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‘Travels’ at Location Gallery benefits children’s hospital

  • “Anguish” by Aaron Hequembourg
  • “Compassionate Heart” by Aaron Hequembourg
 

‘Travels’ at Location Gallery benefits children’s hospital

02 May 2017

Location Gallery has built a solid reputation of consistently showing top-quality artwork, due almost exclusively to gallery director Peter Roberts’ efforts. The exhibition opening May 6 is no exception.

“Travels” by Aaron Hequembourg is part of a multi-city tour by the artist and will be on view for only two days in Savannah.

Hequembourg has a background in engraving and printmaking, which deeply informs his current work. “Travels” consists of a series of abstracted figurative paintings engraved into wood panels salvaged from the sharecropper houses that still stand on his family farm, where Hequembourg lives with his wife and four kids.

“My current body of work evolved from salvaging wood and book pages and other materials from the sharecropper houses and outbuildings on the farm we live on in Jasper County, Ga., which has been in my wife’s family since 1815,” he says.

Hequembourg married his wife Hope in 1997 in the front yard of the farmhouse and subsequently moved in and took over care of the property. At the time, a family member suggested he get a permit to burn down the sharecropper houses on the land, but Hequembourg saw something in the history of the buildings and the objects in them that spoke to him. He began researching period photography from that era, which eventually led him to create the series of works for this show.

“The subject matter was derived from researching period photography, looking for images or portions of images that spoke to the sharecropper period, including WPA photographs and genealogy images,” says Hequembourg. “However the best period images are already famous, so my intention was to create timeless images using my neighbors, family and members of my community as subjects.”

Hequembourg says he also dedicates 10 percent of the sale of the artwork to the person who is the subject of each piece.

“In many cases it has changed their lives and mine, and produced the most subject-driven and compelling body of work that I’ve ever produced … Furthermore, I have also begun to listen for life stories that I feel can translate as images, but also create awareness and raise support.”

One example of this is the image of a young lady named Mei Hui in the current show.

“She was adopted from China in time to receive heart surgery,” says Hequembourg. “She has chosen to make her birthday into an annual fundraiser to help children who are awaiting adoption while dealing with health concerns. I have the opportunity to travel and tell her story and give others the opportunity to support her and support her myself by selling her images.”

As an added charitable bonus, a portion of proceeds from the sale of art in this show will also go to Dwaine & Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital of Savannah, a division of Memorial Health which is southeast Georgia’s only children’s hospital.

The tradition of giving a portion of profits to a local nonprofit has of course always been standard operating procedure for Location Gallery. And, as mentioned, the exhibition is only up for two days, so see it (and buy it) while you can.

IF YOU GO

What: “Travels” by Aaron Hequembourg

When: 5-8 p.m. May 6 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 7

Where: Location Gallery, 417 Whitaker St.

Cost: Free

Info: locationgallery.net

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