Special to The Gazette
“IRONY: The Art of Wilby Coleman” opens at the Tifton Museum of Arts and Heritage on Saturday evening, Jan. 26 and will continue through Feb. 22. The very casual event will include music by “Wilby and Friends,” a small string band playing folk and Irish tunes, refreshments, and comments by the artists about his work. The festivities begin at 7 p.m. and are open to the public.
The show features 24 of Coleman’s unique sculptures, ranging in size from one foot to 10 feet high. All welded from found objects — many from farm materials — the subjects are people, animals and objects, plus fantastic and whimsical abstractions. The over riding quality is humor, aided by clever titles.
A successful retired attorney-turned-artist, Coleman is a Valdosta resident whose large outdoor sculptures were always popular attractions at Tifton Love Affair Fine Arts Festival. Coleman gave up his law practice in 1987 and devoted full time to creating art.
A GEMC Georgia Magazine article captured the artist’s unique vision: “Where the average person sees rusted tools, broken and inoperable engine parts and found objects,
Coleman sees potential art materials. A washer is apt to become an eye, a pitchfork the wings of a bird, or a bicycle seat the head of an insect.”
Coleman has created over 450 sculptures, has shown his work in 15 one-man shows and more than 50 exhibits, the most recent at the Bascomb Center for the Visual Arts in Highlands, N.C. He has won numerous awards in Georgia and north Florida. 25 works will be featured in the Tifton show
Admission is free, but donations to the Museum are encouraged. The exhibit will continue through Feb. 22, Tuesday-Friday 1 to 5 p.m., plus Thursday evening 5-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 1-3 p.m.
The Museum is located at 255 Love Avenue adjacent to the library. For more information, contact Rigdon 229-382-5083 or Blackmarr 388-1090 or visit www.tiftonmuseum.org. For school or group tours, contact Walker at 229-382-8123.