Athens, Ga. – On Nov. 7, the Georgia Museum of Art will host a “Character Study” evening spotlighting the eccentric, creative character of artists with a lecture on American folk art given by Judith McWillie, followed by the presentation of the award-winning film Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea.
McWillie, professor at the University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art, will discuss the distinctive personalities of self-taught artists in her gallery talk, “A Transnational Perspective on Southern Vernacular Art.” She will focus on the culture of the folk art community and its unusual traditions. Her book, No Space Hidden: African American Yard Work, co-authored with Grey Gundaker, received the James Mooney Prize from the Southern Anthropological Association. The talk will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Philip Henry Alston Jr. Gallery of the museum.
A reception will follow and Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea will begin at 7 p.m. The film reveals the story of several offbeat individuals who live along the abandoned coastline of the Salton Sea. Once a glamorous vacation spot in the 1950s known as the California Riviera, the Salton Sea exists today as an ecological wasteland of dead carp, dilapidated resorts and a shrinking water supply. Calling this unusual place home is an eclectic cast of characters, including a roadside nudist, a Hungarian revolutionary and a man building a religious mountain out of mud and paint. Counterculture filmmaker John Waters narrates this hilarious, heartwarming tale of an unconventional community struggling to preserve its way of life amidst environmental disaster.
Directed by Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer with music by Friends of Dean Martinez, this documentary is “a heartbreaking, sidesplitting parade of humanity,” according to the Village Voice.
The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers is a program of the Southern Arts Federation, non-profit regional arts organization making a positive difference in the arts throughout the South since 1975. SAF is supported by funding and programming partnerships with the National Endowment for the Arts, private foundations, corporations, individuals and the state agencies of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. For more information, visit www.southarts.org.
Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The Council is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the Arch Foundation and the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on UGA’s campus. Hours are: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.; Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m.; Sunday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. and closed Mondays. Museum Shop Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4:45 p.m.; Sunday from 1 p.m. until 4:45 p.m.; and Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 8:45 p.m.