Escape to Tranquility: The New American Landscape features approximately 45 paintings by five contemporary artists including Jackson artist Richard Kelso, New York artist Robert Kipniss, Maine artist T. Allen Lawson, Hattiesburg artist Myra Meade and Laurel native Lisa Thames. Each artist’s work represents the land in a way that envelopes, calms and invites the viewer to stay and become part of the scenery.
The paintings may depict imagery of dark, cool fall evenings, intense summer light reflecting across a sun-drenched lake, or the crisp new-fallen snow of January. Escape to Tranquility features landscapes without human interaction and presence. Visitors will experience the artists’ interest in changing light, contemplative spirits, and landscapes that look as if they were just recently discovered or newly cultivated.
Landscape paintings have long been an interest to the Museum, as evidenced by the donations of American and European paintings from the founding families. The contemporary landscapes in this beautiful exhibition pay homage to the works created in the French Barbizon, Hudson River School and Impressionist styles, in which the land is vast and important. However, the contemporary artists in Escape to Tranquility employ an intense, contemporary color palette that clearly places their work in the 21st century.
Each artist featured in Escape to Tranquility is a seasoned painter who has devoted most of their waking hours to the art of painting, whether it be through visual study, the study of other artists, teaching art, or spending blocks of time in the studio every day. These artists share common threads in their love of nature and desire to emulate its beauty on canvas.
This exhibition was generously sponsored by Jefferson Medical and Trustmark Bank.