Art — Morgan’s “Danse” comes to Manch

by Michelle Saturley

Franco American Center welcomes Southern painter

The graceful frames of dancers have inspired artists for hundreds of years. France had Edgar Degas, probably the most famous painter of ballerinas. Now, Henderson, Tenn., has Gerald Morgan, a painter and photographer who captures more modern images of ballet dancers. Morgan will be the featured artist in a solo show at the Beliveau Fine Art Gallery at the Franco American Center throughout the month of June.

Morgan began drawing dancers because he found it more satisfying than working with a stationary model. The artist works from photographs he takes of dancers in his studio, then combines the images with memory and his own imagination to create complex paintings of dancers in motion, in a variety of settings, from a studio to a garden. His pieces often start out as charcoal pencil sketches. Degas’ paintings often depict dancers as fragile flowers, Morgan’s paintings reflect the elegance and strength of the dancer. The result, after more than two years of concentrated work, is a new series called “Danse,” which will be featured June 8-30 at the FAC.

Prior to his series on dancers, Morgan worked primarily in oils and pastels on such subject matter as landscapes and abstract portraiture, many of which have been on display at the Center for the Arts in Murfreesboro, Tenn. But his work didn’t begin to generate notoriety until he began showing his dancer series. Since then, pieces have been shown at the Yvonne Rapp Gallery in Louisville, Ky., and the prestigious Galerie Pacaud in Audierne, France. He’s also been featured in American Artist magazine.

Morgan, who is registered with the Nashville Arts Commission, arrived in the Queen City on Monday to begin hanging his show at the Franco American Center. The Southern gentleman was on hand at the opening reception on June 8 as well. For more information on the exhibit, call the Franco American Center at 669-4045.

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