Bootleggers Ballad Series: a visual show for all

Snake Shakers Shack

Snake Shakers Shack is the first print ever made in this series and it says volumes about the series as a whole. You will not find sunsets and cocktail drinks or various colors. What you will find is gray tones, black ink wash and block wood prints.

The stories told within each print gets more in-depth the longer you look at it and each piece tells a piece of the story of the Bootleggers Ballad. This is the gallery showing of Neal Harrington.

St. George and the Dragon

“Every other year we do a faculty show to show the students not only are we teachers we’re practicing artists,” said Neal Harrington, director of the Norman Art Gallery. “We’re talking about experience here, we’re not just teaching, we’re doing it.”

The Bootleggers Ballad is the story of Harrington’s love of culture and a by-product of his sabbatical from Tech for the fall of 2017. This collection contains 17 wood printmaking pieces, three ink wash pieces and two ink wash folded paper books.

The ink wash pieces were inspired by an artist retreat where Harrington spent 7 days learning from other artists. The retreat was during his sabbatical in which he “found his groove” and created 7 of the wood printmaking pieces in the series.

This series as a whole is about Harrington’s love of mythology and southern culture. In this series you will find mermaids recused by cowboys and a guitar player dragging an alligator for eating his guitar, among other “fantastical things.”

Boozy Beard

“I’ve always been interested in mythology and southern culture and how all that comes together; just a mythical series that explores the fantastical side of the southern culture,” said Harrington. “The first piece in this series is called Snake Shaker Shack. I had a huge response from that work, sold them all, won a couple of awards. It really established my career with that one piece. I really hit my stride in 2013 with that piece.”

This series opened Jan. 8 and will run until Feb. 23. The next exhibit will be “Small Works on Paper,” which runs March 5 through 16 (opening reception at 2:30 p.m. on March 7).

Amber Quaid
About Amber Quaid 60 Articles
Amber Quaid is the coeditor-in-chief for the Arka Tech newspaper at Arkansas Tech University. Her focus is on diversity and its importance for inclusion into society. Amber has a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in communication and public relations. She is currently working on receiving her master’s degree in multimedia journalism. Amber has been in the professional world of journalism for 4 years and in professional management positions for 16 years with a Fortune 500 company. Currently, on the Arka Tech Amber does layout, design, and writes articles about diversity and mental health issues. She enjoys reading, hanging out with her kids and playing deck-building board games.