Work of the Week — “Things are Mighty Strange” by Alpha Andrews

Monday, March 5, 2018

by Sadie Allen

Take one glance at this painting and you’ll be instantly struck by its vivid colors, particularly the bright contrast between the warm orange foreground and the cool blue background. The colors are not the only striking feature of this work, though. The intricate lines filling the piece create a scene that’s busy and full of life, making it impossible to turn away. Artist Alpha Andrews quickly captures the viewer with these features in her folk art piece Things are Mighty Strange.
Andrews was born in Habersham County, GA in 1932. She not only works as an artist but also as a nurse assistant and an ordained Minister. When she isn’t busy with these jobs, she also tends the hair salon that she owns.
Her contemporary folk work catches my eye more than other pieces from the genre, particularly for their entrancing scenes. I love how complex this piece is, with the drinking dog in the foreground and the small woman in the back. It makes me wonder what inspired her, given its dreamy state.
The colors also make me crave summer, particularly the thirsty canine. Oftentimes in my hometown, you can find dogs drinking from fountains (perhaps against the wishes of the city) or from puddles to combat the heat. I am hoping that March brings many warm, happy days like those portrayed in Alpha Andrews’ pieces.

Artwork above: Alpha Andrews, Things are Mighty Strange, 2005, Ink and Paint Pen, 12.50 x 16.5 inches. Gift of Olivers Southern Folk Art. Permanent Collection. 2010.25.05.47.