Georganna Greene: An Artist You Want To Know

photo by Mamie Heldman 

 

I arrive at the address that Georganna Greene gave me, late as usual. It’s the house of a mutual friend who, along with Georganna, is hosting an art show. The set-up is ethereal: the paintings are arranged with an artful haphazardness that makes it seem like all they’re all sitting around talking with each other. I find Georganna talking a potential buyer through one of her works. She wants them to know the thoughts that she translated into brushstrokes.

 

Georganna is like that as an artist: she wants to bring her audiences and clientele alongside her in her process. As a former dancer, her training drives her desire to communicate with active motion balanced by intentional beauty:  “Because I power my work with movement and energy, there seems to be a need for rest and familiarity within my palette, which I often address with softer colors.”

 

Her recent exhibition, Adagio at the Red Arrow Gallery in Nashville, emphasized these practices on a maximum level. As a native Nashvillian, Georganna is familiar with her surrounding landscape and people. But, in the time between leaving for college and returning back to her roots, both she and the city have changed. She’s welcomed the changes as a challenge to grow herself as an artist. “My adult academic training landed me in an experimental method of painting,” she explains, “It required from me a willingness to surrender control and be surprised.”

 

Photo by Mamie Heldman, Art by Georganna Greene 

 

Georganna’s work has been featured all over Nashville’s art community and in private collections throughout the country. She’s trusted and admired because gallery owners, curators, and even house art show organizers can see that her willingness to surrender control conveys a vulnerability that attracts crowds.

 

I was first exposed to Georganna’s artwork at the craft table of Camp Brookstone, a kids day camp in Nashville. We were six-years-old and had been asked to paint a lights witch cover that we could give our parents. I attempted a simple landscape with sky, grass, flowers– literally, kid stuff. Georganna sat next to me, painting meticulously, and created a color scheme image that looked like a baby Matisse. My parents, God bless them, actually allowed me to replace a perfectly regular light switch cover with my attempt that looked a Rorschach test gone wrong. I knew then that she was talented, a belief that was and has been affirmed over and over again throughout our almost 20 years of friendship.

 

Photo by Mamie Heldman, Art by Georganna Greene 

 

Photo by Mamie Heldman, Art by Georganna Greene 

 

I bought one of her paintings at the house art show that now hangs in my living room. “It’s the corner of the porch at my parents house,” she tells me, “I have a full scale painting of the porch, but I made the corner it’s own portrait because I liked the angles and shadows.” It’s a accurate representation of what I love most about her art: she can create big, beautiful paintings that galleries and art collectors compete to display. But she’s keen to lean in to the quieter, subtle tones that make up her craft.  “Painting requires a type of mental and physical discipline until you understand a small piece of what it is you are painting. As a viewer you are looking at something flat, unmoving, with no flashing lights or audio, and you are given a chance to experience this still piece of art that someone spent months or even a year on. There is so much room for contemplation here, stillness in this human exchange, and this is a huge breath of fresh air for me.”

 

She’s got a penchant for highlighting the the unlikely angles, hidden shadows and the small moments that make up her artwork– and it keeps us all surprised and wanting more.

 

Georganna’s website where you can stay up to date on G’s activity including work for a solo show next April, her scholarship program in Nashville for art entrepreneurs called Periscope, and her work in “Number: Presents Art of the South” which this year is being held at Crosstown arts Memphis in August.

 

Follow Georganna! It’ll make you want to hang out with her in her studio: @georgannagreene

 

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