Two of Beaumont’s arts spaces are celebrating their 40th anniversaries this year, so it makes sense that the Dish-man Art Museum and The Art Studio, Inc. would begin a year of celebration with a collaborative exhibition.
The Dishman’s second floor gallery is hosting a collection of works by Lynn Sweat and Maudee Carron through March 4.
Dishman director Dennis Kiel said that when he and TASI director Greg Busceme were trying to decide on a subject for the show, they were drawn to a photograph of the pair from Sweat’s first show at the Beaumont Art League. The Dishman has pieces from each artist in its collection, and TASI has many works by each, including a series of paintings Sweat donated as a fundraiser.
“That picture kept popping up of Lynn and Maudee, and I read a little bit more about how they were best friends and, you know, all his letters now are in the library here and many of them are between Maudee and Lynn,” Kiel said.
When Sweat had his Art League show, Carron wrote the introduction where she compared him to Andrew Wyeth. Sweat eventually moved to New York and is best known for his illustrations for the Amelia Bedelia series of books. The Dishman exhibition features his paintings as well some clay sculptures. Sweat currently lives in Connecticut.
Sweat’s paintings seem to glow from the inside and his use of color is superb. There is an illustrative quality to his recent paintings, as one would expect from a long career in that field, but his mastery of paint is impressive.
Carron was a staple of the Beaumont art scene, and her work is found in collections all over Southeast Texas. She was a hugely influential figure and over her lifetime she experimented with many styles and media including sculpture, painting and collage. She also attended Lamar Tech as it was then. Carron died in 1996.
The exhibition has a wide range of styles, from scribbled drawings that have a child-like innocence, so collages and assemblages from found materials. The exhibit is a good introduction to one of the Southeast Texas arts scene’s founding visionaries.
The Dishman Art Museum is located at 1030 E. Lavaca on the Lamar University campus. Hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and Saturday, noon-4 p.m. For more, visit lamar.edu/dishman.
This story first ran in the Jan. 27, 2023 Art of Living section of the Beaumont Enterprise.