Jimmy Lee Sudduth Painting and Singing
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(Jun 03, 2011)
Made entirely by Ronald Waldrop. Video was made at Jimmy Lee Sudduth's home.See Jimmy Lee demonstrating his skills as a Folk Painer utilizing his finger as a brush. Listen to Jimmy Lee Sudduth as he sings and plays his musical instruments. Also, you will discover his medical skills that he had success with throughout his life.
In the first 38 minutes of the tape, Jimmy Lee Sudduth paints two blank boards with his finger and shows manuy of his paintings that he has in his home. In the remaining 22 minutes, Jimmy Lee plays several songs using a variety of musical instruments. Jimmy Lee Sudduth was one of the early masters of southern self-taugjt art. His work is firmly grounded in the African American culture of the rural South.
Jimmy Lee began making art as a child. His first drawings were from dirt or on tree trunks outside. As his talents became known in the the community of Fayette he began collecting pigments from clay,earth, rocks, and plants for use in his finger paintings. He said he used his fingers because "they never wore out". He experimented with mixing his pigments with various binders to make them adhere better, including sugar, soft drinks, instant coffee and caulk.
Sudduth's first public art exhibition was held in 1968 at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa. Beginning in 1971 he became a featured artist at the annual Kentuck Festival of the arts in Northport. In 1976, he was invited to play the harmonica and exhibit some of his paintings at the Smithsonian Institution's Bicentennial Festival of American Folk Life. He appeared on the Today Show & 60 Minutes in 1980. He was honored with the Alabama Arts Award in 1995 and served as an artist-in-residence at the New Orleans Museum of Art. His work is featured in many collections, including the Smithsonian Institution, the High Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery, the Birmingham Museum of Art and the House of Blues.
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