figurative painting -
"Mother and Son, Prince of Ireland" by Odd Nerdrum

“Big Stories” presents a diverse array of artists whose large-scale figurative works capture the essence of storytelling in striking visual form. Curated by figurative painters Bo Bartlett, Noah Buchanan, and Carl Dobsky, the 18-piece exhibit explores the boundless possibilities of large-scale contemporary figurative painting, deeply rooted in the rich tradition of storytelling.

“Big Stories”
Through December 16, 2023
Bo Bartlett Center, Columbus State University
Columbus, Georgia

figurative painting - Noah Buchanan, "Jacob's Ladder," 2023, oil on linen, 108 x 80 in.
Noah Buchanan, “Jacob’s Ladder,” 2023, oil on linen, 108 x 80 in.

More from the gallery:

“Since the dawn of civilization, narratives have been at the core of our existence,” explained Mike McFalls, director of the Bo Bartlett Center and a professor in Columbus State University’s Department of Art. “From the epic tales of Homer to the immortal works of Shakespeare and the timeless cinematic creations of Spielberg, stories have served as the essence of human experience — portraying heroic journeys that transcend cultures and connect us on a profound level.”

McFalls noted that each of the exhibit’s carefully chosen and thoughtfully presented artwork serves as a testament to the enduring power of storytelling.

figurative painting triptych - "Diana and Acteon" by Adam Miller
“Diana and Acteon” by Adam Miller

“Whether the narratives are overtly portrayed on the canvas or subtly embedded within the layers of paint, the paintings of ‘Big Stories’ will provoke deep introspection — inviting viewers to ponder the meanings and significance of our shared human experience,” he said.

The artists showcased in this in this exhibition include Steven Assael, Bo Bartlett, Margaret Bowland, Noah Buchanan, Aleah Chapin, Alfred Conteh, Vincent Desiderio, Carl Dobsky, Michelle Doll, Najee Dorsey, Zoey Frank, Paul Fenniak, Andrea Kowch, Adam Miller, Odd Nerdrum, Amy Sherald, Tim Short, and Patricia Watwood.

figurative art - "Evan and Aaron" by Alfred Conteh
“Evan and Aaron” by Alfred Conteh

“The exhibition and the stories behind each piece that forms ‘Big Stories’ are fascinating,” McFalls continued. “The return of Amy Sherald’s artwork in her hometown of Columbus, Georgia, will undoubtedly pique people’s interest.”

Narrative art - "Talkin' Across the Table" by Tim Short
“Talkin’ Across the Table” by Tim Short

The Bo Bartlett Center will host a public reception on Thursday, October 5, 2023 at 6 p.m., where patrons can visit with the exhibition curators and explore the depth and significance of “Big Stories” together.

Narrative art - "This My Baldwin" by Najee Dorsey
“This My Baldwin” by Najee Dorsey

The exhibition will run through Saturday, December 16. It is available to visitors at no charge during the center’s operating hours, which are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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