Blanche Nettles Powers
October 17 - November 16, 2019
We are pleased to present “Billie” a new series of abstract paintings by Blanche Nettles Powers. This is the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.
Nettles Powers’ studio practice is centered on experimentation and discovery, engaging with materials in an improvisational manner. Swatches of textiles and images of handwoven carpets are used as source material, as an entry-point into the painting. Thin layers of oil paint are applied and worked into the linen, emphasizing the irregular weave and rough nubs of the surface. Layers are scrubbed away and new layers reapplied. Overtime a translucency develops. Initial marks, made with rags, brushes and pours, rise to the surface and intertwine with fresh marks, creating a new warp and weft. This method allows the artist to consider her feminine identity and the tradition of working with textiles, while examining concepts of time, decay, and renewal.
The surfaces of the paintings are thin and translucent like aging human skin. The viewer is able to see through the uppermost layer and view the nuanced composition. Drips and pools of paint on the edges reveal bits of history. Each work is in a vertical, portrait format. The larger paintings in the series are human scale, inviting the viewer to enter the space and reflect in a meditative manner.
As a synonym of identity, the title of each painting is a name. She has chosen names of women who happened to be on her radar during the making of the artwork. Some names are fictional characters, while others are women from current events, journalists, novelists and artists. In titling this exhibition “Billie” the artist is acknowledging her roots and embracing her southern identity. ‘Hillbilly’ has a derogatory connotation, whereas ‘Billie’ means strength and determination.
BILLIE – Billie Holiday, Billie Jean King, Billie Eilish
ZINAIDA – Zinaida Krutitsky, fictional character from The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin by P. D. Ouspensky
MARSHEA – Marshea Jones from current events in Alabama shooting
EDNA – Edna Mode from PIXAR’s animated superhero films The Incredibles and Incredibles 2
STACEY – Stacey Abrams ran for Governor of Georgia
AWKWAFINA – Lead actress in the movie “The Farewell” directed by LuLu Wang
ANNI – Textile artist Anni Albers
Born in Rochester, Minnesota, Blanche Nettles Powers earned an MFA and BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. For the past ten years, Nettles Powers has maintained her studio practice in Savannah, Georgia, at 1704 Lincoln. She has been awarded several artist residencies which have taken her various parts of the United States, including New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Wyoming, and Colorado. Recently, Blanche began a project to restore a vacant Victorian home c.1888, in Savannah’s Historic Landmark District, and plans to relocate her studio to the restored building upon completion.
2019 Studios at MASS MoCA, Artist Residency, North Adams, Massachusetts
2018 Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Presidential Scholarship, Summer Workshop, Snowmass Village, Colorado
2017 Jentel Foundation, Artist Residency, full award, Banner, Wyoming
2017 Studios at MASS MoCA, Artist Residency, merit-based artist grant, North Adams, Massachusetts
2016 Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Presidential Scholarship, Summer Workshop, Snowmass Village, Colorado
2016 Vermont Studio Center, Artist Residency, merit-based artist grant, Johnson, Vermont
2015 Vermont Studio Center, Artist Residency, Johnson, Vermont
2010 Ossabaw Foundation Visiting Artist Program, Ossabaw Island, Georgia
2007 SCAD NYC Studio Workspace Residency, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts building, New York, NY
2005-08 Academic Fellowship, SCAD MFA Program, Savannah, Georgia
Select Solo Exhibitions
2019 Billie, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY
2013 Ghost Within, Savannah College of Art and Design, Arnold Hall Gallery, Savannah, GA
2012 Tillandsia Usneoides, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY
Select Two/Three Artists Exhibitions
2014 Mushrooms, Moss, and a Movie: Jim Toia, Blanche Nettles Powers, and Peter O’Kennedy, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY
2011 Cain, Powers, Sandoz, 1704Lincoln, Savannah, GA
