All in the family: Artist James Hunter fashions his work after his famous grandmother
Published 1:36 pm Friday, June 2, 2023
The artistic style of renowned folk artist Clementine Hunter lives on through her grandson, James Hunter.
This art, which depicts the everyday life of the Black workers in plantations, will be displayed in the Black Heritage Gallery housed at the Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center.
Clemetine’s work has featured in Sithsonian institute and other galleries worldwide and is one of the most collected folk artists. Her work has featured in Sithsonian institute and other galleries worldwide and is one of the most collected folk artists.
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American Folk Art is colorful, simplistic and created without formal training. Clementine’s work was the epitome of that.
She, like her family before her, worked the Melrose cotton plantation around Natchitoches. In the 1940s, she began painting scenes of her life growing up on the Cane River from memory.
James fashions his style and subjects after his grandmother. He became inspired to do this after studying her art. “When my wife bought me a book of my grandmother’s paintings… I fell in love with my grandmother’s works,” he said.
He is 57, and has now been an artist for over twenty years.
The joy that his art provides others is what keeps his going. “I like making people happy,” he explained. “I paint like my grandmother and they like my work”
His main inspiration is his wife, and his boss Bobby, who bought his first painting. “I took off from there.”
At the beginning of his career, James worked with oil. He found, however, that oil paint didn’t dry fast enough. After it was suggested to him by a friend, he switched over to acrylic on canvas.
His favorite snapshots of plantation life to paint baptisms and cotton picking scenes.
The exhibition will be on display from June 2 until July 29, and features 24 of his pieces.
James’ exhibition was suggested by the Black Heritage Gallery by Atty Mark Delphin, according to Stella Miller, gallery director. Delphin is not only a collector of his work, but is from the same community as him and his grandmother.
On June 2, there will be an opening reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.