At the heart of the Ogden Museums of Southern Art’s mission is educating the public in the visual arts and culture of the American South. Since 2001, the Ogden Museum’s residency program, Artist and Sense of Place, has paired professional artists with local schools to explore the history, practices and identity of the students’ world. Working with elementary school students in the medium of the artist’s choice, the artist spends three weeks in a school exploring the influences of geography and sense of place. Upon completion of the residency, students visit the Museum to view their finished works of art.
On view now in the Education Gallery at the Ogden Museum is the Artist and Sense of Place exhibition featuring works from our most current Artist in Residency program, Rhythms Stories and Places with artist, Carl Joe Williams, along with works from past Artist in Residency programs such as The Faces of Hope/ Los Rostros de Esperanza with Natalie Barnes and The Magical Garden of Gretna Park with Roberto Ortiz.
Our most recent artist in residence, Carl Joe Williams, worked with 180 third, fourth and fifth grade students at Esperanza Charter School, exploring themes of family, community and memory. Inspired by the rich tradition of Southern quilt-making, students recounted treasured memories of people and events in their community, drawing them onto paper and finished with crayons and watercolor. Key features of Southern quilts, such as color, repetition and geometric patterns, were emphasized – demonstrating Southern quilts as more than objects of function, but also as artistic narrative devices.
Native New Orleanian Carl Joe Williams began his formal training in the visual arts as a high school student at the New Orleans Center of Creative Art (NOCCA), and in the 1994, received his B.F.A. in Painting from the Atlanta College of Art. Portraying vignettes of New Orleans life and its people, Williams’ work is characterized by rhythmic, chromatic pattern, what the artist describes as “symphonies of color.” Williams’ work was featured in the 2014 Crystal Bridges Museum State of the Art exhibition and are publicly displayed in permanent installations at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta and on the Veterans Boulevard thoroughfare in Metairie, Louisiana.