That’s right, September 29 through October 2, The Hillbilly Folk Art Traveling Roadshow will make its debut at The Larsen Gallery in Scottsdale. The artist, Mark McDowell, will display 30 years of his life’s work in just two suitcases.
Mark McDowell’s hillbilly story begins with a friend asking him to do a drawing on a piece of basswood. McDowell found that pencil took better to basswood than any other type of wood he had worked with before and felt that his work would fit in perfectly at a county fair (hence the hillbilly aspect).
McDowell’s decision to carry his work in suitcases stemmed from an early self portrait depicting him as a traveling salesman. Each piece is a reconstruction of a favorite past subject and the 30 pieces represent his 30 years on the road. He exhibited his work anywhere he could to get reactions from everyday people; from a county fair to a grocery store parking lot to the sidewalk of an art gallery, and they loved it.
The film documentation of McDowell’s work will be completed Fall 2010 and will showcase his travels. The opening reception for the show at Larsen Gallery will be held Wednesday, September 29 from 5:30 to 7:30, and will include McDowell unveiling and opening his suitcases.