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Story Girl and Whirly Boy: Jeanie Holland & T.R. Reed Exhibition Recap

T.R. Reed's whimsical whirlygigs and Jeanie Holland's rug hooked stories are on view in Kentuck's Museum Gallery until November 24, 2022. Jeanie and T.R. make their art using different materials and their individual artistic practices, but their finished work comes together in harmony to create a dynamic atmosphere in the gallery.

There is a brilliant playfulness in each piece that reveals the artists as story tellers. T.R. has always been a songwriter and a cartoonist, both of which have been translated into his whirligigs. In 1981, T.R. entered a group exhibition at Kentuck Art Center where he turned an old fan into his first whirligig, and he hasn't stopped making kinetic sculptures since. He says,

"I started making them smaller and larger, and I couldn't stop. I am still doing that."

T.R.'s artistic process is as eccentric as the finished sculptures. He doesn't necessarily measure or plan out exactly what the finished piece is going to look like. Instead, he uses his imagination and an old scroll saw to bring three-dimensional cartoons into reality. He devises playful and sometimes made up names for his work, like "Reptodactydopinapolis," which describes a piece that has a rotating dinosaur on top of a pineapple.

T.R. lovingly calls his kinetic sculptures 'creachters' and all of them are his original creations,

"Designed and executed by me and myself alone"

Jeanie is from the South Carolina coast and credits her storytelling nature to late night porch talks. In one 3-piece series Jeanie tells the story of things she loves about the south: the pieces are titled titled Krispy Kreme, Cornbread, and Miss Manors. The series on display is a series of "snapshots," mixed media boxes based on "primitive toys, make-dos, and late night whisperings."

Jeanie's process is much more measured than T.R.'s. She begins with a drawing and plans everything out.

Jeanie has always worked with red Georgia clay, but when she met a 'rug hooker,' she fell in love with that medium as well. Combining the two processes she loved results in her current mixed media work.

"I really like clay and I really like rug hooking. So, I did the 2 together, and have been doing it for 10 years."

Jeanie says she considers the history of rug hooking as she makes her pieces. Rug hooking as we know it today began as a craft of necessityfor people experiencing poverty in the 1800s. Traditionally, hooked rugs were created with burlap feed sacks and whatever fabric or scraps were available. Jeanie's work is a nod to this idea of turning old nothings into something.

Come get lost in the wonderful world of T.R. Reed and Jeanie Holland at Kentuck's Gallery Museum located at 503 Main Avenue in Downtown Northport. Story Girl and Whirly Boy will be on view until November 24, 2022.

Click on an image below for a closer look. Interested in purchasing a piece? Please call us at 205-758-1257 or email for more information or additional photos.

Available Work by Jeanie Holland:

Available Work by T.R. Reed:



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