September 27, 2014 through January 25, 2015 – Special Exhibition Gallery
Featuring over 90 rarely seen works of Western art from more than 50 public and private collections throughout the Southeast, Western American Art South of the Sweet Tea Line IV offers a visual feast. Opening Saturday, September 27th this outstanding exhibition will remain on view at Booth Western Art Museum through January 25, 2015. Presenting a broad spectrum of media, a surprisingly diverse range of artists and covering nearly 150 years of art history, Sweet Tea IV is a must see exhibit. Visitors will encounter great works by early masters such as Alfred Jacob Miller, Joseph Sharp, Edgar Payne and Albert Bierstadt along with contemporary standouts Ansel Adams, Curt Walters, Krystii Melaine, Richard Schmidt, Tom Browning and many more.
The upcoming exhibition is co-curated by Booth Executive Director Seth Hopkins and Director of Curatorial Services Jeff Donaldson, working with a wide range of private collectors and museums around the Southeast. The Sweet Tea series began in 2005 and has become the Booth Museum’s signature exhibition, occurring every three years. The title, developed by the museum’s founding curator, Dr. W. James Burns, whimsically and loosely defines the geographic area which is home to these amazing works of art. The Sweet Tea series truly compliments the Booth Museum main galleries which house the largest permanent exhibit space for Western art in the country.
Western American Art South of the Sweet Tea Line IV, or Sweet Tea IV as it is known among Booth Museum insiders, allows visitors to experience art that will transport them to the most beautiful locations in the west and witness both the joys and hardships of life in the West. Works included in the exhibition span a 150 year period and present a full cross-section of Western art, both historical and contemporary, and the full range of potential Western subjects. “For Sweet Tea IV, I am excited by the range of media we will be presenting,” said Booth Museum Executive Director Seth Hopkins. “We are installing the first video installation piece to be shown at the Booth. Also new to the series this year will be digital art, reductive woodblock printing and a unique mixed media collage.” Among the prestigious institutions loaning to the exhibition this year are the Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga; Georgia Museum of Art, Athens; Huntsville Museum of Art; Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art, Nashville; and Lamar Dodd Art Center, Lagrange, Georgia.
One positive outcome from the series has been the camaraderie developed among Southern collectors who met through programming related to the series. “In many cases Southerners who collect Western art feel alone or isolated, with no one in their peer group with whom to share their passion. During the Sweet Tea exhibition we regularly bring in artists in the exhibit for lectures and workshops,” said Hopkins. “At these events collectors meet other like-minded people and in many cases have formed deep friendships.”
The logistics of pulling together an exhibition of this scale from 50 or more lenders is time consuming and requires resources. “Throughout the three years between Sweet Tea exhibits we are networking with other museums and private collectors to learn more about their Western art holdings and discussing borrowing their prized possessions,” said Hopkins. “Some works may be reminiscent of our permanent collection, but the emphasis is on exposing our audience to artists not represented in our collection, at least not yet anyway. It is a lot of work, but I think our members really look forward to our Sweet Tea exhibitions.”
On Saturday, September 27 from 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, members are invited to be among the first to view Western American Art South of the Sweet Tea Line IV. Refreshments will be served in the Atrium from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. At 7:00 pm in Bergman Theatre, Suzanne Baker, Jim Carson, Russell Case, and Najee Dorsey, four artists represented in the exhibition will discuss their approach to art.
For more images from Western American Art South of the Sweet Tea Line IV, click here.
Western American Art South of the Sweet Tea Line IV is sponsored in part by: