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Local artists, musicians featured in Oxford exhibit

Special Photo. Art Rosenbaum, a regionally renowned artist and art professor emeritus from the University of Georgia, painted this oil portrait of The Corduroy Road, a modern folk band based in Athens, in 2009. It is just one of the works of art in Rosenbaum's exhibit at Oxford College, which will be on display through Feb. 25 at the Hunt Gallery in Candler Hall.

Special Photo. Art Rosenbaum, a regionally renowned artist and art professor emeritus from the University of Georgia, painted this oil portrait of The Corduroy Road, a modern folk band based in Athens, in 2009. It is just one of the works of art in Rosenbaum's exhibit at Oxford College, which will be on display through Feb. 25 at the Hunt Gallery in Candler Hall.

OXFORD -- Southern musical traditions have come alive through art at Oxford College this month.

Renowned regional artist Art Rosenbaum will present about a dozen of his works in a monthlong exhibit at the college's Hunt Gallery, which is located inside Candler Hall.

Rosenbaum taught art at the University of Georgia for 30 years and last year had a retrospective of his art, "Weaving His Art on Golden Looms," at the Georgia Museum of Art.

The exhibit, which is open until Feb. 25, features paintings by Rosenbaum and photographs by his wife, Margo Newmark Rosenbaum, of Southern folk and blues musicians, including the Bryant family from Covington and Oxford. Art Rosenbaum met the late blues singer Cora Mae Bryant, daughter of legendary guitarist Curley Weaver, at an area music venue and eventually developed a friendship with the Bryant and Weaver families.

"They are an extremely talented family," he said, adding that they represent old-fashioned blues music indigenous to the area that involved gathering to eat barbecue and playing music together.

The exhibit also includes other regional musicians the Rosenbaums have captured in paintings and photographs over the years and showcased in touring exhibits since the 1970s.

"I hope the art provokes some interest and questions," Art Rosenbaum said. "I hope people take something away from it. ... Both people who are native to this region and those from somewhere else, I hope they gain appreciation of grass roots Southern music."

Daniel Barber, assistant professor of art and art history at Oxford College, helped bring the Rosenbaum exhibit to the school. After teaching at the Art Institute of Chicago, Barber transferred to the University of Georgia to teach art several years ago, where he met Rosenbaum and remained in contact with him after transferring to Oxford.

He said Rosenbaum's art crosses multiple disciplines of study, including chemistry, history and nature, among others, and he wants to expose his students and the public to that.

"These (paintings) are very deeply rooted," Barber said. "And the students especially will get a first-hand look at someone who's entirely dedicated his life to art and teaching. ... The biggest handicap in the Southeast is that we have no big comprehensive collections of art, so we do anything we can to bring in artwork because you have to see them in person ... and sometimes to people that is life changing."

The exhibit's reception is from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. today at the Hunt Gallery in Candler Hall at the college. At 7 p.m., the college will show a documentary film, "Sing My Troubles By: Georgia Women Carrying on Folk Music Traditions," at the Williams Hall Auditorium.

At 8 p.m. Feb. 18, the college will feature a musical performance by Art Rosenbaum and members of the Bryant family, Tony Bryant and "Guitar Dave" Bryant, in the auditorium.

All events are free and open to the public.