Published: September 25, 2015
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — The Fenimore Art Museum has kicked off its fall season by featuring the art of Lavern Kelley (1928–1995), who lived on his family farm, just outside of Oneonta, N.Y. The exhibition “Lavern Kelley: The Art of the Farm” surveys a full range of works by Kelley – approximately 25 carvings, plus numerous drawings and photographs. It delves into the development and profusion of the creativity of the artist from drawings done in his teens and early twenties of working farmers and loggers to the carved and assembled painted wood sculptures of trucks and other farming equipment, human figures and animals for which he is best known.
Kelley’s body of work can be considered latter-day American Regionalism. His artworks capture an essential and enduring rural community and family, along with what might now be called an artisanal, farming tradition and way of life. This artistic vision is based upon a context and foundation, which Kelley was unaware of for most of his life, of Midwestern American Regionalist paintings of the 1930s. With its greatest practitioners, Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton and John Steuart Curry, he shares a deep conviction in the fundamental verities, values and historic centrality of farming and rural small town and community life. The exhibit will be on view through December 31.
The Fenimore Art Museum is at 5798 State Route 80.
For information, 607-547-1400 or www.fenimoreartmuseum.org.
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