/Noah Saterstrom celebrates Mississippi Storytellers with narrative portraits

Noah Saterstrom celebrates Mississippi Storytellers with narrative portraits

“2019 Official Art of Legends & Luminaries” is a collage that features Saterstrom’s fluid portraits of Mississippi authors such as Eudora Welty and Richard Ford. Holly Lange, Mississippi Book Festival Executive Director, stated that each year we ask an artist with Mississippi roots for help to capture the spirit and spirit of the festival. We are thrilled that Noah Saterstrom created a collection of works celebrating the fifth anniversary of the festival. It features some of Mississippi’s most treasured literary works. We are grateful for Noah’s generosity in sharing his talents with Mississippi and our festival. We know that his star will continue to rise and we are grateful to Noah for sharing his talents with Mississippi and our festival. Saterstrom graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1997. He then went to the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland in pursuit of a master’s degree. After traveling, he settled down in Nashville with his family four years ago. He said, “At that time, I’d always been painting something related to Mississippi – even though I was away for all those many years.” It picked up speed after we moved back to South. “The Mississippi feature in my painting became quite prominent.” Saterstrom (44), describes his usual painting style, which consists of multiple figures and is driven by historical narratives and improvisation. He was having trouble with his usual style of painting when he decided to do a portrait. He said, “Someone of cultural significance had died.” “Maybe it’s Prince. It’s hard to remember. They started to talk a lot on the radio about that person’s life and their work. “I did a portrait and it turned out okay. Likeness is a very specific thing to capture.” He continued to research and learn about people and he added portrait painting to his portfolio. Saterstrom produced 40 portraits in oil of people who worked and attended the Black Mountain College, North Carolina in 1933. Robert Rauschenberg and John Cage were among those who produced the portraits. Merce Cunningham was also included in the series. All three of these artists are highly respected for their contributions to the arts. “Faces of Black Mountain College,” was displayed at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, North Carolina in the fall 2017. Saterstrom stated that Holly reached out to Saterstrom and requested something similar for last year’s book festival. “And so, I did tons of faces of Mississippi authors. It was used on their swag, and even on a lovely little coffee mug I use every single day. All those paintings are all over. It’s great to have such a group to work with.” Saterstrom’s 2018 portraits were purchased by the book festival, who also owns the rights to this year’s commemorative artwork. Saterstrom has created a new series portraits for this year’s festival. They will be displayed in the “Storytellers, A Mississippi Narrative” exhibit at Thursday’s Mississippi Book Festival Prefest Party at Fischer Galleries, Jackson. He said, “I’m really excited about this,” during his trip down to Jackson. “There has been so much support from Mississippi,” Saterstrom’s life-sized portraits Eudora Welty and William Faulkner, Jim Henson, Mississippi John Hurt, and Jim Henson will be displayed, as well as 10 smaller portraits by other notable Mississippi writers like Shelby Foote and Willie Morris. Saterstrom claims that his life-size portraits combine the two types of painting he previously did separately, narrative and portrait. The portraits are 48″ wide by 60″ tall and made of multiple canvases. Saterstrom hopes that his portraits will be praised by his subjects, rather than himself. He said, “Doing portraits such as these, people are not only looking at the work but also the people they admire.” It’s a wonderful celebration thing. “It’s a wonderful thing to be celebrated for my work. But it feels more like my work is a service to the subject.”