By Judy Tedford Deaton, The Grace Museum chief curator
One of the area’s latest art exhibits can be seen in two places and reflects the collaboration of two curators. “Drawn In / Drawn Out” has a singular purpose, however: bringing together artwork by artists who challenge traditional concepts of drawing.
Patrick Kelly, curator of Albany’s Old Jail Art Center, and Judy Tedford Deaton, curator at Abilene’s The Grace Museum, have teamed up to bring this cutting edge art to Central West Texas.
Only 35 miles separate the two acclaimed Central West Texas museums, both of which are housed in re-purposed historic landmarks. Both museums are known state-wide for outstanding art exhibitions and collections. In the past, they have loaned art for each other’s exhibitions, but this is their first curatorial collaboration.
Traditionally, drawing is defined as a line or mark-made composition created in pen, pencil or charcoal in a monochromatic palette. Today, hybrid drawings can incorporate collage, pigment, photography, sculpture, and other non-drawing elements that defy classification. Artists selected for this exhibition use drawing basics to explore a variety of themes, concepts and approaches to image making.
The Grace Museum will exhibit artwork that fits the category of extreme drawing by Adela Andea, Vernon Fisher, Linnea Glatt, Hollis Hammonds, Timothy Harding and Rusty Scruby. Each artist challenges the innate qualities of pencil and paper by incorporating the third dimension, unconventional media or creating conceptual forms laden with fragmented narratives and visual intrigue. Artists exhibiting at the Old Jail Art Center are Helen Altman, Heyd Fontenot, Laurie Frick, Joseph Havel, Bill Haveron, M, Katrina Moorhead, Shaun O’Dell, Robyn O’Neil, Justin Quinn, Linda Ridgway, Matthew Sontheimer, Terri Thornton, and Eric Zimmerman also demonstrate new and highly individual extensions drawing.
If drawing is the new painting, as the artists participating in “Drawn In / Drawn Out” attest, then drawing – which is direct, theoretical and experimental by nature – lends itself readily to conceptual and experimental interpretation for new concepts to emerge and change. Drawing has become a stand-alone medium and, like other art media in this age of technological flux and innovation, is often pushed to the limit.