David Lusk Gallery Memphis / 97 Tillman St. June 4 - July 13th

Freida Hamm

David Lusk Gallery Memphis announces Storytelling, an exhibition highlighting the paintings of Freida Hamm.

Born in Selmer, Tennessee, in 1935, Freida Hamm possessed a remarkable talent for translating her deep connection with her surroundings into captivating stories in paint. Growing up in rural Tennessee fostered a strong bond between Hamm and the land, instilling in her an appreciation for the significance of past narratives, which she skillfully conveyed through her paintings. While Hamm discovered her artistic calling early on, it wasn't until her children had left home that she pursued formal artistic training. In 1981, she enrolled at the Memphis College of Art, where, during her senior year, she was awarded the coveted Memphis College of Art Traveling Fellowship. This distinguished fellowship allowed Hamm to travel to England, and immerse herself in the works of John Constable, a renowned British landscape painter of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

International travel proved transformative for Freida, revealing its pivotal role in discovering inspiration. In 1982, she penned a passage in her sketchbook, declaring, "For the first time in my life, I know who I am: A Landscape Artist." Continuing her academic pursuits, she obtained a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Memphis in 1985. She exhibited frequently across the Mid-South, and has avid collectors across the country.

Developing a distinctive artistic style characterized by vibrant, deep colors and distorted shapes, Freida emphasized the importance of seemingly insignificant scenes and the stories they held. Her careful observation and contemplation over a lifetime contributed to these unique depictions. Despite the seemingly effortless compositional flow, each of Freida's works was created with great intention and significance. Her paintings resonated with a wide range of people, drawing them in with her unique signature style and then leaving it to the audience to dissect and apply their feelings to the world she created on canvas. Regarding her work, Hamm expressed, "I can paint the feelings and thoughts for which I have no words; my vocabulary seems to be in color."

Although Hamm died in September 2021, her artistic legacy, shaped by education, international exploration, and a profound connection to her surroundings continues to resonate. Her ability to articulate emotions through the language of color has left an indelible mark on the art world, fulfilling the childhood dream she expressed with unwavering determination.

Gallery hours are Tu-Sa, 10-5. For more information or visuals, please contact Judith Jessup at 615-780-9990 or judith@davidluskgallery.com.