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A Song from the Field

A Song from the Field

Sept. 4-Oct. 25, 2015
Opening Reception: Sept. 4, 4-8 p.m.
Artists Talk: Sept. 3, 6 p.m.
Workshop demonstrating artist technique: Sept. 4, 9 a.m.-Noon
A Song from the Field

A Song from the Field
William Burton Jr.
A Deal in the Delta
24x24, Pyrography, acrylic, cotton on wood panel, 2013

“A Song From the Field” opens Sept. 4, 2015 in the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.

The public is invited to attend the artist talk at 6 p.m. Sept. 3. An opening reception will be held from 4-8 p.m. Sept 4. The exhibit will remain on display through Oct. 25. Admission is free.

A demonstration workshop will be held Friday, 9-Noon Sept 4 at Dobbins River Campus Center, Mezzanine Classroom, space is limited, to register call (573) 651-2260.

A dance performance choreographed by Southeast students will be performed at 7 p.m. Oct. 9. Inspired by the artwork, the solo and duet dances will explore the rhythmand timbre of blues music and its narrative possibilities.

“A Song from the Field” is a product of the journey taken both physically and spiritually into the Mississippi Delta by William Burton Jr. and Robert A. Ketchens to examine the cultural influences of the sharecroppers and musicians who migrated into St. Louis. The Blues originated in the Mississippi Delta region in the cotton fields and churches and resonated through the very soul of the artist who used their expressive talent to interpret it.

“From the blackness of Sister Odessa’s face to the whiteness of the baptismal gowns, the tints and shades of color are laid with symbolic intent and historical reference,” Ketchens said.

The works incorporate pyrography on wood along with photographs, acrylics, oils, beads and other 3-D mixed media relating to the motif. Contrasting colors and textures are used to convey the environment that was experienced by the musicians of the time period.

Burton holds an Associates degree from Art Institute of Kansas City. He is the owner and chief curator of Atelier D. Artiste 14 art gallery in St. Louis, Mo.

Ketchens holds an Associates degree from US Air Force School of Health Sciences. He is a resident artist at Atelier D'artiste 14.

The Crisp Museum is located in the Cultural Arts Center at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus, located at 518 S. Fountain St. in Cape Girardeau, Mo. For more information, call (573) 651-2260 or email


River Campus, 175 Cultural Arts Center
Crisp Museum
One University Plaza, MS 7875
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701