By Barbara Johnson Ross, Ohr-Ohr’O’Keefe Museum of Art
New exhibitions opened recently at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, Mississippi. Cars on Art is on display through November 22, 2014, featuring works by four truly passionate artists who excel in two-dimensional works using cars as the theme, as well as 62 rare model cars. Also on display are prints of original drawings from the Collection of GM Design Archive & Special Collections. The mission of the General Motors Archive & Special Collections in Warren, Michigan is to acquire and preserve artifacts that define the rich and important history of automotive design, as well as develop programs that use the collection to educate and inform.
Bobbie Crews creates automotive art, courtroom sketches, portraits and large public murals. Her intimate portraits of automobiles that unify elements into a strong narrative and visually exciting art have been featured in automotive magazines and various exhibitions. Crews is a member of Oil Painters of America and has earned numerous awards for her artwork. She resides in Knoxville, Tennessee and is a graduate of the School of Art at the University of Tennessee.
Secret City by Bobbie Crews is 36” x 72”
Tony Watts has been interested in classic and vintage automobiles since the purchase of a 1954 Triumph TR2 in his late teens. Car events such as Cruisin' the Coast provide the inspiration for his art. Watts creates mixed media three dimensional images by layering photographs on canvas or wood panels. Watts has exhibited his work in Mississippi and Louisiana and recently won first prize in the Art in the Pass 2013 photography category.
Carole Marie is an artist who resides in Ocean Springs, Mississippi and owns in By the Sea Studio. She specializes in multiple types of media, including ceramics, photography, sculpture and painting. She is currently focusing on creating art that incorporates classic automobiles. She studied art at William Carey University on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and has exhibited her contemporary artwork throughout the United States.
Artist Carole Marie with some of her car art
Lory Lockwood paints automobile and motorcycle art in a photorealistic style using bright colors. Lockwood’s painting of vintage, exotic and classic autos and motorcycles have been included in numerous exhibitions and automotive articles. For inspiration, she visits Daytona Bike Week, Laguna Seca Historic Races and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Lockwood earned BFA and MA degrees from Tulane University and an MFA from Vermont College.
J. Michael Hemsley from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi is a photographer and collector of model cars. His interest in collecting model cars began around 1972 as a means to establish the invention and history of the automobile. The first car models collected by Hemsley were Alfa Romeos. Over time his extensive collection has expanded to include a variety of makes and models. He currently focuses on collecting the model cars whose race drivers he admires.
Bruce Davenport, Jr: I See You Looking is on display through November 29, 2014. Bruce Davenport, Jr. (born 1972) is a self-taught artist who strives to preserve New Orleans culture. He was born in New Orleans and grew up in the Lafitte Housing Projects in the 6th Ward Tremé neighborhood. Davenport’s hand-colored drawings of the Mardi Gras parade bands include fine points, such as the exact number of marchers, detailed uniforms and the instruments played by each band member. The artist’s use of ink and colored markers to create neat rows of colorful figures captures the rhythm and dynamics of the bands. His themes also include scenes of his experiences in the Lafitte Projects and penitentiary life, where he visited as a child. Davenport’s work has been exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Paris, North Carolina and New Orleans and is in public and private collections, including the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Benetton Group.
Visitors in front of Davenport’s 30’ scroll depicting high school marching bands
Artist Bruce Davenport, Jr. and his mother Patricia in front of the gallery sign
The opening reception attendance exceeded 300 people who enjoyed the varied array of types of art on dis;ay. Other exhibitions currently open are George E. Ohr: Prized, Honored & Cherished in a pod on the John S. and James L. Knight Pavilion; June Ward: Passages and Possibilities; George E. Ohr: Selections from Gulf Coast Collections. Glimpses of Coastal history can be seen in My House: The Pleasant Reed Story, and The Native Guard: A Photographic History of Ship Island’s African American Regiment.
A good time was had by all who attended the opening reception