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Still Life: Selected Drawings by George Potter '63

Opening on June 3 at The Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art at Central Methodist College is a remarkable exhibition of drawings and sculpture by Illinois artist George Potter.

Titled "Still Life: Selected Drawings by George Potter '63," the exhibition will run through July 17. A reception for the artist will be held at the gallery from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., June 8. The exhibition will include 36 pieces: 15 sculptures, 18 drawings and three photographs.

Also being featured at the gallery during the Potter exhibition will be two original George Caleb Bingham oil-on-canvas portraits of well-known 19th century Boonville, Mo., residents Rueben S. Leveridge and his wife, Rebecca Munro Leveridge. The paintings were done about 1839, when Bingham was living in Howard and Cooper Counties. Works by other artists, from the 1950s, part of the gallery's permanent collection, also will be shown during the Potter exhibition.

The Bingham portraits are being loaned to gallery by the Masonic Temple in Boonville. Lodge members discovered the paintings in the building's basement nearly 20 years ago. They were authenticated in 1985 by E. Maurice Block, an emeritus professor of the Grunwald Center for Graphic Arts at UCLA.

Potter, who earned his bachelor's degree in art from CMC in 1963, taught sculpture and drawing at Western Illinois University from 1968 until he retired in 1999. He also holds a master's degree in art, with a major in drawing, from University of Iowa, and a master's degree in fine arts, with a major in sculpture, from the University of Arkansas.

Since retiring from teaching, Potter has pursued his long-time interest in the art of classic/antique firearms of America and Europe. He has done commissions in this area for individual collectors; Robert Weil represents this work in his book Contemporary Gunsmiths.

Potter's sculptures and drawings are represented in many public and private art collections. During the past 30 years, he has shown his work in numerous exhibitions throughout the country, including shows at the University of Arkansas, Illinois State Museum, and the Schoharie Arts Center in Cobleskill, N.Y.