Jean Blue: 50th Anniversary Gallery #4
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A View from the Top - by Jean Blue
Acrylic on canvas
16” x 16”
I have found inspiration time and again from the diverse architecture of Vicksburg structures. In an effort to present the magnificent Italianate Baer House on South Street in a different way, I chose to focus on its gables. I have taken a number of photos of the house through the years, but I had never noticed what looks like a bird perched on the roof in one of the images. It seemed fitting to include one and to title the painting “A View from the Top.”
Lesley remembers: Jean’s work reaches out and grabs my soul. And it’s not just me. So often I am asked, “do you have any of Jean Blue’s available?” They stand in line whenever there is new work. It appeals to so many, and it has been my privilege to witness their reactions. Her combination of subject, color, texture all come together. She is fearless and successful with each new experiment. A magical energy emanates from her work, and her life parallels her art. For years I wanted Jean to work here in the gallery. I asked more than once, and waited her out. Observing the way she places objects, artwork, flowers, sculpture and even grass, makes me realize how much talent is within her. She has taught me more than she will ever know and I am ever thankful.
Jean remembers: Lesley and I came to Vicksburg around the same time in the mid-sixties. We knew each other through community organizations. Especially through our involvement with the Vicksburg Art Association.
When I discovered the original Attic Gallery it was thrilling to vicariously experience art that I couldn’t afford as a newly-wed and that was excitingly different from my own painting style.
After winding up my second career, Lesley invited me to join the Attic Gallery family. My twenty five plus years at the gallery have expanded my creative vision and process in incredible ways, but the greatest perk has been to witness the way Lesley engages with artists, art observers / collectors and art itself. She is every bit as interested in people’s lives as the art they create or are drawn to. Her interactions reflect her sincere curiosity and compassion.
Meaningful art, to Lesley, must take the viewer below the surface to reach people deep inside where our brains simply can’t go. It has been amazing to watch the complete break some regular gallery visitors have made from their old way of seeing.
Lesley has brilliantly and intuitively created far more than a place to show art. The Attic Gallery is a total experience involving all the senses and emotions.
Long live the Attic Gallery, and congratulations Lesley!
Born in Oxford, Mississippi
Received BFA from MSCW in 1962
Resided in Vicksburg since 1965
Taught art in the school system for 12 years
Participated in group shows in Vicksburg, Clinton, Jackson, and McComb
Honored by Vicksburg Art Association with a retrospective show in 2005
Received a number of Best-in-Show awards, VAA shows
Represented in the permanent collection at MUW
In numerous private collections
Represented by the Attic Gallery in Vicksburg
Other interests include gardening, cooking, cat “ownership,” NY Times crossword puzzles and group Bible study.