Southern Artist Showcase Features Southern Self-Taught Artists

The Caldwell Collection, Works by Southern Self-taught Artists” is being featured in the Southern Artist Showcase through Sept. 27, 2021. This showcase includes artwork from various Southern artists including Ludie Amos (1935), Jimmy Lee Sudduth (1910-2007) and Burlon Craig (1914-2002). A common trend among these artists is that none of them received formal training.  They embraced their passion and produced artwork based on established traditions or simply created their own art forms. Also known as “folk art” or “outsider art,” each artist’s style is unique to their own influences.

Ludie Amos

Born in Georgia, Ludie Amos grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and later moved to Clarksville, Tennessee in 1959. Her connection to rural Georgia is a common theme among her artwork. She is a prize-winning tapestry artist, doll maker, painter and sculptor, who began sewing as a child with her mother.

Jimmy Lee Sudduth

A “finger painter” from Alabama, Jimmy Lee Sudduth was one of the early masters of Southern folk art. He rose to fame for his uncommon painting methods, and he often pulled his subject matter from the world around him.

Burlon Craig

Considered one of America’s great folk potters, Burlon Craig learned pottery-making at a young age in his home state of North Carolina. His work includes ceramic faces jugs, stoneware and pitcher pottery. He was honored with the National Folk Heritage Award by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1984.

Other artists represented in this collection include Riley (first name unknown); Jerry Brown; Herbert Baggett; Mary Close; M.C. “5 cent” Jones; Anderson Johnson; Alvin Jarrett; Priscilla Cassidy; John Andrew Schooler; Mary T. Smith; Lonnie Holly; and Sylvia Lane.

The collection is on loan from the West Tennessee Regional Art Center (WTRAC), where it was donated by Dr. Benjamin and Gertrude Caldwell for the purpose of cultural education for people of all ages throughout West Tennessee. By extending their collection to Discovery Park, the WTRAC is fulfilling both the Caldwell’s intended vision and Discovery Park’s mission of inspiring children and adults to see beyond.

This exhibit is sponsored by The Citizens Bank (TCB).