published Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Artworks encourage viewers to pause and reflect

Ann Nichols

Coastal settings, the deep South and the great American West inspired the paintings for the next exhibit at Shuptrine's Gold Leaf Designs.

"Be Still and Know," opening March 29, is composed of work by nationally recognized artists from the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as contemporary figures.

"The exhibit's primary objective is to make viewers stop, look deep inside their subconscious and reflect as they view fine American art," said Bonny Shuptrine, gallery owner. "The works in this exhibit force you to spend time grasping just how meaningful and vast American landscapes or subjects are."

More than 25 paintings will be on display by artists such as E.I. Couse, Bert Phillips, Stephen Scott Young, Evan Wilson, Brett Weaver, Marie Channer, Alan and Hubert Shuptrine, among others.

During the opening reception, on March 29 from 5 to 8 p.m., Seth Hopkins will give a gallery talk and lecture titled "Where is the West in American Art?" Hopkins, who is director of the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville Ga., will discuss how art depicting the American West fits into the overall history in American art.

"I believe art of the American West captures much of the spirit of America -- individualism, freedom, character, bravery and self-determination," said Hopkins. "However, it can also reflect on past transgressions like our treatment of Native Americans or destruction of natural resources that hopefully prompt us not to repeat those mistakes."

For Southerners, he believes Western art can transport them on vicarious journeys to magical places like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite or Yellowstone.

Hopkins has an affinity for Western art, and his position at the Booth Museum is a good fit.

"The Booth is Georgia's second largest art museum with collections of contemporary Western art, contemporary Civil War art and presidential letters and photographs," he said.

"Be Still and Know" will continue through May.

Shuptrine's Gold Leaf Designs, 2646 Broad St., is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday though Friday, with extended hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. For information, call 266-4453.

Email Ann Nichols at annsnichols@aol.com.

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