Uptown Columbus Art Walk to Kick Off Major Bo Bartlett Exhibition

Bo BartlettCOLUMBUS, Ga. -- Columbus State University will partner with two Uptown Columbus institutions the evening of March 24 to offer Art Walk, kicking off a major local exhibition of works by internationally known artist Bo Bartlett, a Columbus native.

More than 120 Bartlett pieces — from monumental paintings to sketchbooks and journals — will be on display at the Illges Gallery in CSU’s Corn Center for the Visual Arts, the W.C. Bradley Co. Museum and the Turner and Jordan Galleries of Columbus Bank and Trust’s Uptown Center. Bartlett, right, and his wife, artist Betsy Eby, plan to attend receptions at each location during the 5:30-8 p.m. Art Walk, which is free and open to the public.

The three venues are within walking distance, but transportation to and from each venue by golf cart or tram will also be provided.

James W. Bartlett III left Columbus at age 19 to study with an earlier, noted realist, Ben Long, in Florence, Italy. Today, Bartlett divides his time between island homes in Maine and Washington. He returns to Columbus often to visit family in the area.

Described as “an American realist with a modernist vision,” Bartlett’s artwork has been celebrated and displayed in exhibitions at major U.S. art museums for three decades. As one observer put it, “His work celebrates the immensity of everyday life.” The Columbus exhibition has been organized into three categories:

  • “Paintings of Home,” at the Illges Gallery, 901 Front Ave. A collection of small to monumental scale paintings of Bartlett’s Columbus influences, Columbus icons and memories, from a recent New York show, including  familiar works such as Ma Rainey, Queen of the Blues; Dr. Pemberton Discovers Coke: School of Charm; Inheritance and more. A 12-minute DVD interview of Bartlett, produced in conjunction with a recent New York show, will also be available for viewing.
  • “A Survey of Painting,” at the W.C. Bradley Co. Museum, 1017 Front Ave.  An overview of paintings produced from 1998 to 2009, including Young Traveler (Bartlett with a fur hat), Painters Crossing (the well-known painting of Bartlett’s friend and mentor, Andrew Wyeth) and Hiroshima, which measures 134 inches by 204 inches. In all, more than 50 Bartlett paintings will be on display in this 11,000-square foot former cotton warehouse. Bartlett’s film, Heartland, will also be available for viewing at this location.
  • “Sketchbooks, Journals and Studies,” at the Turner and Jordan Galleries, CB&T, 1148 Broadway. These two galleries offer an opportunity for up-close study of sketchbooks Bartlett has created through the years. The journals and objects of inspiration all personally selected by Bartlett demonstrate the inspiration, practice, and the discipline behind his creations. This exhibition includes a DVD lecture by the artist, available to visitors.

In conjunction with the exhibitions, Columbus State plans several special events: sack lunch lectures, evening guest speakers and panel discussions, to be announced later as plans are finalized. Clubs, school groups, businesses, individuals and families are welcome to explore the work of the artist on their own or through a personal docent tour, which can be scheduled.

Following Art Walk, Bartlett will teach a nationally advertised three-day master class at the Corn Center from March 25-March 27. Bartlett will paint alongside a limited number of participants during the weekend and discuss his creative process. For details, visit http://art.colstate.edu/visiting_artist.asp.

For more information on the artist, visit http://www.bobartlett.com/.