Meet the artists behind the upcoming exhibition, The Red Clay Survey: 2020 Exhibition of Contemporary Southern Art. Each week we will be featuring five of the artists included in this year’s exhibition.  A major recurring regional competition sponsored by the Huntsville Museum of Art , the Red Clay Survey “takes the pulse” of contemporary Southern art through a selection of work in all styles and media. This year’s exhibition includes 85 works by 67 different artists.

José Betancourt

Huntsville, AL

Walkway to Old House, 2019, archival pigment print

I consider music a large influence in my photographic style. Rhythm, time, silence and syncopation are all a part of my work. My studies in jazz improvisation in college along with the study of the documentary genre of modern photography have inspired me to continue a spontaneous style of taking photographs. Photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand, Andre Kertesz, and Robert Frank contributed to my interest and appealed to my sense for the spontaneous. The results were photographs about how we all relate to our environment both physically and psychologically.

This later developed into more complex compositions of the juxtapositions of shapes, objects and people. These more graphic formal photographs became about environment and space which would become part of my half-frame camera panoramas.

Andrew Blanchard

Spartanburg, SC

Fabric of the Universe, 2018
Screen-print ink, gesso, and latex on panel

Andrew Blanchard was born in the wild swamps of Louisiana, though was raised in Waveland, a small beach community on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Like most boys who grew up close to a beach, he fished and swam until the ring of the dinner bell. Blanchard earned a B.A. degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2000 and in 2004 an MFA degree from The University of Mississippi/Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi.

Blanchard’s print-works on wood and paper have been included in more than one hundred group and solo exhibitions and have been collected throughout the United States, as well as in Hawaii, France, Bulgaria, South Korea and the United Kingdom. His work has been published in numerous arts and literary publications, such as New American Paintings, the Oxford American, several issues of Manifest Press’s International Painting Annual and most recently, Ecotone, published by Lookout Books. His prints are in the permanent collections of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, LA and the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson, MS.

Blanchard is currently an Associate Professor of Printmaking and Photography at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. His work is represented by Drawl Contemporary Southern Fine Art in Little Rock, Arkansas; Southside Gallery in Oxford, Mississippi; and M Contemporary Gallery in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Marie Brix

Owens Cross Roads, AL

Palm Stories, 2020
used typewriter ribbon on drafting film, mounted to clayboard

Born in 1966, Merced, California

Lives in Owens Cross Roads, Alabama


1988       BFA, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL

1994       MFA Painting / Printmaking, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Recent Exhibitions

2004       Solo Exhibition, International Museum of Surgical Science, Chicago, IL

2002       In Response: September 11th National Juried Exhibition, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA

18th Annual Juried Exhibition: National Collage Society, Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA


2003       Visual Arts Fellowship, Illinois Arts Council, Chicago, IL

2002       Finalist Award, Illinois Arts Council, Chicago, IL

Museum/University Collections

Harper College, Palatine, IL

Madison Art Center, Madison, WI

Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI

Gary Chapman

Birmingham, AL


WO MAN, 2018
mixed media on panels with found objects

Gary Chapman, Professor of Painting and Drawing, University of Alabama at Birmingham (MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art; BA and BS, Berea College)

Chapman has had over 70 solo exhibitions with institutions such as The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, The Arts Center of St. Petersburg, FL; University of Cincinnati, University of Georgia, and the Indianapolis Art Center. He has also participated in numerous group and invitational exhibitions with regional, national and international venues.

Chapman was awarded and named a Joan Mitchell CALL Legacy Artist in 2013 and has received numerous grants and fellowships, including a 1996 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Painting from the Southern Arts Federation and a 2002 and 1994 Individual Artist Fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. His work has been reviewed extensively and is published in over 20 catalogs and books including the 4 Editions of New American Paintings.

13 Paintings by Chapman have been purchased for the collections of ten museums in the southeast region as well as by many corporate and private collections throughout the country.

John Cleaveland, Jr.

Farmington, GA

Thread of Light, Okenfenokee Swamp, GA, 2020
oil on panel

“My paintings are specific expressions of places I’ve been to that I love, that I’m connected to, or that I’m pushed to some expression by. I’m not necessarily looking for a thing so much as I’m looking for a feeling — something that might tell a greater truth but in a very simple tiny way.”

Cleaveland received his BFA degree from the University of Georgia and held a Graduate Assistantship in the Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy. He has exhibited his work at the Albany Museum of Art (GA), University of Georgia, Madison Cultural Center (GA) and the Lyndon House Art Center (GA). His paintings are part of the collections of the Morris Museum of Art (GA), 3-M Company (MN), Bessemer Trust (GA), and the Alabama Power Company.