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Ozymandias (Crimson King), 2006 by Steve Joy
After Giotto by Steve Joy
Trinity, 2004 by Steve Joy
Monday, October 6, 2008

I have said before that the Middle Ground of the Cather Foundation is indeed broad reaching out from its center in Red Cloud to the far corners of the world. But sometimes, the world comes to Red Cloud.

Today the Middle Ground of the Cather Foundation announces an exhibition of international art and joy or, Joy with a capital J. To be precise, I want to talk about Steve Joy, a British artist whose work will be featured at the Red Cloud Opera House Gallery in June, as a part of the annual Willa Cather Spring Conference, scheduled for June 5-6-7. (See the 2008 Spring Conference Schedule at

Joy is a painter who has worked and taught on three continents. He says of himself that he has for twenty-five years been “exhibiting his unique brand of exotically evocative art all over the world. He has exhibited his work in galleries in Norway, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, the United States, as well as in his native England. Joy travels between England and his studios in Omaha and New York.

The Spring Conference itself will bring individuals from throughout the United States and occasionally from a number of foreign countries. Guests, as well as presenters, will include professional scholars, teachers, and lay people who study and enjoy the work of Willa Cather. Thus, it is quite fitting to also include an artist of national and international repute.

Joy says of his painting that . . . My current works include the somewhat romantic idea that exotic and mysterious places can be contained within painting giving us all a taste of the unknown without having to make the journey ourselves. My paintings evoke thoughts of sacred places, abbeys, cathedrals, darkened candlelit rooms; and the perfume of incense and spices from the East . . . Most of all, I was thinking of silence the kind of silence I connect to icons, especially the great icons of the Byzantine period.

If you plan to visit the Cather Center Gallery when Steve Joy is exhibiting his work, plan to experience paintings that are exciting and monumental in size. Joy, always aware of his surroundings, will also be bringing some work inspired by the Great Plains. He will lecture on Cather and Her contemporaries in the World of the Visual Arts on Friday, June 6, in the morning from 10:00 to 11:00 in the Opera House Gallery.

Following Joy's exhibition in Red Cloud, his work moves to the Joslyn Art Museum, June 28 September 21, 2008, where a full-career exhibition will be featured, along with Joy's new book, Steve Joy Paintings, 1980-2007: Uncreated Light. This newly released book includes beautiful reproductions of his works and places that have inspired Joy, including sites in Mexico, New York, Morocco, France, Spain, Norway, Italy, India, and Japan.

Please join us at the Cather Historic Site in June and experience Steve Joy's impressive exhibition.