Feb 05, 2013


Show Features 30 Watercolor Paintings and Pottery from Chattanooga Artist

(Columbia, Tenn. - November 2, 2010) - - - Thirty paintings from the Tennessee Watercolor Society's 32nd Exhibition in Chattanooga are on a five-month tour across the state and will be on display through the November in Columbia State's Pryor Art Gallery. Also on display in the gallery is pottery by Chattanooga artist Shadow May.

"Hosting the 2010 juried Tennessee Watercolor Society exhibition is a premier event for Columbia and Middle Tennessee," said Lucy Kuykendall, curator of Columbia State's Pryor Art Gallery. "An accredited painting juror has awarded prizes to selected paintings, all of which met high entry standards. We will have 30 of the very best water colors in Tennessee this year! The subject matter varies from still life to landscape and from monochromatic to many colored, but the quality is uniformly high. Shadow May, our potter for the month, is an exciting shaper of clay. He works within a tradition, but pushes those forms. November in the Pryor Gallery will be a treat and a Thanksgiving."

The highlight of the exhibit is the painting, Orangina by Laurin McCracken, which was purchased as a $1,400 Patron Purchase Award, the highest in that category of prizes in the competition. It is an intricately detailed 'line-up' of crystal glasses, bottles and jars on a shelf, rendered in transparent watercolor with shades of gray and sparkling light reflections. The artist has achieved international recognition with two paintings recently accepted in the 2010 Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Biennial, the first international exhibition in China dedicated to watercolor. Just 230 works were chosen from 2,300 entered by celebrated artists around the world. McCracken has many accolades for prestigious awards during the short period of less than 10 years that he has been painting.

The juror for the Tennessee exhibition, George James, Professor Emeritus at California State University, Fullerton, chose all of the award-winning paintings, plus 13 others that he felt made a good grouping for the Traveling Show. The top winners - edie Maney's Gold Award, Wildwood Garden ; Fred Rawlinson's Silver Award, Ground Cover; Kay Coop's Bronze Award , Decaying Elegance; Harriet Chipley's Special Award for Totally Transparent Watercolor, Cycle Two, Leslie Dulin's Dancers, a $1,200 Purchase Award and three other $1,000 Purchase Award paintings will be shown. Eight other award winners will also be featured. These are considered the finest watermedia paintings in Tennessee.

Founded in 1971, Tennessee Watercolor Society began annual exhibitions with their first at the Hunter Museum in Chattanooga. Each year it was hosted in one of the major cities, rotating around the state. After each exhibition closed, selected paintings traveled to other locations, sometimes touring for almost a year. This practice gradually phased out, and beginning in 2000 the main exhibition has been held every two years. The Traveling Show resumed in 2008 with one venue. This year there are three. When the 2010 Exhibition closed in Chattanooga on June 25, the 30 paintings selected from the original 70 went on to the Customs House Museum in Clarksville for July and August. Next it progressed to the West Tennessee Regional Art Center where it continues until October 28. The 2012 Biennial Exhibition will be in Memphis.

May was born and raised in Alaska, and currently lives in Chattanooga. He has been a professional potter for about 15 years, is a member of the Appalachian Craft Guild and Crafts Association, and has been part of shows across the United States, from Alaska to Tennessee, North Carolina to Hawaii, gathering knowledge and refining his skills. May received his training through many different avenues, spending a short time in college, attending workshops as well as numerous intense apprenticeships.

"Everything up until now has influenced my growth, my views and my life as a potter," said May. "I've just let my pots evolve with myself. The interactions, conversations, confrontations--whatever it is--come out in my pots."

The Pryor Art Gallery is located in the Waymon L. Hickman building on Columbia State's Columbia Campus. The Gallery s open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., and on Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. The gallery is also open on weekends during special events. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information go to www.columbiastate.edu/pryor-gallery.