Southern Scene

Painting by Lorenzo Scott

Painting by Lorenzo Scott

The raw power behind the primitive images and pieces created by folk art practitioners often evokes a highly emotional response in the viewer.

Southern folk art has been shown and sought after by collectors all over the world since it was introduced to the U.S. arts community in the early 1980s, says Ted Oliver, co-owner of Oliver’s Southern Folk Art in Hendersonville. He points to the Corcoran Exhibition, Black Folk Art in America, 1930-1980 as a watershed event, establishing Southern folk art as an important contribution to contemporary American art.

Folk art is the subject of an exhibit titled Masters of Southern Folk Art to be held at The Arts Council of Henderson County in downtown Hendersonville February 6-February 28.

Established folk artists like Jimmy Lee Sudduth and Mose Tolliver became famous in the ’80s and ’90s. They have since passed on, but new artists, like Asheville resident Gabriel Shaffer continue to mine the genre.

They, and many others, all have one thing in common: they’re all Southern, they’re all self-taught and all have pursued their own personal visions.

Curated by Oliver and his wife Ann, the show “will concern the masters of Southern folk art and be a competitive study of old, new and emerging folk artists. What a visitor can expect to get out the exhibit is an exposure to a wide range of mediums, materials and subject matter. Whether they are drawings, paintings, sculptures or pottery, there will be a wide direction in where these artists have gone.

“No two have done the same thing. Some are memory painters, portraying their pasts. Others simply create psychological studies and convey personal viewpoints. One can expect to be exposed to a wide range of artists and what they do,” says Oliver.

Both two- and three-dimensional works will be on display, most available for sale.

For more information, contact The Arts Council of Henderson County, 828-693-8504, or visit

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