After my trip to the Kaplan Orchid Conservatory, I walked to the nearby Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries, which is also part of Old Dominion University. The gallery has room for several exhibits, including the permanent home for the Gordon's collection of what was once referred to as primitive or outsider art, but is now called self-taught art. My taste is all over the map, but this is one genre I have always enjoyed. These artists are compelled to create because there is something in their heads that needs to come out. No one has taught them the "right" way to paint, what a "proper" sculpture is, or what acceptable mediums are. There are several hundred pieces in the collection, but only a small number are shown at any one time. The title of the current exhibit is Wild Things and it will be up until April when it will be replaced with the more religiously themed The Book of Daniel. I will be back for that one as well, since it will have several pieces created by my favorite outsider, the Reverend Howard Finster.
Fox, Minnie Adkins
Teapot, Tom Phelps
Brush Man-Holding Brushes, Gregory Warmack (Mr. Imagination)
Gold Tooth Man, Sulton Rogers
Big and Small Monsters, Oscar L. Spencer
Dog-Faced Man, Sulton Rogers
Snake, Leroy Archuleta (made from bottle caps)
Bear, Minnie Atkins
The gallery is located in the newest part of the ODU campus which is a very pedestrian friendly mix of university buildings, restaurants, a large bookstore and student housing all adjacent to the Ted Constant Center. It has been pretty successful in connecting the campus to the the larger community and is all very sparkling and clean. When I attended ODU I lived in this area, but back then it was a rundown student slum of apartments and old houses that all carried that funky smell of stale beer - and was home to many a wild thing.