Dec 19, 2018

Pryor Art Gallery Hosts Symbols and Visions Exhibit

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - Dec. 19, 2018) - - - Columbia State Community College's Pryor Art Gallery will host "Symbols and Visions" Jan. 10 - Feb. 21. The exhibit will feature monumental (large-scale) oil paintings by artist Greg Decker.

Decker, a professional painter of 35 years, lives in rural Tennessee and teaches oil painting classes in Nashville as well as in traveling classrooms in the Mediterranean region. He has taught as a visual teaching artist in New York City with the Museum of Modern Art, as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

"We are so honored to have Greg Decker exhibit his monumental work and to stand witness to his expression of thought and visions," said Michele Wilkinson, Pryor Art Gallery curator. "His work seems to lull you into a feeling of what one dreams during summer daytime naps."

Decker grew up in Africa in the Belgian Congo, and sees African patterning and a color palette that has heavily influenced his work. A self-described "adventurous figure painter," he takes inspiration from classic poetry, and mythology. Myth is the backbone of all of Decker's work incorporating it as subject matter and used to develop his unique impressionistic style. He reveals a visual vocabulary of symbols and images from his readings - the old fables and stories seem to still show a relevance to our lives today.

"The paintings in this show, most of them quite recent, are a cross-section of the themes with which I have been, and continue to be, haunted for some period of time," Decker said. "These themes, some which are familiar myths (Actaeon, Daphne), and some more of private visions. I favor strong color and a sense of the monumental, and consider myself a kind of symbolist painter. The story within the painting, how it emerges, is essential to me."

Decker holds a master's degree in fine arts from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and a master's degree in fine arts from the New York Academy of Art.

Decker will give an artistic discussion and demo Jan. 25 from 4 - 5 p.m. in Room 120 in the Hickman Building. An artist's reception will immediately follow from 5 - 8 p.m. in the Pryor Art Gallery.

Complementing the exhibit and artist event will be a haiku poetry and art workshop Feb. 6 from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. in the Pryor Art Gallery hosted by Judy Westley, Columbia State assistant professor of English, and Anne Reeves, Columbia State Teaching and Learning Center tutor coordinator. The workshop will be inspired by Decker's work and will be free and open for students and the public - art supplies will be furnished, but participants are welcome to bring their own. Community members wishing to attend the workshop should register with Reeves at 931.540.1302, or by email at

The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Pryor Art Gallery is in the Waymon L. Hickman Building on the Columbia Campus located at 1665 Hampshire Pike. For additional information about this exhibit, please visit For more information about the Pryor Art Gallery, contact Michele Wilkinson at 931.540.2883 or

'The Nile,' Greg Decker
Photo Caption: "
The Nile," by Greg Decker.

'Actaeon' by Greg Decker
Photo Caption: "Actaeon," by Greg Decker.