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
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
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.
In 1997, however, he quit his job at Georgia Power and started
"I believe that art is my best natural talent," Dean said. "I need to do
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.
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