Southside Gallery


Artist Statement


My work explores episodes of working-class life in America’s rural South through the lens of my own family and friends in the Midlands of South Carolina. This exhibition expresses a continuation of stories that index my upbringing in this place by referencing back-road dispositions in conjunction with symbols of faith and Christian iconography. By painting these accounts, I celebrate, honor, and show reverence towards the customs and traditions of the rural working-class South.


Relying on rich history, storytelling, and the ephemeral quality of change that span past, present, and future tenses; I primarily focus on the function of the still life in rural spaces—both wild and domestic—as practical makeshifts and collections. The work often toys with paradox and humor to buttress these themes through depictions of off-the-grid habits as they relate solely to living off the land. Umbrellaed by the idiomatic title of the exhibition, Row to Hoe, these ideas are crucial to building messages that point dually towards the literal and figurative challenges and undertakings in the Bible Belt region. In the American South, this notion provides perspective on larger societal issues that point to a past that can’t be thrown away, but instead lingers on into the present.




Katelyn Chapman received an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Georgia in 2018 and a BFA with an emphasis in Drawing from Clemson University in 2014. Her work is inspired by her deeply rooted familial and rural ties to the South and has been in both national and local group exhibitions and publications.  While at UGA Chapman was awarded the Wilson Center Graduate Research Award. She is a two-time Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grantee (2019 & 2021) and has been awarded residency fellowships to attend Vermont Studio Center (2019), The Hambidge Center (2021), and Chateau Orquevaux in France (2022). Chapman currently lives and works in Charleston, SC where she teaches full-time as a Professor of Allied Arts at The American College of the Building Arts.

Posted on November 5, 2021