Southside Gallery features William Faulkner-inspired art

Posted on Jul 16 2013 - 2:02am by Ann-Marie Herod

Beginning Tuesday night Southside Gallery will be showcasing the artwork of artist Boyd Saunders for the month of July. The exhibit will feature a plethora of artwork from Saunders including artwork inspired by novels written by William Faulkner.

“We have on display a lot of his work but towards the front you see some of his work based off Faulkner,” said Will Cook, Southside Gallery director. “We have illustrations of the spotted horse from the ‘Spotted Horses’ as well as illustrations from ‘The Sound and the Fury.’”

Saunders, who currently lives in South Carolina, taught at the University of South Carolina from 1965 till 2001. He actually contacted Southside about exhibiting his artwork and Cook jumped at the opportunity.

“It was such great timing, but this is not something that was a coincidence,” Cook said. “We strategically planned this. With the Faulkner conference coming up we couldn’t think of a better time to show.”

As a part of the Faulkner conference, the gallery will be hosting a reception where people in the community can come and talk about Faulkner and his work. Not only will Saunders’ work be on display but artwork from Faulkner’s wife Estelle Faulkner will be on display as well.

Saunders founded and is past president of the Southern Graphics Council. During one conference University of Mississippi art professor Thomas Dewey was able to meet Saunders. Dewey, who didn’t favor Faulkner’s writings did love Saunders’ illustrations of his work because it adds another dimension to it. Not only is Dewey a fan of Saunders, but he has also written extensively about his work.

During the sixties, Saunders attended Ole Miss where he received an MFA degree in Fine Art. While he was here he met the late William Faulkner.

“He actually met Faulkner accidentally, he was out drawing out in the woods between Rowan Oak and the art museum,” Dewey said. “While he was sketching, a man approached him with a pipe in his hand and a smoking jacket on. He introduced himself as Faulkner, who Boyd had never seen.

“I’ve known (Saunders) a long time. He has such great craftsmanship and I admire his work. That’s why I decided to write about him. He is such a wonderful craftsman and very fluid with his work. No one before him went so far as to animate Faulkner’s characters and bring them to life. Bringing those images and their characters’ flaws to life.”

Saunders’ work will be on display at Southside Gallery from July 9 – Aug. 3. The Oxford Arts Crawl is Tuesday, July 23, 6–8 p.m.