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Steve Hinton & Friends Opens April 20

Exhibition Opens to Public April 21

Works by a well-known Albany artist revered for capturing the color, humor, and spirit of South Georgia in his paintings will be on view at the Albany Museum of Art in the exhibition Steve Hinton & Friends … From the Beginning.

The exhibition opens with a reception for AMA members at 5:30 pm on Thursday, April 20. Steve Hinton & Friends … From the Beginning will open to the public Friday, April 21, and continue through Saturday, Aug 12. The AMA is located at 311 Meadowlark Drive in Albany, and admission is free for everyone.

“Steve Hinton’s visionary work, borne from decades of observations of life around him, particularly the teeming cast of characters and enchanting landscapes of Southwest Georgia, evokes the pure freedom of an artist who never shied from his vision, however familiar or mysterious, lyrical or dissonant, intimate or grand,” AMA Executive Director Andrew J. Wulf, Ph.D., said. “Whatever his inspiration du jour was, it was above all charming, inviting, thought-provoking, even pleasantly absurd. We’re honored to show the work of this prolific and original artist.”

The exhibition includes works by Hinton, which will be shown in the Haley Gallery; works by his friends, which will be in the East Gallery, and works from the Hinton family’s personal collection, which will be in the upstairs McCormack Gallery.

“This summer, the Albany Museum of Art will have the pleasure to be a gathering place once again for the joyful and eclectic artworks of Steve Hinton,” Director of Curatorial Affairs Katie Dillard said. “This exhibition will present an array of works made during his lifetime, as well as works created by friends of Steve and his wife, Bronwyn. This celebration of Steve’s work will give viewers the opportunity to step into a lifetime of creativity, friendships, and artistic collaborations.”

Hinton is known for his rich use of color, and for his ability to capture the essence of his subjects—many of whom were his friends—on canvas. The viewer experiences the world through his eyes and perspective, whether it is a breathtaking South Georgia sunrise breaking through the branches of tall trees in the woods or a scene full of activity with friends enjoying a delightful afternoon in the water or onshore at a lakeside home. He painted and drew what he loved: family, friends, parties, dogs, kids, Southern landscapes, and architecture…frequently all in the same artwork. There is a clever, whimsical foundation in his work that is playful and joyful at heart, offering a sly, subtle wink to the viewer from the artist.

The exhibition also will include audio-visual presentations on a screen in the Hodges Gallery. Featured will be music by Chip Epsten, The Method Actors, and Clyde (Edgerton) and the Rank Strangers; spoken word recordings by Edgerton and O. Victor Miller; the short film Tricks by Beaty Reynolds and Chris Graves, and two stop animation films, Landings and IGS Particles, by Lily Ericsson.

“These artistic contributions to the exhibition underscore the theme of friendship, how Steve’s path crisscrossed with so many creative people,” Dillard said.

A native of Chattanooga, Tenn., Hinton earned an art history degree from Vanderbilt University in 1974. He and classmate Bronwyn married, and the couple moved to New York, where Steve painted and showed his work out of a Chelsea studio while working for Frank Macintosh and Peter Barton at Henri Bendel. The Hintons moved to Albany in 1982, where Steve worked at his family’s business before launching his career as a full-time professional artist in 1997. The 2002 Georgia Artist of the Year, he continued painting and drawing until his passing in February 2021.

As much as Steve has been an influence with his artwork, both he and Bronwyn have been integral supporters of the Albany Museum of Art for decades, serving in a number of critical capacities, and selflessly working at fundraisers and events. Steve, a lifetime member of the AMA Board of Trustees, also served for a period as interim director of the museum. In 2022, the Hintons were honored by the Friends of the AMA as AMA Treasures with a tribute video.

The Hintons’ deep involvement in the community did not stop with the museum. They have given generous support to numerous causes and organizations, and Steve was instrumental in bringing a Georgia Public Radio station to Albany.

“Friends from both near and far have contributed to this exhibition. The Albany Museum of Art would like to thank each of the generous lenders for joining us in honoring this tremendous individual,” Wulf said.

Steve Hinton, "Colquitt County Landscape," oil on canvas, on loan from John Stephenson