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"When You're Lost, Everything's A Sign: Self-Taught Art from The House of Blues" on view in New Orleans
Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Man On Proud Horse, 1999.
NEW ORLEANS, LA.- From its inception in 1992, House of Blues has maintained a deep commitment to the preservation of both American Blues music and American folk art. For 20 years, House of Blues has collected and showcased some of the finest examples of Southern vernacular art, linking it with American vernacular music traditions.

Opened April 25, 2013 at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans is When You’re Lost, Everything’s A Sign: Self-Taught Art from The House of Blues featuring more than 100 pieces from House of Blues art collection, which itself encompasses more than 10,000 pieces and is ever-changing and expanding. The exhibition is on view through July 21, 2013.

Most art in the exhibition has been curated from House of Blues venues throughout the world, while some have not been seen before. Key pieces include work by Leroy Almon, Archie Byron, Roy Ferdinand, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Rev. Howard Finster, Sybil Gibson, Mr. Imagination, Baltimore Glass Man, Calvin Livingston “The Picasso of Prattsville,” BF Perkins, Mose Tolliver, Reginald Mitchell, Herbert Singleton, Lonnie Holley, James “Son Ford” Thomas (who is also a musician), Ronald Cooper, Mary T. Smith, among other artists.

"Self-taught" is a self-explanatory description of the artist’s training. Materials used are as diverse as the art: cracker boxes, sawdust, clay, broken glass, guitars, tin, wood, paint, roots, shoes, teeth, marbles, chains, old TV sets, paint cans and costume jewelry.

“Like the art itself, these vernacular art forms are pure expressions of creativity from the unique culture of the South,” says Ogden Museum Chief Curator Bradley Sumrall.

The exhibition title, When You’re Lost, Everything’s A Sign, is a folk idiom that has a dual meaning: the art was used as signs to draw people into that artist’s home or store to buy art; the other, was more spiritual as many of the artists viewed their art as a way to direct someone from evil and into the path of God.





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