GumTree features two new artists

Evie Storey shows one of Spence Kellum's mobiles to her niece, 7-year-old Londen Young, against a background of Jerrod Partridge's artwork at the Gumtree Museum of Art Tuesday.

Evie Storey brought her 7-year-old niece, Londen Young, to the Gumtree Museum of Art (Storey is a member of the museum’s board of directors) to see an unusual art form. Londen marveled at the complicated mobiles made by artist Spence Kellum, formerly of Tupelo. Lengths of copper wire holding marbles and other trinkets such as glass pieces are wound together to form intricate hanging, balanced structures. While the 19 mobiles hang in the center of the museum, the two long side walls are adorned with 55 artworks created by Ocean Springs-based artist Jerrod Partridge. He calls the extensive exhibit A Retrospective: 2009-2019 – his work since beginning to paint full-time in 2009. “I wanted to showcase examples of my work from the first 10 years of my career as a visual artist,” Partridge said. Among the pieces are oil and acrylic paintings, pencil drawings, mixed media and watercolors. Some of the paintings are on canvas while others are on Partridge’s handmade paper. The pieces range from portraits to modern impressionist stylings. His work can be seen by appointment at his studio and the Local Creatives Gallery in Ocean Springs; Southside Gallery in Oxford, and at various Art Space 86 events. He is owner and co-creator of Art Space 86 which uses events to provide opportunities for artists and enrich communities through art. He and his wife Jessie, a floral designer, have led Visual Explorations to Tuscany, Italy, each summer since 2013 but have canceled it this year due to the pandemic. Partridge earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the New York Academy of Art in 2004. During his undergraduate years studying graphic design at Mississippi College he also spent a semester in London, England, studying art history. Partridge is a 2011-2012 recipient of a Visual Arts Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission, and was named distinguished Alumnus of the Year for the Mississippi College Department of Art in 2017. Kellum is a former Tupelo architect who now resides on his sailboat in Pass Christian. He could not be reached for this story. This is his bio from an exhibition he held last year at Southside Gallery in Oxford: “Spence Kellum’s mobiles are easily recognizable and have drawn comparisons to the work of Alexander Calder. Most are constructed with copper wire and found objects, including, but not limited to, glass, flattened pennies, duck decoy eyes, copper plates and other assorted items. The mobiles Kellum creates are versatile and durable. They can be exhibited indoors and out. “Kellum’s mobiles are often inspired by science and nature. He has designed botanical mobiles, landscape mobiles and mobiles representative of DNA strands. “Spence Kellum grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi. He earned a B.A. in architecture from Mississippi State University in 1988 and a Master of Landscape Architecture, also from Mississippi State, in 2010.” All the pieces exhibited by both artists are for sale. Kellum’s mobiles are priced $200-$4,000. Partridges paintings and drawing are priced $400-$4,000. A reception for the artists will be held at the museum July 24, 5-7 p.m. Gumtree director Sally Kepple said the reception would have been held closer to the exhibition’s opening on June 9 but was postponed due to the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic. Partridge will remove his remaining works the day after the reception while Kellum’s mobiles could remain on exhibit until the original scheduled closing date of July 31. The Gumtree Museum of Art is open Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m., free and open to the public.

For more information, call Kepple at 844-2787.

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