2010 Kevin Archer/Blanche Nettles Powers, Astolfi Art, Atlanta, GA
Select Group Exhibitions
2019 VERVE, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY
2018 Art Papers, 19th Annual Art Auction, Atlanta, GA
2017 Summer Renewal, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY
2017 Spring Forward, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY
2017 Winterfell, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY
2017 ArtFields, Lake City, SC
2017 Art Papers, 18th Annual Art Auction, Atlanta, GA
2016 Back to the Future, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY
2016 Come in From the Cold, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY
2016 Art Papers 17th Annual Art Auction, Bo Bo Intriguing Objects, Atlanta, GA
2015 Art Papers 16th Annual Art Auction, Bo BoIntriguing Objects, Atlanta, GA
2015 Fresh: A Group Studio Show, 1704Lincoln, Savannah, GA
2014 Sequential Abstraction, Kim Foster Gallery, New York NY
2014 Southern Discomfort 2: Art Inspired by Flannery O’Connor, ThincSav, Savannah, GA
2013 Particle Physical, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY
2013 SECAC 2013 Members’ Exhibition, Juror Nancy Doll, Gatewood Gallery, UNC at Greensboro, NC
2013 Historic Savannah Foundation Art Auction, Ships of the Sea Museum, Savannah, GA
2013 SlideLuck Savannah, Oglethorpe Gallery, Savannah, GA
2012 Selections Summer 2012, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY
2012 SCAD Scholarship Gala, Savannah, GA
2012 State of Man, Art Hound, Cohen Retreat, Savannah, GA
2012 Southern Discomfort: Art Inspired by Flannery O’Connor, 1704Lincoln, Savannah, GA
2011 Night, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY
2011 SCAD Scholarship Gala, Savannah, GA
2011 9 at 1704, 1704Lincoln, Savannah, GA
2011 Art Sounds, Indigo Sky Gallery, Savannah, GA
2010 SCAD Scholarship Gala, Savannah and Atlanta, GA
2010 Small Works-CFAC and Friends, Indigo Sky Gallery, Savannah, GA
2010 CAS Fine Art Fall Group Exhibition, Savannah, GA
2010 Ossabaw Foundation Art Auction, Ossabaw Island, GA
2010 Planet Home, Gutstein Gallery SCAD, Savannah, GA
2009 Gallery Wrap, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY
2009 The 24th Tallahassee International, FSU Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee, FL
2009 Smooth Finish, Pei Ling Chan Gallery, SCAD, Juror Melissa Messina, Savannah, GA
2008 Gallery Goulash, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY
Other Related Professional Experience
2017 Guest Presenter, Jentel Presents, SAGE Community Arts Center, Sheridan, Wyoming.
2014 Guest Juror, SCAD Undergraduate Drawing Exhibition, Alexander Hall Gallery
2014 Guest Speaker: “Drawing the Endgame,” SCAD-Alexander Hall Auditorium, Savannah
2014 Mentor, SCAD Foundation Studies Department
2009-12 “Wilmington Plantation” on loan to Miller Union courtesy of Whitespace Gallery, Atlanta, GA
2006 SCAD Commission, Sixteen landscapes
2004 SCAD Commission, Forty paintings for G-8 Summit Press Center, Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, Sav, GA
Memorial Health University
Savannah College of Art and Design
Paula Wallace, SCAD President and Founder
“10 Opening Exhibitions to Watch.” – MutualArt. MutualArt Services, Inc., 19 Feb. 2014. Web. 23 Mar 2014.
Abney, ODelle. “Kim Foster Gallery- Peter O’Kennedy, Blanche Nettles Powers, Jim Toia:Mushrooms, Moss,and a Movie” NYC Gallery Openings. You Tube, 21 Feb 2014. Web. 23 March. 2014.
Abney, ODelle. “Kim Foster – Show of Gallery Artists.” NYC Gallery Openings. You Tube, 11 July 2012. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.
Abney, ODelle. “Kim Foster Gallery – Paul Glabicki: Order; Blanche Nettles Powers: Tillandsia Usneoides.” NYC Gallery Openings. You Tube, 17 Mar. 2012. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.
Devlin, Ryan, ed. “Where to Buy: Blanche Nettles Powers, A Select Exhibition in a Private Gallery.” The Week Magazine 13 Apr. 2012:26. Print.
Kim Foster Gallery. Blanche Nettles Powers: Tillandsia Usneoides. Artforum.com/uploads/guide. Artforum, Mar. 2012. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
McGrorty, Natalie. “Wanderings…Blanche Nettles Powers.” The Gnat and the Fish. Google Blogger, 9Dec. 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.
MFA Savannah College of Art and Design
MEd Georgia Southern University
BFA Savannah College of Art and Design, Cum Laude