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America the Beautiful: Land of the Free? Charlie Frye Exhibition Recap

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

Charlie Frye's expansive exhibit at Kentuck Museum Gallery will be on display from August 4, 2022 to October 3, 2022. This show was uniquely curated for our gallery, and Charlie uses the entire space to make social commentary in a lively and adventurous way. His work encourages his viewers to feel--even if that feeling is a little uncomfortable--and reflect upon their values.


Charlie is generally known for his owls and landscapes, but this exhibit is a look at our home and the way we treat one another. He explores the themes of taking care of one another and the land and animals, as well as advocating for those who are often silenced.

"I feel like to truly pursue the charter of 'Land of the Free,' we must always strive to give every person the rights and freedoms that were once reserved for the elite few."


Many of Charlie's works are giant floor-to-ceiling odes to American icons, many of whom are no longer with us, but it is Charlie's hope that their spirit and their ideas stick with our society as it moves forward. The viewer will notice quotes written on many of the works--they are meant to be a moment of reflection about the subject of the painting and how that person furthered the United States' pursuit of freedom, happiness, and equality.


Charlie Frye's work can be found in many public and private collections throughout the United States. He exhibits his work in many outdoor festivals, including Fearrington Folk Art Show and past Kentuck Festival of the Arts. His show in Kentuck's Museum Gallery is particularly special, because the subject matter is special to him.


"In a museum show you get to paint the things that move your soul and you feel in your gut, your heart, and your brain."



Charlie Frye is a self taught artist from Southern Appalachian Foothills of Lenoir, North Carolina. His family has been in that area for over 100 years. His work reflects this strong connection to the area as well as the importance of family, with several paintings of family members. While his work is primarily "happy go lucky," Charlie felt as if making work his kids are proud of was more important in the context of current events and this exhibition.

Charlie's thought-provoking, colorful exhibition will be on view in Kentuck's Museum Gallery until October 3, 2022. We encourage you to visit this exhibition in person! For purchasing inquiries, please call 205-758-1257 or email mbell@kentuck.org.


Charlie also has an exhibition at Kentuck's Gallery at Hotel Indigo. Click here to view.


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