The Grace Museum currently is showing two exhibitions that focus on important relationships. Faith and Family: Paintings by Sedrick Huckaby and Friends and Neighbors: the Art of Photographing People showcase artists whose work reflects the importance of human concern.
Through April 21st, Sedrick Huckaby’s paintings trigger memories of grandma’s living room and old quilts. To Huckaby, the people and places we see everyday are worthy subjects for grand and complex paintings. The commonplace things in his life act as muse to his considerable artistic talents. With rich impasto painted surfaces, he elevates these humble subjects to universal metaphors with the power to quicken hearts toward home. Using paint, rather than words or phrases, Huckaby communicates universal themes in the human experience, including spiritual longings, familial connections, and ancestral heritage. Huckaby says, “For me, the act of painting is not just a means to a product; it is also a meditative process of communication. It is said that every man prays in his own language and that God understands all languages. At the end of life, my greatest hope is that God is pleased with all of the prayers I left behind in the form of paintings.”
Through June 9th, the Friends and Neighbors exhibition in the photography gallery features works by many important photographers who have tackled the tricky proposition of photographing people. We have all had photographic portraits made or taken snapshots of people in our everyday lives, but how do photographers approach “others” as subjects? This exhibition is a study in the art of taking meaningful and often poignant photographs of people in their own neighborhoods—photographs taken by a new acquaintance. The rapport between subject and photographer is a key element in a successful photograph. In essence, the subject is looking at the photographer and not just the camera. This relationship and the skill of the photographer to capture a nuanced glance or genuine expression are what make an exceptional people photograph. For a brief period of time the photographer and the subject collaborate and participate in a relationship of mutual respect and acceptance.
The exhibition is a study in varying approaches to photographing people, including formal portraiture, documentary, fine art, and avant-garde photography. Whether the locale is the war-torn Middle East or a bunk house in rural West Texas, the photographs in this exhibition viewed together remind us of the power of the camera as a tool in the hands of a dedicated and talented photographer to transform a moment in time into a meaningful and profound statement about the human experience.
For more on the Grace Museum, visit thegracemuseum.org.