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Ke Francis
Mississippi

Artist Statement Submitted 2017

The narrative artist from this region have historically acknowledged their environment and the powerful natural forces that shaped and animated both the land and its inhabitants. These artists chose themes that reflected the human drama and the emotional trials of a population that benefitted from powerful rivers, fertile deltas, and a vast array of natural resources and struggled with devastating floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and droughts. George Caleb Bingham’s Mississippi Raftsmen at Cards, John James Audubon’s Early Settlers Along the Mississippi, Thomas Hart Benton’s paintings of Jim and Huck on their raft based, of course, on Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, along with the many other powerful Southern artists are set against this powerful backdrop. My installations, artist’s books, short stories and poems, photographs, sculptures, paintings and prints employ contemporary formats but my concerns and concepts fall clearly in line with my artistic predecessors.

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