Spiritual Journeys: Handmade Art from the Becky and Wyatt Collins Collection is an encyclopedic survey of vernacular Southern art, this exhibition comes to the Hilliard from the Collins’ New Iberia home, where they have amassed over 2,000 objects. The exhibition is organized by Gus Kopriva, an independent curator and the owner of Redbud Gallery in Houston, Texas.
Spiritual Journeys will be accompanied by a new publication that features two essays interpreting the collection, including texts by Gus Kopriva, Hillard Museum staff, and collections expert Bradley Sumrall of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. Among the artists represented in this project are Mary T. Smith, Howard Finster, Pat Juneau, Minnie Black, B. F. Perkins, Jimmy Sudduth, Prophet Royal Robertson, Shawne Major, Burgess Delaney, Clementine Hunter, Rita Fontenot and many others.
In his selections for the show, Kopriva carefully considers the very subjective and social constructions of cultural categories such as “self-taught”, “outsider”, “contemporary”, “folk” and “visionary” art forms. The diversity of materials and backgrounds represented in this exhibition forges a dynamic understanding of place.“Becky and Wyatt Collins have simply collected what they enjoy,” says Kopriva. “In their quest for outstanding pieces of art, they have travelled all across the south, from remote farms and juke joints, to festivals and auctions. Theirs is a collection that has been built piece-by-piece, traveling through the back-country and larger urban areas, forging close relationships with countless artists and craftspeople.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website