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At Piedmont College art museum, three artists look at war

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Temme Barkin-Leeds’ “Titanfall 2: Landing,” oil, acrylic, ink, marker, and graphite on canvas.

An exhibition titled “Gloria Victis: Three Artists Respond to War” is on view now through Sept. 15 at the Piedmont College Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art in Demorest.

The exhibition features the work of painter Temme Barkin-Leeds of Atlanta, sculptor Jim Buonaccorsi of Farmington, and ceramic artist Richard Notkin of Vaughn, Washington.

A panel discussion with the artists, led by Lizzie Zucker Saltz, founder of the Athens Institute for Contemporary Art (ATHICA), will be held at the museum at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 15, followed by a reception from 5–7 p.m. For more information, contact MSMA director Rebecca Brantley at rbrantley@piedmont.edu or 706-778-8500, ext. 1011.

Brantley said the artists share an interest in art as a vehicle for social commentary. “Their subjects mostly come from conflict, violence, and politics of the postwar era through the present, and their responses range from satire to mournful lament,” she said. “Often, they are calls to action warning viewers of possible dystopian futures.”

The exhibition’s title references Marius-Jean-Antonin Mercié’s “Gloria Victis,” a prominent work in the MSMA’s permanent collection. The bronze sculpture was made to honor the defeated French forces of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71). “It gains new context in the proximity of these three contemporary artists and serves as a reminder of art’s long engagement with warfare and its effects on humanity,” Brantley said.

Jim Buonaccorsi’s “Fodder,” steel, cast iron, glass, and bullet casings.

Barkin-Leeds received a BFA degree from Georgia State University and an MFA from American University in Washington, D.C. Her socially conscious work has been the subject of three solo exhibitions and has been included in numerous exhibitions and publications throughout the U.S. Her recent work distorts video game imagery to confront representations of violence in contemporary media. Barkin-Leeds was selected by the Georgia Women’s History Month Committee and the Georgia Commission on Women to be honored at a reception highlighting Georgia women in the arts.

Buonaccorsi received a BA degree from Rhode Island College in 1982 before earning his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1984. He is an Associate Professor Emeritus of Sculpture at The University of Georgia in Athens, where he taught from 1993-2015. Buonaccorsi works in many different media, though large-scale metal sculptures are perhaps his best-known. He often takes war as his subject, asking his viewers to contemplate moral, philosophical, and political issues. He and his wife, sculptor LeeAnn Mitchell, live and run their studios in Farmington, Georgia.

Richard Notkin’s “Blowin’ in the Wind (Study #2),” glass, ceramic, and glaze.

Notkin is a full-time studio artist who lives and works in Vaughn, Washington. He received a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1970 and an MFA from the University of California, Davis, in 1973. His teapots, ceramic sculptures, and tile murals are visual explorations into social and political commentary. Notkin’s works are included in 65 public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Japan.


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