Library to host presentation, program of life and work of late local artist
On Saturday, June 11, at 3 p.m., the Macon County Public Library will host an exhibit and reception honoring the work of Franklin artist, the late Jim McRae.
The family of Jim McRae (1924-2010), an Atlanta artist who moved to Franklin in 1973, will present a painting, “Woman Reading,” to the Macon County Public Library at 3 p.m., Saturday, June 11, together with an exhibit and slide presentation on his life and work. The exhibit, with sample works produced during McRae’s long artistic career, will hang in the meeting room through June. Friends of the Macon County Public Library will help sponsor this event.
Jim was the husband of Barbara McRae, a former chairman of the Macon County Public Library and a former member of the Fontana Regional Library board.
He studied at the Atlanta College of Art under the G.I. Bill after serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He later taught figure drawing at the college, during a diverse career that included stints as a commercial artist, portraitist and cartoonist. In the early 1960s, he began devoting himself to painting full time. As many artists do, he took jobs as bartender, carpenter and house painter to make money. At one time, he owned a studio and gallery on Peachtree Street.
McRae was primarily a figure painter, but he worked in several media, including oil, acrylic and watercolor. His work is in many private collections and museums in the U.S. and abroad.
The work to be given to the library dates to the late 1960s and is semi-abstract, on canvas, and fairly large in comparison to the body of Jim’s work.
“It is the family’s hope that this gift will mark the beginning of a campaign to acquire art for the library and other public places,” Barbara said. “To that end, we intend to establish a fund that will support the visual arts and artists in this county that Jim loved so much.”
The showing of Jim McRae’s work will include approximately 20 giclee prints especially produced for this event, as well as several original pieces.