Artist Monty Wanamaker’s love of fabrics, feathers and jewels is prevalent in his collages, with his most recent works on display at Magness Library. Also on display are original photographs of Chris Keathley, featuring many Warren County landmarks, as well as other subjects.
The opulent collages are mounted on lush fabrics such as velvet, variegated linen, marbled paper, and even embossed copper. Many of the pieces include the pelts of pheasants, turkeys and rare tropical birds displaying their physical grace and exquisite plumage. Most are embellished with pieces of jewelry, antique lace, Victorian flowers and assorted eclectic materials. They are all contained in ornate, antique frames of varying sizes and shapes.
“This is a creative process for me,” said Wanamaker. “I enjoy putting all kinds of things and objects together. It usually only takes 2-3 days once I get all my items together and a plan in my mind.”
“Songs of Appalachia” is special to Wanamaker, as it was featured in a one-man exhibition at The Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga. The wild turkey tail, with a tooled leather album cover, antiqued cotton fabric and a cut carpet bag fabric all come together in the 1998 piece. In this exhibit, it is showcased over the mantel in the library lobby.
With the exception of “Songs of Appalachia,” all collages are new and have never been exhibited before.
Keathley is an artist, photographer, genealogist, historian and writer. He and Wanamaker started their business, Southern Museum and Galleries of Photography Culture and History, in 2001. Together they have produced several publications, including “Warren County,” and “McMinnville,” to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the city and county.
His display of over 100 photographs of the Davis Memorial Fountain (Hebe) was presented in three separate shows in 2015. The library display has several of Hebe, as well as a shot of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline, and a favorite of the city park in snow and ice.
Although he took several shots during the recent eclipse, on one particular shot, he noticed a small white dot in the center of the sun that moved during the next three shots.
“We found out the International Space Capsule was flying past the sun at the moment of the total eclipse and that’s what shows up in his photographs,” said Wanamaker.
The exhibit is on display in the library auditorium, and will stay until right after the Christmas holiday. Magness Library hours are Monday and Tuesday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Wednesday thru Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; and Saturday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Southern Museum and Galleries of Photography Culture and History is located at 210 East Main Street and is open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wanamaker or Keathley can be reached at 931-507-8102.