The contemporary South is marked by a rich and thriving art scene—an active and extensive network of artists; museums and art centers; art schools and departments; commercial galleries; and public, private, and corporate collections. The art of today’s South exists in a wide variety of expressive forms, everything from the realism of John Baeder and Dale Kennington to the abstraction of William Christenberry and Ida Kohlmeyer. There is a middle ground occupied by artists as different as Jonathan Green and Wolf Kahn, who use the visual language of abstraction to capture recognizable subjects. A representative collection of contemporary art must also include the work of self-taught and visionary artists. While such artists have worked in the South throughout its history, their work has garnered increased attention only over the past forty years, owing in part to an ever-widening understanding that these works of art are as valid a mode of visual expression as those of academically trained artists.
Photo courtesy of the Augusta Convention & Visitor’s Bureau