descendants generously donated several paintings to the William King Museum in 2010. Her landscapes are typically painted from memory, but she also sketched and painted scenes on site. Her interior scenes, of pleasant homes with paintings on the walls and neat furnishings, seem to be of her fantasy home. In one of her two books of poetry, she stated, “I do not want to bury any talent which I might have; what little light I have, I want to let it shine.”

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