Gary R. Lucy Exhibit

Gary R Lucy exhibit - Cape County History CenterThe Cape Girardeau County History Center in Jackson was hanging a new exhibit Friday afternoon – A Celebration of the Artwork of Gary R. Lucy.

Upon arrival, I watched a guy (who turned out to be Gary Lucy) mesmerize a gaggle of fifth graders from Natalie Jones’ class at Immaculate Conception School. He was talking about art, how he got started (he thought he was going to be a CPA) and what it was like to be an artist.

The kids ate it up.

Kids asked good questions

Gary R Lucy exhibit - Cape County History Center

When  he was asked, “Are you always inspired?” he gave them an honest answer:

“No, no. People always ask ‘are you inspired?’ I’m in the mood to do this about ten percent of the time. [Laughter] The other 90 percent is ‘I need to DO this.’ Do you see what I’m saying? If I waited until I was in the mood or inspired, I wouldn’t get anything done. Artists are dreamers. Artists love to sit back and say, ‘Yo, man, I’m going to do this.’ Or ‘Man, I’m going to do that.’ And they sit there and dream about all the stuff they’re going to do, but they don’t ever do it because they don’t have the self discipline to stay the course.”

That led into a good discussion with the students about what self discipline is.

The Oscar Bird

Gary R Lucy exhibit - Cape County History CenterAt the end of his presentation, he whipped out a sketch board and drew his “Oscar Bird,” also known as The Good Luck Bird. He said it you are in need of luck, walk up and rub the bird’s nose. Ms. Jones said she would hang Oscar in her classroom.

Every kid who walked by the Oscar Bird gave its beak a quick rub.

Best conversation in a long time

Gary R Lucy exhibit - Cape County History CenterAfter the fifth graders left, and while Gary’s wife Sandy and the museum folks were driving nails, hanging prints and adjusting lights, he an I sat at a table and had one of the most wide-ranging and enjoyable conversations I’ve had in a long time.

We shared our common love of the Mississippi’s history and lore. We talked about how photographers and artists see and use light; how he injects so much realism into his work, and how he maintains his houseboat.

I recognized some of the landmarks in his paintings: Eads Bridge under construction, Tower Rock, Island 10 off New Madrid…

His use of light is incredible. He was able to paint an accurate image of Tower Rock at night by parking his mobile studio, a houseboat, in the river on just the right night. I’ve tried several times to shoot the full moon at The Rock, but I guess I’m going to have to requisition a boat to do it right.

Meet Gary yourself

2016-02-19 Gary Lucy exhibit flyerIf you enjoy good artwork, history and good conversation, I suggest you attend the opening of Gary’s show Saturday, February 20, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. The History Center is located in the Andrew Jackson Building across from the courthouse.

Rather than doing a lot of typing, I’ll point you to Gary’s biography on his website. Oh, by the way, he told the kids the Rest of the Story behind the Corvette that he mentions in his bio. I’ll have you ask him about it.

Gallery of the hanging

Hmmm, that sounds a little awkward when I see it in print, but I’ll leave it. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move around.

9 Replies to “Gary R. Lucy Exhibit”

  1. I remember seeing Gary Lucy’s work on the walls of a conference room at the Limbaugh Firm in Cape. The works were from his Inland Waterways and Lewis and Clark groups. As someone fascinated with history and riverways, I was very impressed. Until now I had no idea who the artist was. You can tell Gary that you have generated some business for him!

    1. The man is as remarkable as his work. And, you should have seen him work that fifth grade class. He treated them and their questions very respectfully, with none of the “talking down to” tones too many adults use when talking with youngsters.

  2. Would have loved to have been there today for Gary Lucy’s exhibits at the History Center ! Sorry I couldn’t make it!

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