Gallery blends American politics of today, yesterday
by Staff Writer
America’s political past and present combine at a Mooresville art exhibit featuring several paintings that have been displayed in the White House and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.
Andre Christine Gallery and Sculpture will host the opening of “Art of Politics” 6-9 p.m. Sept. 15 at the gallery, 148 Ervin Road. The exhibit includes work by artists who served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War, busts of President Obama and Sen. Ted Kennedy and pieces that explore modern issues, such as women’s and gay rights and global warming.
“‘Art of Politics’ tries to connect old history with new politics,” Lynne Gingras, the gallery’s owner, said. “We aren’t trying to make a political statement, but we are trying to show artistic interpretations of political issues.”
Harry Jones, a dealer in late 19th century and early 20th century American art, owns Jones Fine Art and Antiques in Virginia and contributed many pieces of Civil War-era paintings to the exhibit. Jones, who has a home in the Lake Norman area, visits the gallery often and volunteered pieces from his collection after hearing about the exhibit.
“Most of these paintings are more than 100 years old,” Jones said. “They show a time gone by before the Industrial Revolution and problems like global warming and pollution.”
Jones’ collection features a piece by Sanford Robertson Gifford, a Union Army corporal in the 7th Regiment of the New York Militia.
“During a time of war, he liked to paint very tranquil scenes,” Jones said.
The painting “Stormy Seascape” by Hudson River painter William Trost Richards, created in 1892, hung in the White House around the beginning of the 20th century when William McKinley and then Theodore Roosevelt were in office.
Janina Immerman, widow of painter David Immerman, plans to bring several paintings by her late husband, which hung in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. The paintings, which include a portrait of the Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower and a work titled “The Fireside Chat,” will only be on display during the exhibit opening, Gingras said.
Other paintings by local artists, such as a portrait of Edith Vanderbilt by Becky Gleason, pay tribute to women who’ve made important contributions to history. Vanderbilt married George Washington Vanderbilt II, owner of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville.
“The artist decided to portray her because of she almost singlehandedly brought the garment industry to North Carolina,” Gingras said. “If there was no Edith Vanderbilt, there probably wouldn’t have been a garment industry in the state.”
“The Four Points of Light,” a 12-foot acid etched-steel sculpture that was displayed at the Legacy Village – the official vending space at the Democratic National Convention – will also be featured outside of the gallery. The four points on the piece by Charlotte artist Rick Lazes represent the four cornerstones of Charlotte’s economy: corporate growth, the creative class, entrepreneurs and diverse people from all walks of life.
Gingras said the exhibit will stay up for about six weeks.
“There are so many issues out there and artists are expressing their views,” she said.
Want to go?
Andre Christine Gallery and Sculpture will host the opening of “Art of Politics” 6-9 p.m. Sept. 15 at the gallery, 148 Ervin Road.