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News Briefs: Woodruff Arts Center breaks fund-raising record and High Museum plans Ronald Lockett exhibition

Ronald Lockett (American, 1965-1998), "A Place In Time," 1989, wood, cloth, net, tin, industrial sealing compound, oil and enamel on wood. Collection of Souls Grown Deep Foundation. Photograph by Stephen Pitken/Pitken Studio.
Ronald Lockett (American, 1965-1998), "A Place In Time," 1989, wood, cloth, net, tin, industrial sealing compound, oil and enamel on wood. Collection of Souls Grown Deep Foundation. Photograph by Stephen Pitken/Pitken Studio.

The High Museum of Art has announced Fever Within: The Art of Ronald Lockett (October 9, 2016 through January 8, 2017). The exhibition will be the first comprehensive collection of work by Lockett (American, 1965 – 1998), who produced nearly 400 artworks before his death at 32. He’s revered for bridging the gap between self-taught and mainstream contemporary American artists.

“The High has made an institutional commitment to collecting, exhibiting and championing the work of Southern self-taught artists, and our desire is to foster recognition of these artists in the larger history of American art,” said Rand Suffolk, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green Jr. director of the High. “We are honored to present this important exhibition, which gives much-deserved attention to Lockett’s powerful voice and significance as a contemporary artist.”

This announcement comes less than a month after the closing of Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Jean-Michel Basquiat was one of the first black American artists to earn international star status by the mid-1980s. “Here is another artist whose talent and vision burned so brightly only to disappear long before his time,” said Katherine Jentleson, Merrie and Dan Boone curator of folk and self-taught art. “In Lockett, our audiences will discover an artist whose body of work is both beautiful and bleak, challenging and inspiring, elevated yet down-to-earth.”

Fever Within is organized by the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is curated by Bernard L. Herman, UNC-Chapel Hill’s George B. Tindall distinguished professor of Southern studies and folklore, in close collaboration with the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, an Atlanta-based organization dedicated to documenting, researching, preserving and exhibiting the work of vernacular African-American artists of the American South.

Prior to its presentation at the High, the exhibition will be on view at the American Folk Art Museum in New York (June 21–Sept. 18, 2016) and will culminate at the Ackland Art Museum.

KS_Woodruff_Arts_Center_High_Museum_1The Woodruff Arts Center raised $14.4 million dollars in 2015 – 2016 in its annual corporate campaign, superseding its record from last year by $800,000. Chaired by Jim Hannan, CEO and president of Georgia-Pacific, the team’s 75 volunteers collected donations from over 350 companies.

“The Woodruff Arts Center is so fortunate to have a long history of unmatched support from Atlanta’s corporate community,” said Doug Hertz, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Woodruff Arts Center. “This support includes not only financial contributions, but a tremendous commitment of time and energy from people like Jim Hannan and his volunteer team.  We are incredibly grateful for all they have done to make this campaign a record-breaking success.”

The funds will be allocated for shared services throughout the arts center and its arts partners: the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the High Museum of Art.

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