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Retired ABAC Professor Opens One-Man Exhibit at Georgia Museum of Agriculture

January 5, 2014

A one-man exhibit featuring the works of Dr. Vincent Keesee will open with a reception on Jan. 8 at 6 p.m. in the lobby of the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Museum Curator Polly Huff said the exhibit and reception will be hosted and presented by the Artisans Community of the Tiftarea (ACT), a Museum partner. Open to the public at no charge, the opening reception will feature music, refreshments, and a talk by the artist. The exhibit will remain in the Museum lobby for one month.

Born in Campbell County, Va., Keesee studied art at Richmond Professional Institute, now Virginia Commonwealth University, where he painted with Maurice Bonds, Milton Hull and others. After graduating, he worked in Atlanta in graphic art and design. He also attended evening classes in painting at the High Museum of Art with Joel Reeves.

Keesee then entered the University of Georgia (UGA) and obtained a master’s degree in fine art where he studied painting with Lamar Dodd, Howard Thomas and Joseph Swartz. In 1972, he received a Ph. D. in art history from UGA.

Keesee joined the faculty of the Division of Humanities at ABAC in 1965 and taught art classes until his retirement from the college in 1995. He has exhibited his paintings at many regional shows including individual shows in Roanoke, Va., Huntsville, Ala., and various locations in Georgia.

“Dr. Keesee’s painting is figurative and usually reflects some aspects of the southern culture and environment,” Huff said. “Using his unique eye and ear for ‘truisms’ found above and beneath the surface of everyday life, he captures the joy and energy of life with movement and color. His oil paintings show images of people and rural scenes.”

Huff said Keesee also has the ability to depict emotions in everyday life. In some instances, characters appear to show their humor and joy as they laugh, cry, and sing in church, while in another scene, the worried family gathers around an ailing man’s bed.

“His work is influenced by various kinds of music,” Huff said. “Often the paintings reflect the spiritual roots gained from attending fundamentalist church services as a young boy. He has found inspiration in contemporary rock ‘n roll music and the energy of dance. The vibrant colors of his work match the expressions of dance movement.”

Keesee now spends part of his time in West Point, Va., when he is not painting in his studio in Tifton.

During the opening, guests will also have an opportunity to view and shop the ACT Art Gallery located at the Museum, as well as the Museum Gallery’s winter exhibit “Irene Dodd: Euroscapes.”  Huff is available for more information at phuff@abac.edu.
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