Andrew Blanchard was born in the wild swamps of Louisiana and raised on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. As a proud graduate of the Ole Miss MFA program, his imagery delivers an honest commentary on the cultural character of the American South. His work has been exhibited internationally and was recently added to the permanent collections at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, LA and the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson, MS. Currently, he is the director of Studio Art and an Associate Professor of Photography and Printmaking at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC. He is represented by Southside Gallery in Oxford, MS and M Contemporary in New Orleans, LA.
I Hear Southern Voices
What began as an academic pairing of literary and lyrical word-grabs accompanied by recently documented images, slowly yet deliberately matured toward social commentary. Confronting the language of the American South gave way to a series that questions what lurks inside of America as well, including its inhabitants.
Having the rug pulled out from under your feet is such a strange sensation. Pondering what just happened ultimately leads one to quick recourse. It is, by far and wide, better than having the wool pulled over one’s eyes. When your houses of worship have taught you loving-kindness and empathy though now stand for aggressive apathy, hopefully you are asking, when did this happen? When notions of neighborly civility and community convert to hostility and tribalism, hopefully you are asking, where did this happen? Why? How?
Race, politics, religion, landownership/management, and socio-economic concepts have factored into my artwork. Ambivalence has always enabled a balanced playing field for personal thoughts, emotions, hopes, prayers, dreams and harsh realities. However, through the triad of digital documentation, photo screen-printing, and painterly application, this current body of work narrates a balanced reportage, and in this day and time, offers a firm-footed line in the sand, which is inevitable.
To view more of Andrew Blanchard’s work please visit his website.