“A Riff on Nests” is Joe Walters’ first show in Charleston in many years. Hailing from Kentucky and having moved to Charleston in 1995, Walters has almost yearly had a solo show since 1990. Corrigan Gallery is happy to show his latest work for the month of March with an opening reception March 4 from 5-8pm in conjunction with the French Quarter Gallery Association’s first artwalk of 2011. Beginning March 2 and through the last day of the month, Walters’ sculpture and works on paper will grace the walls of the gallery.
Walters’ works come from his observation of the natural world. He manipulates “unorthodox materials” to create his interpretation of objects and to “freeze them in an instant.” Using polymer clay, steel, glue, sand, paint and wire, the crusty surfaces of Walters’ sculptures mimic metal corroded with age arrested at a point of interest. His Calderesque ability to use cast shadows as another dimension, especially creating the sense of images reflected in water, has developed over time.
The tradition of “still life,” capturing in material form the fleeting nature of life, is present in the works as, for Walters, the continual cycle of growth and deterioration is an example of the delicate balance between life and death - a vanitas in three dimensions. Nests are temporary homes that although well built usually last a season versus the homes man attempts to build. Man today does seem to remain only temporarily in any one home as the transitory nature of birds is now more often imitated than in the past.
Even more, Walters speaks to human beings’ interaction with nature. He regards the individual plant and animal forms as minimal shapes and elements that create a new play on the space in which they are placed. When viewed from various directions, the sculptures and the shadows they produce create a lively interaction of space and a reflection of nature.
The works on paper are spellbinding. They mimic the rust colored look of the sculptures. Produced by piercing the paper, dying it with tea, bleaching back out areas and scrubbing, they look like crusty pieces of hide. One’s first instinct is to touch them and feel the difference between the objective areas and the open spaces. The subject matter is extremely abstract yet there are marshscapes and botanical images very present.
Joe Walters is widely shown throughout the Southeast, Florida and New York. The same year he moved to Charleston he received a Southern Arts Federation/National Endowment for the Arts Regional Fellowship. He had received a South Carolina Arts Commission Visual Arts Fellowship in 1996. He has exhibited at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina, Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art, Florida, Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina, SECCA in North Carolina and Piccolo Spoleto: Contemporary Charleston 2004. He holds a MFA in sculpture from East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina. His sculptural installations are included in such notable collections as the Kemper Museum of Art, Kansas City, Clemson University and Emory University, Atlanta. His works are in collections at the AON Center, Monsanto Corporation, Fujisawa Healthcare Inc. in Illinois; Agnes Scott College, InterContinental Hotel, Emory University, IL British Airways, and Hartsfield International Airport in Georgia; the Mint Museum, Spirit Square Center for the Arts, Charlotte in North Carolina; Clemson University, University of South Carolina at Sumter and Palmetto Bluff Resort in South Carolina; the United States Embassy, Istanbul, Turkey; and Metro Zoo, University of Florida, School of Veterinary Medicine, Gainesville.
Walters has had solo shows at Mint Museum of Craft & Design in North Carolina, Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, Kentucky, Jacksonville Museum of Art, Florida, The Landmark Gallery, Texas Tech University, Lubbock as well as the Halsey Gallery at College of Charleston and the Museum of York County, South Carolina. Included in group exhibitions from Florida to California, Walters has also been show at Art Miami and the Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga, California.
Corrigan Gallery, now in its sixth year, is a culmination of 23 years of experience in the Charleston art market. The gallery represents more than a dozen artists in an intimate space and presents 6 to 10 shows per year with the gallery being refreshed every month. Other gallery artists are Manning Williams, Duke Hagerty, Mary Walker, Kristi Ryba, Sue Simons Wallace, Gordon Nicholson, John Moore, William Meissburger, Lese Corrigan, Paul Mardikian and John Hull. Visiting artists are included in the yearly roster with most of the artist being either Charleston natives or individuals living in Charleston. A gallery of contemporary works exploring the depth and intellect behind the drive to create, Corrigan Gallery provides a breathing space around the historic city’s traditional bent. Open six days a week and other times by appointment, the gallery can be viewed 24 hours a day at http://www.corrigangallery.com, contacted by phone 843 722 9868 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.