There is nothing that says that the desire and power to create diminish with age, as artist Robert Cage aptly demonstrates in an exhibition of recent paintings opening at the Prizery on Sunday, July 6. Nine decades have not slowed down Halifax County's native son, who continues to paint almost every day despite his battle with Parkinson's Disease.
Cage's recent work pays tribute to his long and beloved career as a tobacco auctioneer. It also acknowledges his serendipitous working process where chance is a driving force and even painterly accidents are embraced as part and parcel of the final product.
Chants/Chance asks the viewer to imagine what a tobacco chant might look like as opposed to what it would sound like. These works evoke the nostalgia of the region's proud history and some of the people that gave voice to the powerful economic engine that was tobacco. A world champion tobacco auctioneer, Cage's chants attracted the attention of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage whose representatives recorded him for the national archives.
Colorful and vibrant, like his chants, Cage's mixed-media paintings are filled with a dynamic energy that belies their small scale. The works are a perfect intersection between two seemingly disparate worlds where the tobacco warehouse meets the gallery of art. The community is invited to the opening reception of Chants/Chance from 3 to 5 pm on July 6 in the Robert F. Cage Gallery of the Prizery.