Bethany Collins: Accord Exhibit at The Jule

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Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art
901 S College Street
Auburn, AL 36801

Noel and Kathryn Dickinson Wadsworth and Chi-Omega Hargis Galleries

P: 334.844.1484
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Date: January 23rd - July 7th, 2024

Born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama, artist Bethany Collins explores histories of the American South through objects that use language, song, and the printed word, as well as through materials such as paper and stone.

From the literary journal, The Southern Review, Collins reproduces and heavily redacts an academic journal. With entire sections covered, we are pushed toward the margins. Collins says, “I cannot help but see my obsession with language through the lens of my body. . .In the first Southern Review, I initially threw away those imperfect, messy, and ripped pages until realizing that my sooty fingerprints all over the surface was the work. . .[These marks] show the history of my touch and my reading.”

Sculptures reflect architectural details from the Old Ship African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church, the oldest Black church in the artist’s hometown. Through these acanthus motifs — often symbolizing rebirth — Collins explores concepts of transformation of space and memory by casting together handmade paper and pink granite dust from a dismantled and crushed 1921 monument to Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, once sited in Charlottesville, Virginia.

About the artist:

Bethany Collins received her bachelor of arts in Studio Art and Photojournalism from the University of Alabama, and her master of fine arts from Georgia State University.

Upcoming and recent solo museum exhibitions include presentations at the Frist Museum, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, CAM St. Louis, Peabody Essex Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago. She served as 2013-2014 Artist-in-Residence at Harlem’s Studio Museum. In 2019, Davidson College named Collins their Public Humanities Practitioner-in-Residence.