Spirituality in Appalachian Folk Art, an exhibition of paintings and
sculpture from the permanent collection of the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art,
will open at St. Meinrad Archabbey’s Library Gallery, St. Meinrad, Ind.,
Sunday, March 15, at 3:00 p.m.
The exhibition presents two dozen works of art in a religious genre from the
museum’s extensive collection of American Folk Art. Paintings depicting
biblical stories and events, complemented by miniature dioramas, walking
sticks and bas reliefs, represent the visual arts expressions of artists
working outside academic traditions.
The exhibition features some of Kentucky’s most celebrated naïve artists and
craftsmen, including members of three nationally prominent folk art
producing families, the Coopers, Lewises and Kinneys.
Among the artists are Ronald Cooper and his wife Jessie, who carve and paint
three-dimensional allegories of the temptations of mankind; Junior Lewis,
whose multi-figured sculpture depicts subjects such as The Last Supper and
David slaying Goliath; and Carl McKenzie (1905 – 1988), who recreates the
story of Noah and the ark in a bas relief.
Also featured are Owensboro canemaker Gary L. Hargis, and E. Lex Shipley
(1924 – 1993), a prolific painter whose works have been compared by art
critics to the German Expressionists.
The exhibition from the OMFA featuring works by contemporary Kentucky folk
artists is a component in the museum’s plans to establish a regional center
for the visual arts which shares exhibitions, programming and educational
resources with smaller museums and arts organizations throughout the region.
The reformatted museum will be known as the Western Kentucky Center for the
In addition to loaned exhibitions, the museum offers a broad menu of
educational programming to regional school systems. Included is a library
of traveling suitcases call A Case for Art, featuring mini-exhibitions on a
variety of topics, such as the American frontier, Native American and
Appalachian Folk Art, and artistic traditions of Africa, Australia, Japan
Opportunities are available for teachers in regional school systems to
reserve the museum’s Young at Art Gallery for exhibitions of art produced in
their classes. Teachers may make arrangements for use of the gallery by
contacting the museum and presenting a proposal of the number of works to be
displayed and the preferred exhibition dates.
The exhibition at St. Meinrad Archabbey’s Library Gallery will continue
through April 28. The Archabbey is located at 200 Hill Drive in St.
Meinrad, Ind. and can be reached at 812-357-6398 or [email protected]