(Gainesville, GA) On January 19, 2017 at 5:30 pm, Brenau University held an opening reception in Sellars Gallery for a collaboration of artwork from Wayne Kline and Rolling Stone Press entitled, Southern Hospitality. The exhibition mainly featured lithographs on paper created at Rolling Stone Press. The press was known as a place for local, regional, and international artists to collaborate with the operator, Wayne Kline, to create lithography in the Southeast. To accent the works in the collaboration, Students, faculty, and alumnae are featured in the gallery lobby to accent the detailed and intricate work of lithography.
Lithography is the process of printing from a flat surface that is treated to repel the ink except where it is designed and required to print. It was invented around 1796 by Bavarian playwright, Alois Senefelder, discovered that he could duplicate his own scripts by writing them in a greasy crayon on slabs of limestone and rolling ink with pressure to print. Litho is Latin for stone and graph is Latin for mark; where the name is derived from. Meaning the marking of stone, that much transformed and grew to be a production of art.
In the collaboration of works in the exhibition, Kline and many other artists demonstrate the saturation of color through different pressure of the process, composition based on theme, and stories told through the immense technique of lithography.
A couple of pieces that stood out were Brute and Dream of Fear, created by William Christenberry in 1990. Christenberry is best known for his photographs and depictions of the South in a decrepit and fading rural way. He had documented the Alabama landscape to multiple media to carry out his passion. The main places he returned his photos and works of art to were the Black Belt of the Southeastern United States. In the pieces Brute and Dream of Fear, the artist shows his obsession for the Ku Klux Klan. This obsession started with an encounter of the men in full robes on the steps of the Tuscaloosa county courthouse in 1960. His pieces depicting the Klan show the harshness that weighs on the thoughts of many pertaining to the Klan. Some are inspired by his boldness in his choice of depiction, while others are offended. Christenberry not only shows amazing technique in the contrasting lithographs, but also his greatness as an artist to go against the normality of what is considered acceptable in society’s standards. By performing this act of boldness, he encourages viewers to think in depth within the piece, and have a true emotional connection whether it is inspiring or uprising. Although many see these pieces as rude, appalling and disgusting, many artists argue that he is a genius due to his ability to engage the audience by telling his own experience just through one piece of work.