Ask renowned artist Terence Netter to describe the methodology he uses to capture his thoughts and imagination on canvas and the answer might surprise you.
“That’s really impossible for me to explain, because I’m not really sure myself,” said Netter. “I suppose that if I could put it into words properly, then I would be a poet instead of a painter.”
Netter was on hand Thursday, Oct. 6 to help unveil his exhibit titled “The 9/11 Series” at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Cook Library Art Gallery. The six large, compelling paintings were commissioned to commemorate the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks, coinciding with the inauguration of the first semester of the Southern Miss Abbey Program in Pontlevoy, located in central France.
Netter serves as an adjunct professor with Southern Miss International Programs and spends half of every year in France, where he painted “The 9/11 Series.”
The paintings’ owner, Southern Miss history professor and coordinator of The Abbey Program Dr. Doug Mackaman, has organized a tour of the works in the United States. The show will run until Nov. 6, when it will leave for the Katrina Research Center at Southern Miss Gulf Coast in Long Beach for another month in Mississippi.
“Terence Netter has been a very dear friend to Southern Miss and our Abbey Program students since we began in Pontlevoy a decade ago with the 2002 group,” said Mackaman. “Our earliest days in France with our pioneering group saw the first anniversary of the 9-11 attack. His fantastic series of monumental paintings helped us to manage the ravaged feelings we all had about the horrors of that attack a year away from it.”
Netter has been a successful painter since his first New York solo show in 1965, and his style of painting is classified as that of an Abstract Expressionist.
Southern Miss senior Carlee Lewis of Brooklyn, Miss., spent the spring semester of 2010 as part of The Abbey Program, taking art classes under Netter’s direction.
“It was absolutely the best experience of my time here at Southern Miss,” said Lewis, who is majoring in speech pathology. “I’m not the most artistic person you’ll ever meet. But taking Dr. Netter’s class was just amazing. He is truly a wonderful teacher and artist.”
The Cook Library Art Gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Monday 1-4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information call 601.266.4241.