A special exhibition produced by Brown County artist Susan W. Showalter will open Tuesday, April 12, at the Brown County History Center in Nashville.
“Artists Interrupted: Brown County Artists Challenged by Illness or Injury” explores in both words and photographs how local professional fine artists, fine craft artists and those in the performing arts have been affected physically, emotionally and financially after becoming temporarily or permanently challenged, and how this has affected their artwork and marketing.
“I especially want to reveal what gifts, if any, the artists feel they have received from becoming injured or ill,” Ms. Showalter said. “These artists inspire me, inspire other artists and the general public.”
To complete the project, Ms. Showalter produced a website to promote the artists and their work as well as broadcast-quality radio interviews with the artists. Finally, she has produced an exhibition of photos of the artists along with samples of their works of art with written and recorded narratives to create what can become a traveling exhibition.
The project features six artists:
Charlene Marsh: Award-winning plein air oil painter Charlene Marsh has made Brown County her home since 1987 and markets her work nationally in fine art galleries and at weekend art shows, mostly in the Midwest. Ms. Marsh has overcome several health issues including a venomous snake’s bite, a back injury from falling in the forest and chronic carbon monoxide poisoning resulting in multiple sensitivities.
Pete Sebert: Storyteller Pete Sebert moved to Nashville in 1997 to manage the Orchard Hill Inn after being a pastor in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana, specializing in conducting religious retreats. The character “Jacob Brown” began to develop when Mr. Sebert immersed himself in local history and dressed in character, spinning stories for both local residents and tourists, and finally for the Brown County Historical Society. Jacob Brown, “an ambassador from another time, tells and sings of days gone by and still around the Brown County hills and hollows” and other parts “located on the edge of the village forest, in the Hoosier state of mind near the heart of the universe.” Mr. Sebert has been challenged with diabetes, weight control issues, prostate problems and more.
Susan W. Showalter: Ms. Showalter, a fine art photographer, writer and jewelry designer, works and lives on her Goat Hill Farm, which was established in 1972. Her art work is sold internationally online, at gift shops and in boutiques in Brown County and at her Goat Hill Studio, Gallery and Museum located ten minutes southeast of Nashville. Ms. Showalter conceived and produced this documentary, “Artists Interrupted: Brown County Artists Challenged by Illness or Injury,” and has been challenged with both, including Crohn’s Disease, permanent spinal cord damage resulting from a broken neck sustained in auto accident, asthma, iritis, chronic anemia, ankylosing spondylitis, sleep apnea and more.
Christopher Webb: Brown County singer/songwriter Christopher Webb is the son of the legendary Pat Webb and renowned folksinger Charlette Webb. He started playing music professionally at the age of 13 during a national broadcast of the Pan American Games. He was greatly influenced by his mother and father and formed the group Folksinger when he was 20, later playing, touring and recording with The Beaten Poets. Mr. Webb’s career was interrupted when he was diagnosed with cancer, specifically a malignant carcinoma of the sinus cavity. The illness and treatment profoundly affected his writing and performing.
Pat Webb: Legendary singer/songwriter Pat Webb hales from Springfield, Missouri. His parents were members of a folk society which met weekly to play music, dance, tell stories and read poetry. He has played mandolin since his teenage years with a string band which entertained the troops while he was in the U.S. Marines. Returning to Springfield, Mr. Webb took up guitar and played Kansas City-type jazz and blues with pianist Blind Tommy Hunt, the first of many mature black musicians who influenced Pat’s developing musical style. He has performed all over the United States playing country music duets, western swing, blues and folk music as he began songwriting and developing his own distinctive style, “Melting Pot Music.” He is considered to be one of the founders of experimental acoustic guitar and has recorded numerous albums and CDs, played on radio and television and recorded with his former wife, folksinger Charlette Daniels, and individually on the Folkways record label then later on the Webstone label. His career has lasted over 50 years. Mr. Webb is challenged by complications from a ruptured appendix.
William Zimmerman: World-renowned wildlife artist William Zimmerman, known as America’s premier bird artist, has published numerous books. His works of art have been shown in many museums and galleries in both in the U.S. and Great Britain, including the Smithsonian, and are featured on the labels of Oliver Winery wines. He has lived in Brown County since the early 1970s and was active in many community organizations, including the Brown County Mentoring Program. Mr. Zimmerman has been challenged by complications from surgery for a tumor in his spine.
“Artists Interrupted: Brown County Artists Challenged by Illness or Injury” will be open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Brown County History Center located behind the courthouse at 46 East Gould Street. It conclude with an artists’ reception from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, that will include refreshments and musical entertainment by the Webbs.
A career development grant in 2010, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and the Indiana Arts Commission, funded Mrs. Showalter’s year long documentary project. For more information call the History Center at (812) 988-2899 or visit the project website at www.artistsinterrupted.com.
For information about how to schedule an exhibition or to broadcast artist’s interviews, contact Mrs. Showalter by phone at (812) 988-7830 or by email at GoatHillStudio@aol.com with “Exhibition” and/or “Artists Interviews” in the subject line.