The Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design Gallery is pleased to presents Frank Poor: Mapping Memory on view June 2 through July 29. The public is invited to the opening reception on Thursday, June 2 from 5-8 p.m. The event is part of the Downtown First Thursdays Arts Walk.
Artist and Georgia State University alumnus Frank Poor exhibits new sculptures and works on paper created in response to the landscapes of Georgia and Alabama. This evocative new series was made during Poor’s recent residency at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia.
Vernacular architectural forms appear in this work as mill houses, shotgun shacks and churches, translated into three dimensions via photographic images printed directly onto wood veneer. Poor’s meticulous craftsmanship and playful scale enthrall the viewer with surreal, three-dimensional images. The tension between the inaccuracy of the artist’s memory and the “reality” of the present is reinforced by his methodology of merging the flat space of the photograph with the three-dimensional image of the sculptural form. Poor says, “A recent residency at Columbus State University marked my first sustained visit back to the South in twenty years. It also enabled me to spend four months wandering around Georgia and Alabama photographing landscapes and architecture. These travels served to reinforce the power of place to remind. The work in this show reflects my attempt to map that reminding.
Any return to a place of childhood is complicated by the effects of time. You grow older, the characters change and the landscapes are altered. Our memories and the world they confront are ultimately irreconcilable. If even a faint map emerges from this exercise it would be one that marks the moments when the images I collected rhymed with the ones I brought.”
Welch School Gallery Director Cynthia Farnell says, “Frank’s work encapsulates the dichotomies of the current landscapes of Georgia and Alabama. On the one hand there is the visual insistence of a not so distant past in the decaying dwellings and churches; on the other hand there is the explosion of development and suburbanization that virtually erases any collective memory or sense of place. I like to think of Frank as the Atget of three dimensions. He is able to grab fragments of vernacular expressions in all their beautiful imperfection and humanity.”
About the artist
Frank Poor was born in Woodstock, Georgia in 1962. He earned his BFA from Georgia State University and MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Recent solo exhibitions include Enon Cemetery Project, at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in 2009, Shadows and Signs, at Coastal Carolina University in 2007 and Time, Memory and the Poetic Impulse, at Salve Regina University in 2005. A solo exhibition, entitled Going Home is scheduled for fall 2011 at the Newport Art Museum in Newport, Rhode Island.
Welch School Galleries/ GSU
10 Peachtree Center Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30303
The Welch School Galleries are located at the corner of Gilmer Street and Peachtree Center Ave. Free evening event parking at the United Way deck at Auburn Ave. and Courtland Ave. The gallery is within walking distance of the MARTA Five Points Station. All gallery programs are free and open to the public and accessible to persons with disabilities.