“Re-Covering New Orleans” by Jeffrey Marshall
Fine Arts Center Galleries, University of Rhode Island
October 12– December 9, 2007
Kingston, RI—Jeffrey Marshall, a Cornell University graduate and Professor of Drawing at The New England Institute of Art, Brookline, Massachusetts, is also a former public school teacher in New Orleans. In 2005 he felt compelled to return there to draw in the debris of the Lower Ninth Ward, a neighborhood immediately devastated by the levee break of post-Hurricane Katrina. His now purposeful campaign has yielded a significant series of large-scale drawings, a passionate project that is ongoing for the artist, with several additional drawing campaigns undertaken in the persistently troubled region.
At the University of Rhode Island, mounted in the insistently linear space of the Corridor Gallery, the accumulated impact of “Re-Covering New Orleans” will be felt by visitors. In this particular confined but public setting, Marshall's extraordinary vision and drawings will exert their profound effect.
Marshall is a highly talented draftsman who works on site in the public ruins of New Orleans, a disaster, as he has pointed out, “both natural and manmade.” To an extent he is like some 19th-century French landscape painter, as he sets up his white umbrella to provide shade, and his portable easel, and studies the motif or environment before him. But Marshall makes impressive, highly colored drawings using ink, graphite and grease pencil that interpret overt destruction. He also conveys memories still tangible within the precarious former neighborhoods of New Orleans. Marshall makes beauty from broken structures and patterns that he so carefully observes. He manages to create from the Hurricane’s carnage an intimate collage that somehow returns hope, as do the surviving residents of New Orleans themselves.
"If we don't rebuild New Orleans we have lost part of America's soul," the artist states, and he has become an activist dedicated to using his personal New Orleans Drawing Project for public benefit. Jeffrey Marshall has garnered funding for his several trips back to the Gulf Coast, but has also created impressive Limited Edition prints from his drawings, with half of the sale proceeds funding arts education for the children of New Orleans.
Visit www.jeffreymarshall.net for more information.
Corridor Gallery hours
Daily, 9 am – 9 pm
The FINE ARTS CENTER GALLERIES are open to the public without charge
& are handicapped accessible.
The Galleries are closed on federal and local holidays.