The Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art presents Changing Tides: Gifts from Gordon W. Bailey

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The Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art presents Changing Tides: Gifts from Gordon W. Bailey
Sam Doyle, Sailboat, c.1960s, house paint on metal, 25 x 26 1/2 in. (63.5 x 67.31 cm). Photo: Gordon W. Bailey Collection.

BILOXI, MS.- The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art will present Changing Tides: Gifts from Gordon W. Bailey opening July 12, 2021 and on view through February 8, 2022. Showcasing artworks recently gifted by Mr. Bailey, a Los Angeles-based, advocate, scholar and collector, the exhibition represents an important new direction for the Ohr-O’Keefe.

Created with various media, the artworks testify to the enduring creative impulse that cuts across cultures, geography and generations. All of the featured artists are making their debuts in the museum’s expanding permanent collection.

“We are extending the reach of our exhibitions to include more national and international artists,” said Ohr-O’Keefe’s Executive Director David Houston, “Mr. Bailey’s thoughtful, transformative gift greatly enhances our collection and enables the museum over the coming decades to better serve its founding mission of documenting and celebrating both African American and Native American art and culture.”

African American artists Leroy Almon, David Butler, Richard Dial, Thornton Dial Sr., Minnie Evans, Roy Ferdinand, Sandy Hall, Clementine Hunter, Charlie Lucas, Juanita Rogers, Sulton Rogers, Welmon Sharlhorne, Herbert Singleton, Willie White, and Purvis Young are displayed along with Native Americans, Silas and Bertha Claw, Betty Manygoats, Elizabeth Manygoats, Wallace Nez, and Lorraine Williams and Southern potters, Burlon “B.B.” Craig, Cheever Meaders, and Lanier Meaders.

Important works include: a sculpture of a horse fashioned from cast-off automobile suspension parts, welded together by Charlie Lucas; one of a few extant whirligigs created by David Butler, mounted on its original artist-made stand; Minnie Evans’s 1946 mixed media on paper depiction of a ceremonial offering; the poignant tribute Melrose by the late Louisiana centenarian Clementine Hunter; a charming group of four wood figures, Pretty Women, carved by Sulton Rogers; and a book repurposed by the late Purvis Young who affixed 200 of his original paintings to its bound pages.

Deftly crafted pots created by Navajo potters Silas and Bertha Claw, Betty Manygoats and her daughter Elizabeth Manygoats, Wallace Nez, and Loraine Williams along with superb examples of Southern folk pottery made by Burlon “B.B.” Craig and Lanier Meaders, both recipients of a National Heritage Fellowship, and Lanier’s father Cheever add cultural context to the Ohr-O’Keefe’s collection of the brilliant George Ohr’s works.

Three coastal-themed works by the acclaimed St. Helena Island, South Carolina artist Sam Doyle loaned by Mr. Bailey will resonate with the Ohr-O’Keefe’s audience given their familiarity with the activities portrayed.

According to curator Erin Lee Antonak, “Seeing all of Mr. Bailey’s gifts together is extraordinary. They are arresting works and should be experienced in person to be fully appreciated. I feel that interaction is what so many people need now after a year and a half spent in virtual isolation.”

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July 8, 2021

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