William Dunlap, one of the most important Southern artists of this generation, will be bringing his celebrated works to the South Arkansas Art Center for a six week show. The impressive show, titled A Southern Allegory, will open on March 10 and run through April 30th.
A critically acclaimed Southern artist from Mississippi, Dunlap’s paintings address history and place, as well as a deep appreciation for family, home and Walker Hounds. His paintings and mixed media canvases and installations are his conjurings of Southern life and culture. He calls them “Excavations” of the Southern culture, literature and landscape. Dunlap’s recollections of summers spent with his grandparents in small town Mathiston, MS, are revealed in his art works, many times showing his family’s home place, Starnes House, and the pure bred Walker Hounds his fox hunting grandfather raised, as occasional stand-ins for people. He does a masterful job of illustrating the architectural language of the South and presenting it to the viewer to be interpreted.
Greg Thompson, curator for this event and representative of Dunlap’s work in Arkansas, said “Dunlap’s works fuse the sublime with a rich pageantry of what has come before, what is now and what will be in a gumbo-like stew of Southern narrative.”
Says the artist of his work, “I call what I do ‘hypothetical realism’. These places, situations and events I paint are not real but they could be.”
Dunlap is also a huge advocate for Southern art and artists- a roving ambassador of sorts, employing his famous charm and tireless energy to promote Southern art and culture around the country. He is also a constant source of inspiration for younger artists, bringing along the next generation with his success.
Not only is William Dunlap one of the most prominent Southern artists, he is also a prolific writer. His first book was a lovely coffee table tome featuring 100 of his career spanning works. His newest release, due in the spring, is a collection of fictional stories, inspired by writings and doodles from sketchbooks and journals that he has kept throughout his career.
Dunlap received a bachelor’s degree from Mississppi College and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Mississippi. After graduating from there, Dunlap taught at Appalachian State University and The University of Memphis. He has since become a full time artist, writer and lecturer. In addition to his vast exhibition record, Dunlap has been the recipient of a number of grants and awards over the course of his distinguished career.
Dunlap’s extraordinary art is housed in some fairly famous places- The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Art, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, The Mississippi Museum of Art and The Arkansas Art Center, as well as private collections across the country.