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A love for the coast
Averitt exhibit highlights GSU professors art
Hill Art Web
This painting of blue crabs is one of eight that is part of an exhibition by Georgia Southern art professor Elsie Taliaferro Hill now hanging in the Legend's Gallery of the Averitt Center for the Arts. - photo by Special

      Watch Studio Statesboro segment on Elsie Hill's art exhibit at the Averitt Center. Click on link:

Eight paintings hang in the second floor gallery of the Averitt Center, containing various forms of water-colors and non-traditional landscapes built with the spirit of coastal areas in Georgia and near New York City in mind.

In the Legend’s Gallery of the downtown arts center, Georgia Southern’s Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art is sponsoring a show from one of their own, “Elsie Taliaferro Hill: Recent Work.”

An assistant professor of art at GSU, the exhibit is Hill’s first showing for the group of eight paintings and is a collection of works created between 2008 and 2011, when she spent time in New York and Savannah. The works depict various forms of horseshoe and blue crabs painted in water-colors as well as oil-based and set in locations such as Coney Island. Her exhibition at the Averitt Center runs through Jan. 31.

“I choose this group of paintings because they were thematically similar and they reflected my interest in the Coastal area that I grew up in [Savannah] … I’m surprised that I paint such familiar subject matter, that I’m painting things that are so close to home for me … but when I think about what I want to paint my home is part of my inspiration,” Hill said.

Hill holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and a MFA from Columbia University where she received the D’Arcy Hayman Scholarship and was a member of the Agnes Martin Fellowship, which supports the schools most talented visual artists.

Hill said her exhibition represents a fusion of “representational imagery with formal abstraction” in order to unite new and often contrasting visual information.

“I’m still an emerging artist, but Georgia Southern has become a new connection to my art …  I have this wonderful job where I can be with other artists and grow. I have time to work on my own art and support my community in Savannah and Statesboro as well as the community back in New York,” said Hill.

 Since she was 18, Hill has painted portraits for a living, however, she said when she turned 28, she stopped painting commission work and began focusing on work that she wanted to paint allowing her to expand her subject matter.

“Over the years I feel like I’ve become a more adventurous painter,” she said. “I have a lot more fun painting in different ways, and I’m not as worried about who is looking over my shoulder and how good or bad something is and because of that I feel a lot more confident in my work.”

Born in Savannah in 1973, all of Hill’s work on display at the Averitt is derived from the “complexities” of her relationship with the Southern Coastal landscape. Working from direct observations, found imagery, and memories of Savannah, Hill said she pairs man-made systems with the natural world. 

Her work recently took second place at an Armstrong Atlantic exhibit and will be featured in the a New York exhibition entitled “Flora and Fauna.”

“We are really excited to have Professor Hill’s work here at the Averitt,” said Sheila Stewart Leach, curator and Averitt gallery coordinator. “Its subject matter is very appealing and she is very talented.”

The Legend’s Gallery is rental gallery and the Art Department at GSU rents the gallery for the majority of the year allowing professors and MFA students to display their work.

“It’s really a great opportunity for the community to see the talent that’s at Georgia Southern in the Art Department,” Leach said.

Hill is represented by the Nabi Gallery, in New York City; and her work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States. For more information on Hill and her artwork visit her website at

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