March marks the annual exhibition time for the Customs House Museum’s celebration of Women’s History Month. Each year curator Terri Jordan creates an invitational show under a themed subject matter. For 2019, the theme is with the creators not the art.
“The idea came to me after having a conversation with some very accomplished female artists during a reception. The general consensus was that as we get older and have gone through the act of raising children and needing jobs with steady incomes, we have more time and experience to become comfortable in our artist skins. The worries and concerns of pleasing the audience fades and the talent strengthens. The roster of artists participating in this exhibition includes a diversity of styles and mediums from female artists across the country, all over the age of fifty,” Jordan says.
Included in the exhibition are Virginia Derryberry, Terry Moore Strickland, Brenda Pinnick, Edie Maney, Susan Bryant, Monique Carr, Robin Miller Bookout, Cheryl St. John, Lisa Jennings, Renee Lowry, Donna Rizzo, Brenda Stein, Johan Hagaman, Rose Ann Bernatovich, and Marilyn Murphy. Murphy is an artist whose drawings and oil paintings create curious situations implying a larger story that often explores dualities both formally and conceptually. Besides having been a professor of art at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, Marilyn’s work has been shown in more than 300 exhibitions nationally and abroad.
Virginia Derryberry’s recent work includes large-scale oil on canvas figure paintings along with fabric/costume constructions that blend narrative elements from mythology and alchemy, the forerunner of modern science. Her piece “Expect the Unexpected” is a two-panel canvas, with attached fabric and found object, measuring 36 x 96 inches. As in most of Derryberry’s work, the figure seems to be attentive to someone we cannot see. The artist creates a sense of mystery within her canvases that keep the viewer in search of clues within the paint and mixed media to complete the story.
“15 Over 50” will be on view March 5 through June 9, 2019. Along with the exhibition, the Customs House will host programs in celebration of Women’s History Month, as well as exhibitions by Lynn Garwood, Sandy Spain, and Mike Andrews. Located at the corner of Second and Commerce Streets, the Customs House Museum is the second largest general museum in Tennessee. For more information visit customshousemuseum.org.