Art Columns

ArtScape: Porkchop plays, Francie dreams, artists create literary and abstract designs

(Featured photo is of Leonard “Porkchop” Zimmerman’s “The Duchess of Hot Dog.”)

You can’t cover the arts community in this town without befriending an artist or two or three. And in my case, I lived with one of the artists for about 14 years. So that’s my disclaimer related to this column. .

My brother is the artist also known as Porkchop.

When I saw him last week, he excitedly told me about his exhibition at Westobou’s MICRO Gallery that opens Thursday, Aug. 31 as part of the Westobou Season Launch Party.

He calls it Caution: Artist at Play because it’s a show i which he was able to do whatever he wanted and just have fun with it. He’s played around with a wide mix of media and styles threaded with bits of Porkchop whimsy in 41 different pieces.

He told me he thought about doing still lifes and other pieces that you don’t usually see from him, but he quickly decided that wasn’t completely what he wanted. He did one still life — and I use that term loosely — that features a bowl of fruit with a robot sitting on top throwing grapes.

Other fun pieces include Jell-O mold inspired ideas.

I’ve seen pictures of 1970s desserts made with Jell-O with all sorts of other things that don’t belong in a dessert. Keep that part in mind because his Jell-O molds also have items that don’t belong there.

Then, there are the beautiful flowers he created out of cut paper. Some of the pieces are painted on glass; others have recycled items some are layered as though they were placed in a shadow box.

Also there are a few items from our childhood thrown in. We loved playing with Little People as kids, and they make an appearance. And to top it off, he had some fun with a thrift shop painting, again adding in items that don’t belong.

The event Thursday is your last chance to say farewell to Kristi Sykes who is moving to North Carolina, where she’ll be closer to family. And it’s the opportunity to welcome Matt Porter to his new position as Westobou’s executive director.

And not to take anything away from Chase Lanier who has the main gallery. I haven’t seen his show yet, but Kristi told me that Chase has been hard at work on it for most of this year, and that it will be amazing. I’ll be there Thursday, and I can’t wait to see what Chase has done.

I’ll write about it and give you some photos next week. .

Another of my friends in the arts community is the brilliant Francie Klopotic, who I desperately miss as a columnist, but to say the woman has been busy is the understatement of the century.

So far in 2023, she’s done two solo art exhibitions, curated one and been part of about six group exhibitions.

That makes me tired just thinking about it.

 Portraits have been a favorite vein of hers, starting with drawings.

She picked up paint brushes in the spring of 2021 because she wanted more color, and she found that people responded to her paintings. The medium resonates with her as well.

Her Souls of the Midnight Dreamers focuses on people who’ve achieved their dreams and inspire her.

Prince by Francie Klopotic

Francie said she wants to be successful in her art. That doesn’t mean making tons of money, but it does mean creating pieces that she and others enjoy and evolving and growing in her craft.

And if that’s how she sees success, well, with eight arts exhibitions in one year, I think shows that she’s a smash hit.

Her show will be at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, and the opening reception is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 2.

Speaking of Francie’s art shows, she’s part of another one that opens this weekend at the Book Tavern.

The Book on A Box exhibition features multiple artists who were tasked with creating book-related art on a 12-inch by 12-inch box.

Other artists include Aaron Bailey, Addison Niday, Boper9, C. “Payasa” Moses, Chris Murray, Erica Pastecki, GLOW MAFIA, Heather René Dunaway, Jacki Mayo Van Dyke,  Janell Cash, Jeremy Cohen,  Jessi the Paper Nerd,  June Klement,  Just Justin, Kyra + Haven Leseberg, MM Kaufman, MONOKROMADDIE, Rhian Swain,  RUCU, Shua Smith, Sophia Byne, Theron Cartwright and Trilogy Gunby.

A reception will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1.

Also on Friday will be the opening reception for the 4P Studios event at the 600 Broad Gallery.

The second annual “AbstrACTION” Exhibition of Fine Art will be in September with the opening reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday.

Curated by Tiphiknee De Herrera, it features the works of several local artists and members of the AbstrACTION art group.

The “AbstrAction Art Group is about inspiring artists to take ACTION in creating more artwork. Each six weeks over the past year, we’ve used three prompts at a time to create original pieces of artwork. Any medium, size, or style – as long as it has included those three particular prompts. Artists may have chosen any of the groupings of prompts to create their works to submit for this show,” according to 4P Studios’ Facebook event.

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 

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