' Blanche Nettles Powers paintings at Kim Foster Gallery
Blanche Nettles Powers
October 17 - November 16, 2019

Press Release

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


Past Exhibitions


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

Select Collections

Hotel Indigo

Memorial Health University

Savannah College of Art and Design

Paula Wallace, SCAD President and Founder

Select Bibliography

“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 UsneoidesArtforum.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