Maud Gatewood ‘54 was more than a painter. She was an artist in every aspect of her life.
“Art is really a way to look at the world,” said Will South, former curator of the Weatherspoon Art Museum.
South shared his memories of Gatewood and discussed her art Thursday evening to a standing room only crowd to mark the beginning of the Maud Gatewood Trail – a collaborative exhibit of Gatewood’s paintings in 18 different locations spanning from Wilmington to Asheville and as far north as Danville, Virginia.
Gatewood graduated from Woman’s College, now called UNCG, in 1954. She went on to get her master’s degree from Ohio State University and studied under painter Oskar Kokoschka in Austria. She taught at Averett University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
South became acquainted with Gatewood toward the end of her life, while he was working on a biography of Gregory Ivy, the founder of the Weatherspoon Museum. South interviewed Gatewood for the project, and the two developed a friendship.
“Her images are well designed, and they’re compelling,” he said, adding that her design, color and line form were “well honed.”
Gatewood’s talent isn’t just displayed in the form of her paintings, however. Her creativity lies in the meaning behind her paintings.
“The idea is a document of a journey,” South said, adding that the journey is often dark and mysterious.
“You would never confuse her with a painter like Thomas Kinkade,” he added.
While Kinkade’s paintings are happy, picturesque pieces, Gatewood’s are “not designed to make everyone feel good,” South said.
“That’s just where her most interesting work lands – almost the anti-Kinkade,” he said.
These exhibits will be on display throughout the fall. Each institution’s exhibition schedule is different and may vary from location to location.
UNCG’s exhibit will be on display until Nov. 8. Gatewood’s artwork is on display at the art department gallery in the Gatewood Building and the Weatherspoon Art Museum. Her sketches and letters are on display at Jackson Library’s special collections.
There will be several more events at UNCG surrounding Maud Gatewood’s work in the coming weeks. On Oct. 1, William R. Ferris, eminent professor of history at UNC Chapel Hill, and Joel R. Williamson, senior associate director for the Center for the Study of the American South, will give a presentation titled “Maud Gatewood: Artistic Voice of the South” in Weatherspoon Auditorium at 5:30 p.m. The lecture will be followed by a reception and book signing in the Art Department Gallery of the Gatewood Studio Arts Department.
Two weeks later, the university’s art department will host “Building on Maud’s Legacy: Place and Being an Artist,” featuring visiting artists and bloggers Sharon Butler of New York, New York and Brett Baker of Durham. This event will take place Oct. 15 in the Weatherspoon Art Museum Auditorium at 6 p.m.
Gatewood’s artwork will be on display at the following locations:
- Asheville Art Museum, Asheville
- Mint Museum, Charlotte
- UNC Charlotte, Charlotte
- UNCC City Center, Charlotte
- Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem
- Guilford College, Greensboro
- UNCG’s Art Department Gallery, Greensboro
- UNCG’s Special Collections at Jackson Library in Greensboro
- Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro
- Averett University, Danville, VA
- Danville Museum of Art in Danville, VA
- Caswell County Historical Association, Yanceyville
- Yanceyville Museum of Art, Yanceyville
- Elon University, Elon
- North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh
- Meredith College, Raleigh
- Greenville Museum of Art, Greenville
- Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington.
More information about the Maud Gatewood Trail or UNCG’s exhibition and events can be found here.
Story by Jeanie Groh, University Relations
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Relations