Art Columns

ArtScape: October brings artist talks plus spooky creations and the fine art of tattooists

(Featured photo Sona Datta at the Morris Museum of Art on Sept. 27. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News)

A small group gathered at the Morris Museum of Art on Sept. 27 to hear Sona Datta speak.

Datta, who is British by birth but of Bengali descent, began her career at the British Museum. Her exhibition Voices of Bengal attracted more people of South Asian extraction in 2006 than any project in the British Museum’s history. In 2015, she wrote and presented the BBC4 film series Treasures of the Indus.

But she told the group gathered at the Morris Museum that she wasn’t always interested in the art of Indian and South Asia.

Her parents weren’t particularly interested in visual arts, and her first taste of visual art was influenced by the West.

Chase Lanier’s exhibition at Westobou Gallery. Photo courtesy Westobou

“Indian paintings are a completely different aesthetic,” she said. “Color is used to extract an emotional response.”

 And what she observed in Indian art was different than what she experienced in art of Western cultures.

Datta spoke about her Voices of Bengal exhibition as well as her BBC series which she called an art history travelogue.     

One of the episodes featured the art of Pakistan, and Datta said she learned a lot while doing that one.

“Pakistan was the most revelatory. We received hostile terror training, but I found it to be the most unhostile place I’ve ever been,” she said.

The Pakistani people were grateful for her visit.

“They were excited that people asked questions not about the Taliban or terrorism, but about their culture,” she said.

Datta was in town last week with Anila Quayyum Agha who is Augusta University’s Morris Eminent Scholar in Art.

The Morris will be the site of another artist talk at 6 p.m. Oct. 5.

Noah Scalin is a multidisciplinary artist whose work strives to organize the noise of American culture into new signals. Scalin cohosted the Emmy-nominated PBS program The Art Scene and is the founder of the art and innovation consulting firm Another Limited Rebellion, according to the Morris Museum of Art website.

Two artists, two talks, two locations right across the street from each other, one night only.

Chase Lanier, whose exhibition is coming to a close at the Westobou Gallery on Oct. 14, will speak about his works in Avoid Pointing at the Moon (it’s rude).

I asked him about the title when the show opened in September as part of the Westobou season kickoff.

He told me that he wanted people to come up with their own interpretations of what his work says to them, but to allow others that same freedom as well instead of just pointing at it and labeling it.

Jay Jacobs art will be at CANDL Fine Arts. Courtesy photo

There will be a wine and cheese reception in addition to his talk from 5 to 8 p.m.

 While you’re there, sneak a final peek at Porkchop’s work hanging in the micro gallery. All of the pieces will be heading to their new homes when the exhibition closes.

If the name Jay Jacobs isn’t familiar to you, go to the Jessye Norman School of the Arts to see the mural painted on the building or to the old Sky City building or to CANDL Fine Arts, where he will give an artist talk at 7 p.m. Friday.

“Known for his strong, lyrical and precise hand, Jay Jacobs often creates quiet, sometimes mundane moments that mask a chaotic, bewildering world. The presentation, like the artist, promises to be thoughtful, direct and engaging. Unraveling the underlying narratives makes this striking work all the more arresting,” according to a news release from the CANDL gallery.

Jacobs’ exhibition Detritus opens Friday and will run through Nov. 17. Some of the work is inspired by a lesson he taught at the Jessye Norman School of the Arts about an artist named El Anatsui and some of the work is simply the result of Jacobs “moving paint around for no other reason than the joy derived from the exercise itself,” according to his artist statement.

The artwork of Alex Foltz and June Klement is on display through Oct. 27 at Sacred Heart Cultural Center.

And at the 600 Broad Gallery it will be one of the biggest shows of the year with food and beverage trucks from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday.

The More than Skin exhibition is the seventh annual event highlighting the fine art of area tattoo artists.

Over at Le Chat Noir, 304 Eighth St.  is the seventh annual October Spooktacular with its Halloween-theme, curated by Heather Rene Dunaway.

“This exhibition allows local, Augusta area artists to come together to show their creepy creations in a fun new way,” Dunaway wrote in a news release.

In seven years, it’s grown from seven artist in a bar off Broad Street to more than 20 artists chosen from more than 50 submissions.  More than 30 works are part of the exhibition and are in a variety of mediums from traditional to digital.

A reception is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 20.

Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

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