Artist Martha Clippinger’s exhibit opens at the Columbus Museum

Martha Clippinger, abasolo, 2014, acrylic on wood, 6 ½” x 6” x ¾”.
Martha Clippinger, abasolo, 2014, acrylic on wood, 6 ½” x 6” x ¾”. Courtesy of Martha Clippinger

Columbus native Martha Clippinger has a new exhibit at the Columbus Museum this summer.

Clippinger, born in Columbus in 1983, is a painter and textile artist whose work primarily involves vibrant colors, paint and woven textiles.

Clippinger was raised in Columbus before pursuing degrees from Fordham University and the Mason Gross School of Art at Rutgers University. She has been given numerous awards and grants including the 2017 Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artists Grant from the Durham Arts Council, a 2014 American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Award, and a 2013 Fulbright-Garcia Robles research grant completed in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Clippinger’s new exhibit features work created in the past five years. In addition to paintings and sculptures, the exhibit features pieces of her two-dimensional work translated into woven carpets.

The Columbus Museum has recently acquired some of Clippinger’s work for its permanent collection.

“Two recent acquisitions to the permanent collection speak specifically to the idea of ‘The South’: Anni refers to quiltmaking and Anni Albers, who taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina; vortex employs a peach basket, alluding to Georgia’s agriculture as well as migrant labor,” according to their website.

It is helpful to know that Clippinger has been highly influenced by artists from the Chattahoochee Valley. On their website, the Columbus Museum addresses the influences found in “Hodge Podge Lodge” by Clippinger. “The project,” the exhibit info reads, “will demonstrate the artist’s connection to — and ongoing dialogue with — the work of Alma Thomas and Eddie Owens Martin (St. EOM).”

Clippinger’s exhibit closely follows a nearly yearlong area wide celebration of Eddie Owens Martin’s work. Martin was featured in an exhibit at the Columbus Museum via a partnership with Columbus State University in 2016. Bringing Clippinger’s work to the Leebern Gallery helps illustrate Martin’s far-reaching influence.

Pieces in the Clippinger exhibit are installed at different heights in an almost playful presentation that pays homage to her work. Art critic Robert Berlind of The Brooklyn Rail discussed Clippinger’s work and layout style for a similar former exhibit in 2012.

“The interplay of rudimentary execution and sophisticated eye makes for humorous and whimsical effects, which are enhanced by the placement of the pieces.” Berlind said, “Works are installed, variously, at eye level, on the floor, or up in a corner of the room, so that the whole interior space is engaged.”

“Hodge Podge Lodge” is on display until November of this year. The exhibit is part of a growing number of exhibits at the Columbus Museum focused on local themes and artists. Other ongoing exhibitions that feature topics and artists native to the Chattahoochee Valley include “From Flying Aces to Army Boots: World War I and the Chattahoochee Valley” which runs through August, and “Close Up: Cinema Along the River” on display until next spring.

If you go

What: “Martha Clippinger: Hodge Podge Lodge”

When: Through Nov. 12

Where: Columbus Museum, 1251 Wynnton Road

Cost: Free.