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Kudzu Soliloquy

April 21, 2023 - June 24, 2023

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

                                    – William Faulkner

Kudzu Soliloquy is a discourse on the landscape of southern identity through a Southern Gothic lens, observing and considering what was and still is. In the American South, the visceral struggle between the past and the present is pervasive. With a pull towards tradition and a resistance to progress, we experience a panorama that is often decaying yet uniquely beautiful.

Is the south gothic by nature? The past whistles a familiar tune in the present while the ‘new’ rests on the ‘old’ – side-by-side. Deficient and failing ideologies, symbols, and histories haunt us. Monuments dedicated to the transgressions of our ancestors are affixed in small-town squares. Once immaculate, neoclassical architecture is now adorned with peeling paint and crumbling roman columns serving as a reminder. A reminder that darkness is invasive, like kudzu. This exhibit aims to conjure a feeling rather than explicitly articulating what it is to be southern or the meaning of southern culture.

By combining contemporary art and traditional craft, Kudzu Soliloquy interprets the blended nature of our existence in the South as traditions tend to inform our present-day practices. And through this exhibition, we explore Southern Identity by portraying the Southern Gothic aesthetic of our environment, living culture, folklife traditions, and craft. Exhibiting artists include Michael Acuff, Sarah Adkins-Jablonsky, Gwen Chafin, Zoe Fitch, Cathy Fussell, Aaron Sanders Head, Alicia Henry, Bethanne Hill, Glenn House, George Jones Jr., Jessica Peterson, Jerry Siegel, Marjorie Williams-Smith, and Lynette Youson.

Kudzu Soliloquy is curated by Holly Meyers.

This project has been made possible by grants from Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.