Southern artists on display at The Arts Company

The Arts Company presents an exhibition celebrating art and literature, with a distinctly Southern narrative, now through October 24.

The Storied South exhibition highlights the visual splendor of the region as seen through the eyes and imagination of three southern artists – Johnny Nelson, Charles Keiger and Ke Francis.

The exhibition is anchored by the large-scale, colorful and fanciful paintings of Johnny Nelson. In this newest series of work, the artist explores the written works and personal myths of one of the South’s most recognized storytellers – Flannery O’Connor. Nelson captures the likeness of the writer in playful scenarios that may or may not have been her reality. This is truly his interpretation of her life through his own distinctive, artistic approach.

Charles Keiger’s paintings explore the blend of southern gothic and magical realism. The dreamlike imagery holds the viewer’s attention as they create their own unique narrative in their mind. The cast of characters in Keiger’s works look like they were captured in a specific moment of whimsical exploration. Keiger uses oil and mixed media on wood and canvas to present a fresh take on how precision in gesture, design, color, and sparse details can reveal the tremendous depth of anxiety and emotion.

Master printmaker, painter and sculptor Ke Francis evokes the tragic effects of disaster, while simultaneously celebrating the resiliency of the human spirit, all within imagery which bears the artist’s marks of their creation. Imagery of tragedy and cataclysms such as tornadoes, animal traps, and wounded soldiers are juxtaposed with ancient symbols of victory and icons of harmony in order to express the interdependency of and delicate balance between pleasure and pain, rejoicing and mourning; and all acting as a stage for individual human will and determination.

Visit the exhibit during regular gallery hours, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday, at The Arts Company, 215 5th Avenue of the Arts, North, through October 24.