One World, Two Artists: John Alexander and Walter Anderson
by Sue Strachan (Editor), Annlyn Swan (Contributor), Mark Stevens (Contributor), Jimmy Buffett (Contributor), Bill Dunlap (Contributor), University Press of Mississippi/Ogden Museum of Southern Art: May 2011, 90 pp. (hardcover)
The work of southern artists is often infused with a deep sense of place and time. Whether inspired by the small town of the artist’s birth, the land, the waters-be it river, lake, or sea-the music, the people, or even the animals, that sense of place shows up in subtle, surprising, or literal ways, unique to each artist. One World, Two Artists shows how the Gulf Coast was a shared source of inspiration to two native artists: John Alexander and Walter Anderson.
Born in 1945 in the coastal town of Beaumont, Texas, John Alexander grew up in a region heavily influenced by Cajun, Creole, and African American cultures. The natural environment of coastal Texas and Louisiana was an early and persistent inspiration for Alexander’s work.
Walter Anderson (1903-1965) was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was a painter, potter, writer, and naturalist, who spent most of his life working in or around his family’s business, Shearwater Pottery, in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. A small, undisturbed barrier island, Horn Island, became his refuge and main source of inspiration. Years later, John Alexander would visit Horn Island, also chasing this shared muse.