Grady H. Pennington's Loving Line Again has been on display in the Murray Art Guild this February; the last day to see the exhibit is Saturday, February 27th. MAG Executive Director Debi Henry Danielson speaks to Tracy Ross about the exhibit and the artist behind the works.
Loving Line Again includes 19 pieces by local artist Grady H. Pennington. Pennington uses a watercolor base and then "goes back on top of that and draws on top of it with either black or white," Henry Danielson explains. "One of the things Grady's really influenced by is music. He's often listening to music while he works. Without knowing that, I would think his work had a very melodic flow. I think that's partly because of the watercolor and line connection."
Henry Danielson says that Pennington blends various elements of his external environment, from figures to landscapes to animals, within the intricate linework of his pieces. "He filters what he sees and what he hears and reinterprets that in these beautiful paintings," she says.
The MAG website's home page features two of Pennington's works, both of which Henry Danielson says encapsulates the entire exhibit well; these works are featured above. "The one on the left," Henry Danielson explains, "is actually bigger than the one on the right. It's on canvas. It's acrylic paint with ink and acrylic line on top, which is really interesting when he can do the same technique in different mediums. It looks the same but also looks very different."
Pennington's 19 pieces in this exhibit are a small selection of over 200 he made in the previous year. "A lot of artists I know were quite stymied by the pandemic," Henry Danielson says. "They either switched to completely new wakes of making and being creative or perhaps didn't make at all. It had the exact opposite effect on Grady. He was prolific and non-stoppable."
Works not featured in the exhibit can be seen on Pennington's Instagram and Facebook accounts. "His work definitely has a style," she continues. "The work that he's posting now is...maybe bolder is the right word. There are shifts in it."
The name Loving Line Again is in reference to Pennington's early career as a graphic artist and designer, Henry Danielson says. "So, very much in tune with draftsmanship. He was afraid of color. He didn't use color very much at all. Then, he started getting into color, and line was not an issue, so it's this recent work that celebrates his use of color and brought back his original, early love of line."
Find more information about Grady H. Pennington on his website.
Loving Line Again will be on display at the guild through Saturday, February 27th. "The guild is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 am to 4:30 pm, and then on Saturdays from 10-2. We're all wearing masks. We clean. You can just wander in, take a look around, and wander out. It's beautiful online, and we're trying to share more of the show virtually, but there's nothing like seeing it in person if you have the opportunity," Henry Danielson says.
The Murray Art Guild has also put a call out for its annual spring jury competition, Proofs. The all-photography show is a regional competition "open to anyone who wants to enter it," Henry Danielson explains. "You can find the details on our website. The deadline for entries is March 2nd. Entries are digital. The exhibit itself will happen in April."
"One thing I really like about Proofs," she continues, "is that it's all photography, but that means you can use any camera that you have, even the one that fits in your back pocket. It's open to youth; we have a youth and adult category in the show. Often we'll exhibit the exhibit at the Wrather, but this year, we're going to show it both at the MAG and the Murray Convention and Visitors Bureau. We'll split it up so you can see it easily in two different places. We're pretty excited about that."
Henry Danielson says that she and the guild are both looking forward to "being around people again. We've continued to do workshops virtually, but I don't get to really see what people make to experience the creative process with them. People can find out information about our workshops online. But just being around people again and enjoying that creative process is what I'm looking forward to."