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Artwork of painter James Dean featured in gallery - The Red and Black : Variety

Artwork of painter James Dean featured in gallery

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Posted: Friday, December 7, 2001 12:00 am

One of Athens' most notable artists will feature his latest works at

Clayton Street Gallery in December.

The exhibition, "Two Point Perspective," features works by James

Dean, a self-taught artist whose influences come mostly from old

rural scenes.

Growing up in rural Fort Payne, Ala., Dean said he never imagined

he would make a career out of painting.

Dean attended Auburn University and graduated with a degree in

electrical engineering.

After taking an art class his senior year in college, Dean realized

his true passion was painting.

Dean was told he would never be able to support himself as a

painter, so he continued with his career in engineering -- working

for Georgia Power for many years.

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The art of self-taught artist Dean is influenced by old rural scenes

of life, but his greatest influence comes from the fond memories of

his grandfather.

In 1997, however, he quit his job at Georgia Power and started

painting full-time.

"I believe that art is my best natural talent," Dean said. "I need to do

art.

I really don't have a choice."

Dean's greatest influence comes from his memories of his

grandfather, whom he talks of with great admiration.

For inspiration, Dean often draws from his past experiences of

visits to his grandparent's home in Sand Mountain, Ala.

"These visits were some of the most peaceful times in my

memory," Dean said.

What makes the pieces in this particular exhibition so unique are

the unusual frames Dean has chosen to display his paintings.

For his frames, Dean uses scrap pieces of wood people throw out

and doors from old homes.

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"TWO POINT PERSPECTIVE"

When & Where: Through Dec. 31 at Clayton Street Gallery

For more information, call 549-9299

Jennifer A. Schultz, exhibition director of Clayton Street Gallery,

said she is honored to be featuring the work of James Dean.

"James Dean is a very fresh, talented person," Schultz said. "I

really enjoy watching, as he explores art- making on his own. It's

neat to see how he changes over time."

Some of the more popular pieces Dean has painted include his

collection of "Pete the Cat" and of famous store fronts in the

Athens area -- most notably the Georgia Theatre.

Clayton Street Gallery is selling prints as well as framed works of

the artist -- including signed originals.

The exhibition also includes pieces of art by Jay B. Bauer.

Schultz chose those two particular artists to feature together in the

exhibition because their works compliment each other well.

There will be a reception Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. upstairs in the

gallery.

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