Sugarloaf Art Show

Cobb Galleria Centre

Show Dates - Dec 5,6,7 2008



He’s Part of First U.S. Delegation to show at the Societe Nationale Des Beaux Arts

ATLANTA – December 7 – Atlanta-based artist Jeff Williams is one of 12 artists selected to represent the U.S. for the first time ever in the esteemed Societé Nationale des Beaux-Arts (SBNA) exhibit December 13 – 16 at the Carrousel du Louvre. Williams is showing his painting, Ladies of Leisure, along with other works from the Karen Lynne Gallery.

The Gallery, and its selected artists, is privileged and honored to be the very first American delegation – and one of small group worldwide – to be invited by the Societé, an organization established more than 100 years ago. As such, Williams and the American contingent will make history in a few days at the Carrousel du Louvre, under the museum’s modern pyramid in Paris.

Williams, a native of Americus, Georgia, is one of nine painters whose work will be on display. Three sculptors round out the American delegation. Other countries exhibiting in the SBNA in 2007 include Serbia, Tunisia, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Polynesia, Hungary, Korea, Japan, China and Turkey. Ambassadors and official representatives of the delegated countries are invited, including dignitaries and around 4,000 guests.

The Societé Nationale des Beaux-Arts was established in 1862, and the exhibit has been held annually since the early 1900s. Some of the world’s most famous artists were members of the Societé and showed their work in the world renowned exhibit.

“I am incredibly honored and absolutely thrilled to be included in an exhibit where Auguste Rodin and Edouard Manet were once members and juried artists,” Williams said. “Being part of the first group to represent the United States at such an important event within the home of the World’s most significant art collections is truly humbling.”

While the SNBA has a rich history of some very well-known artists from years past, today the show features modern-day painting and sculpture from living artists.
It is not an easy invitation to receive. Williams’ painting was one of 12 chosen out of 480 works submitted from 40 artists represented by the Karen Lynne Gallery. And, the gallery itself was able to submit for evaluation with SBNA only after it received a personal recommendation from a current SBNA member from Canada’s delegation. The Canadian member walked into the Karen Lynne’s Boca Raton location while on vacation, and was so impressed that she immediately called the SBNA’s organizers to recommend they invite the gallery to participate.

A colorful painting that depicts racing under the shadows of the Twin Spires by Atlanta-based artist Jeff Williams has been unveiled as the official art of the 2009 “Art of the Kentucky Derby” series that celebrates next year’s 135th renewals of the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks.

altChurchill Downs and JettStream Productions, which is now in its eighth year as the official licensee of the “Art of the Kentucky Derby” series, joined the artist on Saturday, Nov. 1, at the historic track to formally unveil Williams’ work that will appear on posters, prints, tickets, racing programs and officially licensed products for the 2009 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks.

The sweeping piece created by Williams captures the pageantry of Millionaires Row at the height of excitement on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs, while men and women in their most elegant dress look down over the finish line as six Thoroughbreds race down the track on a sun-splashed afternoon at the races.  The enticing mix of spring dresses, galloping racehorses and the bold colors of the dirt and turf courses against the striking white of the finish line are overlaid by the graceful, elongated shadows of the famous Twin Spires cast across horses and riders as they flash by.  The classic elements of the Kentucky Derby and Oaks are included in touches amongst the crowd, included red roses, stargazer lilies and a mint julep.

Churchill Downs has also debuted two featured hats depicted in the painting, created by award-winning New York City milliner Christine A. Moore.  The Kentucky Derby and Oaks hats will be auctioned off in spring 2009 with proceeds to benefit local charities.

altA world-traveler who enjoyed formal training at the Art Institute in Atlanta, Williams has painted since childhood and had participated in art shows throughout the United States and Europe.  In 2007, he was chosen as one of 12 American artists to participate in the prestigious Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts Show at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris, the world’s most visited art museum.  It was the first time in over a century that American artists had been invited to participate in the show.  Williams is also represented by art galleries across the United States, including the Karen Lynne Gallery in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Boca Raton, Fla.; the Chasen Galleries of Fine Art in Charlotte, N.C., and Richmond, Va.; and the Gallery Diamante in Carmel by the Sea, Calif.

Other artists and illustrators of national and world renown whose work has been procured by JettStream Productions for the “Art of the Kentucky Derby” series include Trish Biddle in 2008; Misha Lenn (2007); Dennis Ziemienski (Derby 2006) and Erica Nordean (Oaks 2006); Bart Forbes (2005); Francis Livingston (2004); Laura Smith (2003); Gary Kelley (2002); and legendary singer Tony Bennett (2001). Prior to JettStream's involvement in the series, “official” Kentucky Derby artists included Leroy Neimann, Peter Max, Boguslaw Lustyk and Peter William.