Alpha Andrews

Brenau Galleries hosts exhibit by local folk artist

Mar 10, 2022
Brenau Staff

By Nichole Ferguson

Alpha Andrews looking at art

This semester, Brenau Galleries hosted Inner Worlds: Art by Alpha Andrews in the Presidents Gallery. Alpha Andrews (1932-) is a Georgia-born folk artist with many stories. It is always a privilege to work with living artists and collectors who have the opportunity to see their exhibitions in person. 

Throughout February, members of Andrews’ family visited the exhibition and shared stories about their mom. This culminated in the ultimate visitor, Alpha Andrews herself, on Feb. 21. Sharp as a tack and dressed smartly in a red jacket, hat and gloves, Andrews was accompanied by three of her grown children. Gallery Director Nichole Ferguson spoke with Andrews about specific works within the show and the artist’s experiences over her long career. Andrews began making artwork late in life, but at the age of 89, has now been painting for almost four decades. Her work has been exhibited in many shows, featured in books and catalogs, and even graces a CD cover for the ’90s alternative rock band Month of Sundays.

Alpha Andrews outside the Brenau Gallery

The exhibition highlights many years of work by Andrews. She is best known for her “memory paintings,” vivid works blending her memories, dreams, visions and experiences related to life in rural Georgia. The works on display include memory paintings and represent different moments from her career, many of which have not been exhibited before. Andrews’ whimsical works lay in the space between the real and surreal and inspire a closer look upon every viewing.