I just checked out "Growing up ... In Words and Images,"
the exhibition of paintings by Joe Barry Carroll
at the Historic Arkansas Museum. In addition to being a self-taught artist and memoirist, Carroll is a former NBA star, who played for the Gplden State Warriors, the Houston Rockets, the New Jersey Nets, the Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Sun. He is now a wealth advisor and founder of the non-profit BroadView Foundation, which makes grants to organizations that serve the poor and communities of color.
The paintings, in thick and heavily varnished acrylic and often incorporating family photos, are the illustrations for the autobiography, a big, beautiful hardback that opens with his early years in Pine Bluff before the family moved to Denver.
Carroll was the 10th of 13 children supported by their mother. who worked as a housekeeper, cook and nurse's aide. In his book, he writes, “Every time I witnessed my mother’s defeat and difficulty as another dream died, I resolved to make it all better one day.”
The paintings might be described as both naive and inspired, with a brilliant palette, daring texture and fine composition. Learn more about the artist and see more of his work at his website
. The show, in the downstairs gallery, runs through Jan. 3. The book is $50.