February 03, 2009

Retrospective - Quick Overview...


Left B'ham in heavy rain, arrived in Florence 2.5 hours later in bright sunshine... promising! Florence and Muscle Shoals are sister cities across the Tennessee River... lots of music history here, the University of North Alabama adds the college element, plus historical names like Helen Keller, Frank Lloyd Wright and W.C. Handy...all the ingredients for an eclectic community with deep southern roots.

Two beautiful, classic homes make up the complex of the Kennedy Douglass Center for the Arts... located across from a large city park. Obviously well funded, the houses have been joined in the back, linking and creating spacious and elegant rooms used for all manner of art related endeavors.

My dedicated space was the large front room off the center hall, empty except for a large grand piano at the front windows. The walls are fabric covered, only an ancient patterned rug and a few extra easels furnished the space. I had somehow thought there would be a series of smaller rooms that would break up the jump from series to series, but lots of forethought had gone into the presentation and the series moved smoothly from the left of the entrance around the room, interrupted appropriately as I headed in new directions. My worst fear was that it would look like a group show and not the steady advancement of one searching artist.

Mary Nicely, the program coordinator, had been working with me from the onset... she was a delight to meet and work with as we worked to make the best presentation while keeping the timeline and series development in order. She had sent a previous invitation which I'd had to refuse due to gallery schedules, and happened to send another invite at a time I'd just quit the Memphis gallery. I agreed, thinking I'd have plenty of work on hand... but then the opportunity to join a Charlotte gallery came along and now what would I do for work? That's when the idea of a retrospective bloomed. And what a trip it has been! I hung the show the day after my 70th birthday... so it's like throwing a party with all my old paintings as guests, on hand to meet the new ones... why do I feel a tad like Alice...?




As mentioned earlier, there will be no opening, but I will give a gallery talk just before the show comes down in late March. Mary's attention to detail, her research via my website for promotion purposes... impressive! I hope to take better installation pics at that time, I hurried through these as it had been a long day and we needed to move on.

9 comments:

Annette Bush said...

The show looks good, Karen, and it does flow nicely. It's really interesting to see the decades on the wall and I would love to have hours for the notebooks! Congratulations on putting together such a terrific birthday celebration!
AB

Leslie Avon Miller said...

Sincere congratulations Karen.

Karen Jacobs said...

It's been enlightening... amazing how much has been revealed to me by 'curating' this show.

Leslie, I especially enjoyed your recent photos of 'found reds'... isn't photography a wonderful way to investigate what is so easily overlooked?

bridgette said...

Congratulations Karen! It looks wonderful from the photos, but must be an entirely different experience in person. Wish I could!

CMC said...

It looks wonderful, Karen. I want to hear all about these notebooks, too, when you have the chance. Congratulations........and belated Happy Birthday!

Karen Jacobs said...

Cheryl, the notebooks are simply a gathering place for various series... photos, clippings, etc. I dressed them up with photos on the front and titles including the years those series were developing. I'll talk more about them at some point... left them at the show.

CMC said...

Sounds good, Karen. Have you tried the Blurb or LuLu books yet? From what I hear, they're great and you could make something like this for all your series or certain spans of time.
One of these days I will....right now I can't get back enough from what I've been doing over a period of time.

Karen Jacobs said...

Oh yes... a book or books to pass down in the family will be the next step... but I keep finding stuff I overlooked, so I'm still in gathering mode at this point.

Joanie San Chirico said...

I SO wish I could see the exhibit in person!