Escape to Tranquility: The New American Landscape

                                                July 14 - September 27, 2015

  Delta_Spring_or_Spring_Delta.jpg                                                                          Richard Kelso, Delta Spring
 Escape to Tranquility: The New American Landscape features approximately 45 paintings by five contemporary artists including Jackson artist Richard Kelso, New York artist Robert Kipniss, Maine artist T. Allen Lawson, Hattiesburg, Mississippi artist Myra Meade and Laurel native Lisa Thames. Each artist's work represents the land in a way that envelopes, calms and invites the viewer to stay and become part of the scenery.

The paintings may depict imagery of dark, cool fall evenings, intense summer light reflecting across a sun-drenched lake or the crisp new-fallen snow of January. Escape to Tranquility features landscapes without human interaction and presence. Visitors will experience the artists' interest in changing light, contemplative spirits, and landscapes that look as if they were just recently discovered or newly cultivated.

Landscape paintings have long been an interest to this Museum, as evidenced by the donations of American and European paintings from the founding families. The contemporary landscapes in this beautiful exhibition pay homage to the works created in the French Barbizon, Hudson River School and Impressionist styles, in which the land is vast and important. However, the contemporary artists in Escape to Tranquility employ an intense, contemporary color palette that places their work in the 21st century.

Mississippi artist Richard Kelso was born and raised in Cleveland, Mississippi and attended Delta State University. He later received training at the Cape School of Art in Provincetown, Massachusetts. He received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Mississippi and spent time teaching at Millsaps College and Meridian Community College. He currently resides in Jackson where he works as a full-time painter and regularly exhibits his artwork.

A self-taught artist, New York-based Robert Kipniss held his first solo exhibition at the age of twenty in 1951. Since that first exhibit, he has participated in more than 200 one-artist exhibitions. His work has been included in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The British Museum and The Art Institute of Chicago, in addition to many others.

Hailing from Maine, T. Allen Lawson formally studied portraiture and figure drawing at the American Academy of Art in Chicago and the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Lawson's work is represented in many collections, including the White House permanent collection, the Denver Art Museum and the Portland Museum of Art. He has received numerous awards and has participated in many solo and group exhibitions.

Closer to home, Myra Meade holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Arts degree in Art Education and Painting from East Tennessee State University. Meade continued her education with graduate studies through the University of Georgia's Cortona Program. She is a career teacher with 20 years of teaching at Hattiesburg High School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and has participated in at least 100 exhibitions including solo, invitational and competitive exhibits both at home and abroad.

Born, reared, and still residing in Laurel, Lisa Thames paints primarily the landscapes of the Mississippi countryside. She studied art at the University of Mississippi and has participated in gallery shows over the past twenty years, while continuing to teach art to children.

Each artist featured in Escape to Tranquility is a seasoned painter who has devoted most of their waking hours to the art of painting, whether it be through visual study, the study of other artists, teaching art, or spending blocks of time in the studio every day. These artists share common threads in their love of nature and desire to emulate its beauty on canvas.

This exhibition generously sponsored by



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