Our Mountain Neighbors - Paintings by Jeff Chapman-Crane
COVID Protocols: All visitors must wear a properly fitting mask while in the Gallery. Please observe one-way direction signs. Enter only from the Mill St. side (visitors may exit to either Mill or Market St.). Gallery capacity will be limited. Jeff Chapman-Crane Artist Statement I am an Appalachian artist. The work I do is rooted in the experience of being Appalachian. That experience, I believe, has been misunderstood by nearly everyone outside the region and by far too many within it. Certainly, it has been misrepresented by the popular media. Characterizations like those found in The Beverly Hillbillies, Snuffy Smith, Lil' Abner, and Hee Haw form the predominant image of life in Appalachia. Such a portrayal is, at best, a trivialization of a rich, diverse, and valuable indigenous culture. At worst it is demeaning, cruel, and damaging. The exploitation that has long been a part of Appalachia's history is directly related to the self-image of its people. Regrettably, the negative stereotypes of mountain life have influenced not only those outside the region, but Appalachia's own people as well. My art addresses this situation. By presenting a more genuine portrayal of life in Appalachia, one that reflects my own experiences, I seek to inject more of the truth into the images that influence public perceptions. Mountain life is not a situation comedy featuring lazy, dull-witted barbarians blundering through life in modern times, nor is it the quaint, romantic ideal of the more sentimental imagery. It is, however, a unique expression of the rich diversity found in human culture, and as such, it has much of value to offer. This is what my art is about; this is its content. My chosen form is realism, an approach that leads to greater clarity of statement. Such clarity is important to me; I want what I know, what I love, and what I believe to be understood. I think it is also important to the people of Appalachia, because as a people we have not been understood; even the knowledge of ourselves and our own culture has diminished over time. Subsequently, the visibility I seek for my work is among my own people as well as the broader population. By producing art that portrays the people of Appalachia with dignity and their land with respect, I seek to contribute to a better understanding of life here and to help bring about positive change to the region.
Company / Organization
The Gallery at First Presbyterian Church
The gallery exhibits up to 50 pieces of art, and is equipped with gallery lighting. Exhibits vary in theme - both sacred and secular - and medium. We believe that all human creativity is an extension of being created in the image of a loving Creator.
171 Market St.