A retrospective exhibit of Batik paintings by Leo Twiggs is on display at the Morris Museum in Augusta, Georgia.
Called “Messages from Home: the Art of Leo Twiggs,” the exhibit includes many of the works published in his award-winning book by the same title published in 2011. The first retrospective of Twiggs’ works was created by the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia in 2004. The Morris Museum exhibit is expanded to include more recent works and others from the artist’s private collection.
Leo Twiggs is a summa cum laude graduate of Claflin University. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and received a masters from New York University. In 1970, he became the first African American to receive a doctorate in art from the University of Georgia, where he was inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Twiggs established the Art Department and Stanback Museum at South Carolina State University. He retired in 1998 and was named professor emeritus in 2000.
In the mid-‘60s, he began experimenting with Batik, an ancient process of using wax and dyes to decorate fabric. Since then, his Batik paintings have received both national and international recognition. His series, “Requiem for Mother Emanuel,” was widely acclaimed, and in 2017, he became the first S.C. artist to receive the $10,000 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art. He was awarded an honorary doctor of fine arts degree from the University of South Carolina in 2013 and a second Verner Award (governor’s trophy) for lifetime achievement in the arts in 2017.
In 2020, he received the Order Of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor and became the first African American visual artist inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame.
The Morris Museum Exhibit will continue to March 14, 2021. It is open for limited visitations weekdays and weekends with all COVID-19 restrictions observed. More information is available at wwwthemorrismuseum.org or by calling 706-724-7501.