Exhibit features Cuban painter, two sculptors

Feb. 18, 2011

Exhibit features Cuban painter, two sculptorsThe three artists featured in the current exhibition at the Lamar Dodd Art Center hail from different parts of the world, but all offer powerful, expressive visions in their art.

“These are three of the most exciting exhibits we've done in quite a while here at the Dodd Center,” said John Lawrence, Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Art and Design.

“First, there is the unusual and provocative vision of a Cuban artist who in his work expresses strong feelings about the condition of modern man using platonic symbolism,” Lawrence said. “Then there is a Korean sculptor who is a remarkable craftsman that makes wood sing (literally, one piece makes sounds) in ways never before imagined. And finally, another artist from Georgia who takes ordinary found objects and transforms them into significant objects of veneration and wonder.”

Exhibit features Cuban painter, two sculptorsAbisay Puentes’ art represents his reaction to the political system of Castro’s Cuba, and he and his family left that country to live in the United States in 2010. Lawrence said he learned about the artist from a local pastor, the Rev. Greg Brown.

“Brown and Larry Duncan of West Point, a member of his church and a coordinator of mission trips, have traveled to Cuba on several occasions,” Lawrence said. “They met and befriended Mr. Puentes,  purchased his work and arranged for this exhibit to come to America.”

Puentes, who now lives in Syracuse, N.Y., will meet with students on Thursday and will be present at an opening reception for the artists from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. He will discuss his work in the gallery at 6:30 p.m.

Tim Taunton, Professor of Ceramics and Sculpture, said the two sculptors in the exhibit have “works that are both dynamic and materially interesting.

“Michael Murrell is a retired professor of art and is well known for his inventive use of found materials and his wood craftsmanship,” Taunton said. “Two of his sculptures are made with animal bones which he collects while deer hunting. With Michael’s sculpture, one can see the flotsam and jetsam of nature reassembled into generally minimal forms that engage the viewer on many levels.”

Exhibit features Cuban painter, two sculptorsHyoungseok Kim is from Seoul, South Korea, and has master’s degrees from Hongik University in Korea and from Utah State University in Logan, Utah. He is a professor at Gainesville (Ga.) State College.

“Kim's clever use of an ordinary construction material presents an inspiring level of effort and craftsmanship,” Taunton said. “The pieces, made predominately of plywood, are laminated and carved into forms that resonate with playful allusions to nature, music and life.”

Also on display are two student-curated exhibitions.

“Southern Exposures” includes photographs from the art center's permanent collection that present varied images of Southern subject matter. Well-known photographers include Birney Imes, Eudora Welty, Walker Evans, William Christenberry, Jack Spencer and John McWilliams.

“Citiscapes by Lamar Dodd” is a survey of the artist’s work from the 1930s through the 1980s that use urban areas as subject matter.

The exhibits will be up until April 14. For more information, contact the art center at (706) 880-8211.

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