' Blanche Nettles Powers paintings at Kim Foster Gallery
Blanche Nettles Powers
Structure of Comfort
June 18 - August 29, 2020

Press Release

With the onset of Covid-19, Blanche Nettles Powers withdrew to her studio and produced this new series of process-based, semi-monochromatic paintings that explore the dichotomy of intention and accident with the goal of comfortable resolution. Her first solo exhibition at Laney Contemporary Fine Art in her hometown in Savannah, Structure of Comfort will be on view June 18th to August 29th. The title of the exhibition has been appropriated from Katherine Kolcaba’s theory Taxonomic Structure of Comfort published in the 1990s – the medical nursing theory used to assess and provide comfort to hospitalized patients.The exhibition title is in deference to the comfort that caregivers provide during these unprecedented times.


Swatches of fabrics and images of handwoven carpets are used as reference material, as an entry point into the paintings. Thin layers of oil paint are applied and scrubbed into the surface, emphasizing the irregular weave and nubby texture of the linen. Layers of paint are wiped away and new layers applied. Initial marks, made with rags, brushes and pours, rise to the surface and intertwine with fresh marks. In time a new warp and weft emerges. Early phases of the work are no longer visible, however the painting holds the memory. Each work is in vertical portrait format, mirroring the stance of the viewer. The larger paintings of this series are human scale, inviting one to enter the space and to reflect in meditation.


The structure of fabric is understood by the artist as a metaphor for community or society. Individual threads come together to form the whole. Nettles Powers associates fabric swatches with childhood memories of her mother, endlessly engaged in sewing projects. As a result, textiles have an inherently feminine connotation for the artist rooted in memory.The titles of the paintings are names of women of note, who have come to her attention during the period of making the work. These paintings are essentially about the concept of comfort through repetition, structure, pattern, and association.


Painting Titles

Hill – Fiona Hill is a British American US foreign affairs advisor specializing in Russian and European affairs.

Bottoms – Keisha Lance Bottoms is Mayor of Atlanta.

Alcindor – Yamiche Alcindor is an American journalist, White House correspondent for PBS News Hour.

Ifil – Gwen Ifil was an American journalist and co-anchor of PBS News Hour.

Hittman – Eliza Hittman is an American film director and producer. Work includes Never Rarely Sometime Always.

Webster – Fay Webster is an Atlanta based musician and song writer.

Sciamma – Celine Sciamma is a French screenwriter and director whose work includes Portrait of a Lady on Fire.


link to artist website

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. She has been awarded several artist residencies which have taken her to various parts of the United States, including New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Wyoming, and Colorado. 


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

2020 Structure of Comfort, Laney Contemporary, Savannah, GA

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