Eluster Richardson returns to the beloved LeMoyne Arts gallery to share his latest landscape and his devotion to the figurative painting movement in “Passionate Journey”. The exhibition opens on his January 19th and runs through February 25th.
art of a lifetime
Richardson is surrounded by joy and art. His house is known as The Gallery by his close friends. Richardson had the urge to paint since he was a boy attending public school in Tallahassee. By seventh grade, his school had an official art room, although he had limited access to and support for the arts.
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There was no turning back for Richardson. He attended Tallahassee Community College, where he won several awards for his art, and then continued his studies at Florida State University. Like many men of the time, Richardson was drafted into Vietnam, where he put down his paintbrush and served the country admirably.
His military experience in communications eventually led to a 32-year career as a telephone company network engineer. Even in this position his art dominated his life. “My artwork dominated what I was actually doing every day,” Richardson says. “I worked hand in hand with the public relations department…creating advertising alongside engineering work.”
Decades later, Richardson has grown to become a world-renowned painter known for his portraits, landscapes and watercolors. Still, he remains loyal to Tallahassee. “I grew up here in Tallahassee…as time went on, I wanted to grow with this city. So here we are,” laughs Richardson.
Many artists appearing across the Florida coast have painted scenes of the St. Marks Lighthouse and boats along the Carrabel River. Richardson acknowledges its popularity and his idea of finding character and culture within the place, but he finds himself drawn to form.
“My favorite is figurative work. I use her as a model for my work, and she modeled for me from the beginning,” recalls Richardson. She grew up with painting. These paintings can be found all over the country. Of course, that is her legacy that I will leave her. ”
Richardson lovingly recounts a proud artistic moment when he intersected the worlds of performance and dance with art. He arranged, studied and painted sequences of people who moved, danced and moved. His work evokes emotions that jump out of the screen, aligning the body with the movements of the participating dancers. This exhibition was the culmination of Richardson’s ability to find and share emotions through painting.
When Richardson was a boy under the canopy of Tallahassee, his dream was to put on a show at the LeMoyne Art Gallery. Richardson describes it as the place of his 1960s and his 70s in his Tallahassee art scene.
This gallery is as finely aged as the artists it produces. Richardson is delighted to welcome Le Moyne his art back to his gallery. There, he won his art competition in middle school, and his own work was harmlessly exhibited. Now, he is honored to bring his latest work to a place that fostered his curiosity about the world and art itself.
“I used to do arts festival tours. I came to Maimi from Detroit. I was in Coconut Grove for a while,” Richardson says. His work has been seen at the Smithsonian Midwifery Exhibition, and his artwork has been featured on the U.S. Post Office’s Official Commemorative Postage Stamp of his 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Still, Richardson admits that he is delighted to be back at the Lemoyne Arts Gallery for his new exhibition, Passionate Journey.
“Home,” he says simply but honestly. Likewise, he hopes that the audience simply feels what he feels through the series of works he displays in landscapes he edits and his latest love, his 3D bronze sculptures. Regardless of the medium, his goal is to tell stories while simultaneously capturing the emotion and movement of the moment.
Richardson’s work leaves you with joy and an urge to move.
if you go
what: LeMoyne Art Exhibition: Passionate Journey Featuring Eluster Richardson
when: January 19 (Thursday) to February 25 (Saturday)
Where: LeMoyne Arts, 125 N. Gadsden St.
cost: LeMoyne Arts members, children under 12, free for exhibiting artists, $5 for non-members and guests
contact: 850-222-8800; visit lemoyne.org
Exhibition opening: 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, January 19th: There will be live music by Madison Avery, gift basket raffles with items from businesses owned by Tallahassee Black, and performances by the Ayoka African Troops. Serving chicken salad chick and DEEP Brewing craft beer. $5 for non-members.
Muffins & Mimosas: Saturday, February 4th at 11:00 noon: Baked goods from Uptown Café and live music from Harold Smith, aka Draker. $5 for non-members
Christy Rodriguez de Conte, PhD, is a Feature Writer for the Council for Culture and the Arts (COCA). COCA is the governing body for arts and culture in the metropolitan area (www.tallahasseearts.org).