Monday, August 04, 2008

Deep Roots, the life and legacy of Clyde Connell, opens at Artspace Shreveport on Fri, Sept 19

The show "Deep Roots, the life and legacy of Clyde Connell," opens Fri, Sept 19, at Artspace Shreveport. You can follow the planning and development of the show at the Clyde Connell blog.

"What a great idea. This is the first time I've watched an exhibit being built," wrote Kathryn Usher when she recently found the blog.

"Is this what's missing in the artist/art collector relationships in SB Land? Do we need to do more relationship building even before the show opens?"

"Deep Roots" will be both a Clyde Connell retrospective and a legacy show. Upstairs there will be a large display of art by Clyde's descendants. Among the artists who are progeny: her son, Brian Connell, grandson Dixon Ent, great-grandson Anthony Colvin, nephews Dr. Pat Sewell and Dr. Bennett Sewell. The curator and another of the artists is great niece Talbot Hopkins Trudeau.

Artspace artistic director Bill Joyce believes the show will find a goodly audience. "The struggle, pain and successes in her life have the elements of an involving story," he notes. "Everyone will relate to her," he believes.

In brief the show will establish that Clyde Connell, a woman with a man's name, was one of the greatest-ever Louisiana visual artists. Born in a large plantation house to a large plantation family in 1901, she lived her long life - she died in 1998 - almost entirely in Caddo and Bossier Parishes.

Her sculpture, nonetheless, was exhibited in NYC, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Paris (see illustration) and Geneva. Her unusual life was captured by author Charlotte Moser in the book Clyde Connell: the art and life of a Louisiana Woman.

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