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'Sacred & Profane' exhibit looks at southern folk art
The Sacred & Profane exhibit in the Smith Callaway Banks Southern Art Folk Art Collection at Georgia Southern University features art inspired by sacred and biblical stories as well grotesque figures and faces, depicting how Southern folk artists have interpreted good and evil.
    The Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art will present “Sacred & Profane,” a folk art exhibition on display through Dec. 11 in the Folk Art Research Center, located in the Fine Arts Building on Georgia Southern's campus.
    On Wednesday, Curator Smith Callaway Banks attended a reception for the show that highlights vibrant folk art illustrating the divide between good and evil.
    What is sacred? What is profane?
    The sacred artwork is inspired by a higher being while profane illustrates grotesque figures that often take the shape of folk arts' popular face jug. From paintings and dioramas to three-dimensional 'Face-Jug' portraits, the artists recreated their visions and warnings through the visual power of texture, color, form and text.
    Banks has created a thought-provoking exhibition that is lively in both content and scale.
    There are approximately 100 works of art on display that range from Lenzo's “Blue Devil Face with Porcelain Teeth” to the appliquéd and 3-dimensional stuffed figures of the “Garden of Eden” by an unknown artist. Also included in the exhibition are well-known folk artists Stacy Lambert, Chris Hubbard, and Howard Finster, among many others, present gallery viewers with their enlightenment, their warnings, and their visions.
    Banks said, “This exhibit, Sacred & Profane, is my collection of folk art pictures, figures
    and jugs. You will see Biblical scenes, church scenes and images of Jesus and angels. The jugs have faces of Jesus, angels, devils, demons and ghouls. I hope all will enjoy this collection that shows how Southern folk artists have depicted and interpreted good and evil.”
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