Cotton Belt Gallery
Jimmy Lee Sudduth
Jimmy Lee Sudduth (March 10, 1910 - September 2, 2007) is considered one of the early masters of Southern self-taught art. Raised on a farm near Fayette, Alabama, he became known for his paintings that combine house paint with found pigments. He harvested a variety of pigments from local clay, earth, mud and plants and applied them to plywood, doors and boards using his fingers because "they never wore out." His combination of experimental binders (such as sugar, coffee and caulk) with his native pigments resulted in wonderfully textured artworks.
In 1968, Stillman College in Tuscaloosa held Suddoth's first public art exhibition. Three years later, he became the featured artist at the annual Kentuck Festival of the Arts in Northport, Alabama. For the Smithsonian Institution's Bicentennial Festival of American Folk Life in 1976 he was invited to play the harmonica and exhibit his paintings. In 1980, he made appearances on The Today Show and 60 Minutes. In 1985, he was presented with the Alabama Arts Award and served as an artist-in-residence at the New Orleans Museum of Art. His work is featured in such collections as the Smithsonian Institution, the High Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery, the Birmingham Museum of Art, and the House of Blues.