Athens, Ga. – As a continuation of the academic and photographic exploration of Fred Orr’s architecture that was staged last year in the Circle Gallery at the University of Georgia, René D. Shoemaker is interpreting Orr’s revivalist architecture through the artistic medium of hand-painted silk. The exhibit will be on display April 1 – 30, with a reception on Friday, April 3, 4-7 p.m. on Friday. A part of Historic Preservation Month at UGA, the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.
According to Shoemaker, Orr2 – Interpreting the Legacy explores Orr’s significant architectural contributions, celebrating his work while bringing a new perspective to his architecture by viewing them through the eyes of an artist instead of a camera lens.
“His sense of balance, his love of outdoor living space, and the level of detail that he brought to his buildings inspire the current and past homeowners, historic preservationists, artists and passersby,” said Shoemaker. “He was certainly one of Athens local treasures and his buildings continue to attest to his level of skill and creativity.”
Shoemaker’s art is a technique that marries fiber art with fine art. Using silk as her canvas, dye is applied with a brush directly to the silk. Her experience working as a co-curator on the award-winning 2008 Fred J. Orr, Architect, Athens, Ga. exhibit inspired her to continue this exploration of Orr’s architecture through her artistic expression.
“Architecture of the early 20th century was primarily an interpretation of earlier styles, known as revivalism. The essence of revivalism focused upon the details which identified the style of the building,” said John Waters, director of the historic preservation program at UGA and an owner of a house designed by Orr. “Orr’s use of details was both subtle and innovative. Shoemaker’s focus upon Orr’s details captures the creativity of his work bringing them to life in a different medium.”
The Circle Gallery is located at G14 Caldwell Hall, University of Georgia, Athens. It is open 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, or by appointment.