Three local artists inspired by nature

By Richard Kendrickson

Gallery Fifty Six’s August exhibition is titled 3rd Nature and includes the work of three Memphis artists – Nancy White, Mary Stubbs, and Rollin Kocsis. The exhibit will be comprised of ceramic sculptures, painted silk wall-hangings, and black and white photographs that concentrate on nature and the environment. The exhibit will be available for viewing August 5 to August 27 with an artist’s reception on August 5 from 5-8pm. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

Nancy White has been working with allegorical imagery mainly in clay since 1969. She uses imagery that is around her to explore ideas on a universal level that, hopefully, people can relate to. She uses a wide range of techniques from stoneware to raku to multi-firing to come up with the finished product. Nancy is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of Memphis, where she has been teaching since l974. Nancy earned a MFA from Alfred University in NY and a BA from Florida Atlantic University. She has been exhibiting in regional, national, and international exhibitions and galleries since 1969. Nancy was recently chosen to be one of the Legends Award Artists by the Memphis Women’s Foundation. She has work in public and private collections.

In a series of black and white photography called Looking Up, Mary Stubbs uses trees as stand-ins for beings and clouds as their spirits. Branches gesture while clouds mimic or frolic then oppose. Mary Stubbs is the third element in her photographs. The camera perspective implies her presence, as if recalling a dream to be interpreted. These images are printed in black and white on fine art paper. Mary spent her childhood in Birmingham but calls Memphis home and considers her art a reflection of southern roots. She completed a BFA at The University of Memphis in 1996 and exhibits locally.

Rollin Kocsis’ has been working with acrylic and oil paint on canvas for the past 30 years. He recently changed his medium to dye on silk, which he has experimented with since 1985. Rollin uses fiber reactive dyes painted on pure silk using the serti technique, a process in which areas of color are blocked off with a resist. The pieces he creates are large wall-hangings, approximately 45 x 72 inches. The finished silk paintings are hung on a simple rod mounted to the wall. Rollin graduated from Indiana University with an art education degree in 1970. He earned a Masters of Teaching in Art Education in 1977, and a MFA in Painting in 1991 from Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis). Rollin taught visual arts for Memphis City Schools for 37 years. After retiring, he joined Gallery Fifty Six as one of their resident artists in 2009 and became the gallery’s curator in 2010.

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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