“I’m a blessed, gut paintin’, greasy liver mush eatin’, fast car drivin’ Ninja Turtle Goonie inspired, gator huntin’ cardinal watchin’ public vandalizin’, North Carolina family rooted, Grandfather Mountain lovin’, colorist, educated hillbilly artist."Read More
“Sam uses bold shapes and bright colors to make joyful paintings of happy times. People are dressed up and having fun. Skies are blue, the sun is shining, birds have houses, and chickens come in lots of colors. His paintings are turning up around every local corner nowadays.” (from Mike’s Art Truck web site in 2014.)Read More
"Printmaking for [Elizabeth] Catlett is a consciously political practice. At the same time, however, her prints – some intricately detailed and others elegantly spare – manifest her understanding that the power of an image resides in the artist’s command of form, sensitivity to materials and technical proficiency."Read More
In a Smithsonian Institution interview in 1964 Huntington (pictured in a pre-1917 portrait by Marion Boyd Allen) said about much-depicted Joan of Arc. “And my challenge was to get a composition that was original, that hadn't really been done before. That was the fun of it.”Read More
Catawba County native Carl Moser's avocation was photography, mostly of rural and mountain landscapes, wildflowers, and portraits. A member of Catawba Valley Camera Club since 1955, he often led photographers on field trips.Read More
The unassuming but quietly charming Blowing Rock resident Philip Anthony Moose was a world traveler, Army veteran, Pulitzer Prize winner (for art, in 1948) and a prolific painter. Born in Newton, N.C. as the fifth of seven children, Moose studied art at ...Read More
Hickory resident Eddie Hamrick has crafted gifts for seven presidents, four North Carolina governors, andAndrew Lloyd Webber. He gave President Obama a banjo, Charlie Daniels a fiddle and Bob Costas a stein. But he’s also gone broke seven times and he’s cheated death a couple of times.
During HMA's retrospective exhibit of Hamrick's works in 2015, Hamrick's face i was on a billboard alongside Interstate 40 in Hickory, beckoning drivers to come to the Hickory Museum of Art. It showed Hamrick dressed as Geppetto, with a sculpture of Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket.Read More
HMA's exhibits are always a mix of art that the Museum owns and art that we borrow. “Woven Together: From Lesotho to Carolina” is a borrowed exhibition that will be at HMA from May 23 to September 6, 2015.
The exhibit features tapestries woven by the Maseru Tapestries Cooperative in Lesotho, Africa, in addition to works by two Carolinas artists and one photographer.Read More
When Jacob Lawrence died in Seattle in 2000, the New York Times described him as "One of America's leading modern figurative painters" and "among the most impassioned visual chroniclers of the African-American experience." His North Carolina connection was his first teaching job, at Black Mountain College in 1946, after having served in the U.S.Navy recording in paint the life on board the first integrated ship in the naval services during World War II.Read More
Immigrant to North Carolina José Augustín Fumero once said that “My work is called woven fiber mosaics. I find that working with a woven grid, an image can be seen through many facets. … I think and create on many levels, combining the [vertical] warp (used as a platform for the beginning expression of an idea) and the [horizontal] weft (used to expand the ramifications of the original expression) to create a complete piece.” To create Saint Harley of Davidson, Fumero imagined ...Read More
Ella E. Richards "has just completed two important portrait commissions, one [of which is] a full-length presentment of Nell Morgan Nash, violinist. The subject is shown in a full standing pose, wearing a black velvet gown, cleverly handled to enhance the brilliancy of her complexion. In one hand her violin is gracefully held and the composition is able and interesting. It is also an excellent likeness." (American Art News June 21, 1913, p.3)
Information about Ella Richards is sparse, but ...Read More
At a 2005 exhibit at Charlotte's Modern Eye Gallery, he was described as "renowned for his previous work in watercolor, for which he has been awarded many honors. In this current body of work, he turns his expression to collage, and crafts energy-filled canvases of color, light, and texture. His work is reminiscent of delicate Japanese-inspired textiles."Read More
Frank Stanley Herring was a friend of the family of Mickey Coe (Mildred McKinney, Paul Whitener’s future wife) and his first paintings of that family was of Mickey and two of her sisters. From left to right, with approximate ages: Thelma Anne McKinney (15), Ida Jones McKinney (17), and Mildred Missouri McKinney (14). There was a fourth sister, Edith, who was 12 at the time and had brown hair and eyes. From a reminiscence by Edith's daughter Pat Turner about her mother, “She must have been devastated to be left out.”Read More
Jef Raasch says of his work, “My sculpture represents the symbiosis of life; all creatures mixing together to form a greater existence.” He draws his inspiration from mythical creatures as well as from his concern over the threat of the extinction of many plants and animals. The life-size human form of HMA's Manimal is composed of dozens of different animal species, most native to North Carolina. It has inspired poetry along with much iHMA visitor nterest, especially from children.Read More
In 1939, before the Museum was established, Paul Whitener was commissioned by former Hickory Mayor Phillip J. Suttlemyre (1937-1938) to paint his 9 year old son Charles, which he did charmingly. Years later, in the spring of 1960, on Friday May 13th the headlines of the Hickory Daily Record read “Mentally Ill Son Charged in Matricide.” Charles G. Suttlemyer was said to have admitted killing his mother by bludgeoning her with a souvenir tomahawk.Read More
Teacher, mentor, friend, benefactor: Wilford Conrow was all those things to Paul Whitener, HMA’s founder. Conrow was one of few painters who had not only a college degree but business experience as well. This background along with Conrow's many connections in the art world served Paul very well in establishing the fledgeling museum.Read More
Most of Ab the Flagman's creations are freedom symbols like the Statue of Liberty, eagles, faces of U.S. Presidents and of course, the flag. He is one of the artists featured in HMA's exhibition New Horizons: Self-Taught Art in The 21st Century (September 23, 2017 - January 7, 2018).Read More
There are many aspects to putting together an exhibition, many people and things that have to work together from inception to opening and even beyond (think events and educational offerings). Placing all that carefully selected art is an art in itself, while taking it down is an exercise in care. Both involve physical labor along with creativity.Read More
One of the happy by-products of researching informational labels for HMA exhibits is learning more about local history. This was particularly true when putting together the 70th Anniversary exhibits in 2014. The following is an example of Hickory history that received national attention.
In June 1944, the citizens of Hickory built a hospital in 54 hours to save their children from the worst polio outbreak that had ever hit the United States. Looking back now, even knowing the results – 13 wards erected, doctors and nurses flocking in by the dozens, hundreds of patients treated and released, with only12 deaths, one of the country’s lowest-ever rates for polio – the enormity of the undertaking still bewilders.Read More
Asher Brown Durand is known as a prolific American painter of the Hudson River School; and before that he was a prolific engraver. He turned to painting in his mid-30’s, first doing portraits (such as in 1835 of Andrew Jackson who was then President) before moving on to landscapes. His landscapes show the engraver’s close attention to detail: as an example, in his Pastoral Scene, every bit of foliage can be individually distinguished. How was he regarded by his contemporaries?Read More