More than ten years ago, a bond was created when the works of folk artists Liz Sullivan and John “Cornbread” Anderson were exhibited in a dual show at American Folk Art & Framing. “The pairing was joyful and spirited,” says gallery owner Betsey-Rose Weiss. “They remain long-distance friends as Liz lives here in WNC and Cornbread is in the mountains of Georgia.” The two will be reunited at an artists’ reception on Friday, June 1, from 5–8 p.m. to kick off a second pairing of their work through Thursday, June 21.
Sullivan has created art since early childhood. As co-owner, along with her husband Pete, of an antiques restoration business for many years, she developed many painting and finishing techniques that have found their way into her art. Her works incorporate birds and animals and feature handcrafted and painted frames unique to each piece. “I am so excited about this show with Cornbread,” Sullivan says. “Although our styles are different, to me, we share the love of painting and telling a story that will make you smile.”
Cornbread painted all of his life, but without the sense that his work was artistic. “When he finally saw folk art,” Weiss says, “he got up the courage to share his paintings and was stunned when one sold. “Now, one of the most recognizable and popular self-taught artists working today, he is still humbled by every sale and every compliment.”
Weiss curated the first show of the two artists’ works because she noticed how compatible their pieces were in her gallery, pairing on the walls to “create a pleasant mood and flow.” Their subjects are similar, she says. “They remind us why we love living here—critters, flowers, stars—the simple, beautiful things in life.”
American Folk Art and Framing is located at 64 Biltmore Avenue in Asheville. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit amerifolk.com or call 828.281.2134.