Jeri Ledbetter




As an artist, I appreciate what writers and other creative spirits whom I admire have said about their creative process. One particular author, Marilyn Robinson, caputures the essence of my creative process. To explain my “process,” I share her words below. Simply change her words, “writing” and “language” to “painting” and “art:”


Writing should always be exploratory. There shouldn’t be the assumption that you know ahead of time what you want to express. When you enter into the dance with language, you’ll bein to find that there’s something before, or behind, or more absolute than the thing you thought you wanted to express. And as you work, other kinds of meaning emerge than what you might have expected. It’s like wrestling with the angel: on the one hand, you feel the constraints of what can be said, but on the other hand you feel the infinite potential. There’s nothing more interesting than language and the problem of trying to beind it to your will, which you can never quite do. You can only find what it contains, which is always a surprise.


In sum, as I work, meaning emerges that may follow or depart from my inteded direction or approach. The result is unexpected. As Robinson states, it is like wrestling the angel: you are limited in what you can do, yet feel empowered by a beneficient source or power. Try as you might, using your own will and brush on canvas, you find yourself controlled, uplifted, bent, hastened, by the materials and the tools. There is always a surpise at the end.






Curriculum Vitae




2017  Solo Exhibit, L. Ross Gallery, Memphis

2016  Group Exhibit, Craighead-Green Gallery, Dallas

2015  Solo Exhibit [2 artists], Thomas Deans Gallery, Atlanta

2015  Solo Exhibit [2 artists], Alberson Exhibits, Tulsa

2011 Solo Exhibit, Darnell Fine Art, Santa Fe

2010-18 Group Exhibit, ARtful Sol, Vail

2010  Group Exhibit [3 artists], Craighead-Green Gallery, Dallas

2009  Solo Exhibit, L. Ross Gallery, Memphis

2008 Solo Exhibit, En Medias Res, Darnell Fine Art, Santa Fe

2008  Holiday Exhibition, L. Ross Gallery, Memphis

2007 Solo Exhibit, Lift, Darnell Fine Art, Santa Fe

2006  Solo Exhibit, No Day Without a Line, Darnell Fine Art, Santa Fe

2005 Solo Exhibit, Impulses, Darnell Fine Art, Santa Fe

2004  Solo Exhibit, New Work, Jay Etkin Gallery, Memphis

2003 New Work, New Work, Jay Etkin Gallery, Memphis

2001 Best in Tennessee Exhibition, Tennessee State Museum, Nashville

2001  New Work, Jay Etkin Gallery, Memphis

2000 Paintings, Askew Nixon Ferguson Architects, Memphis

1999  Art Santa Fe, Art Forms, Santa Fe

1999  The Spring Show, Sara Howell Gallery, Jonesboro, AR

1997  Decorators Showcase, Memphis

1996  Coming Home, Art Forms of the Spirit, memphis

1995  Open Your Inner Eyes to the Magic, Art Forms of the Spirit, Memphis

1995  Habitat for Humanity Exhibit, Memphis

1995 Spirits in Flight, Art Forms of the Spirit, Memphis

1993  The Nude: A Celebration of the Human FOrm, Doggrell Studio, Memphis

1993 A Totally Different Kind of Exhibit, Albers Fine Art Gallery, Memphis

1992 The Art Studio: 4 Women, Askew Nixon Ferguson & Wolfe, Inc., Memphis

1991  An Exhibition of Miniatures, Albers Fine Art Gallery, Memphis

1990  New Talent, Albers Fine Art Gallery, Memphis

1989 Holiday Exhibition Albers Fine Art Gallery, Memphis 

1987 Gallery Artists, Albers Fine Art Gallery, Memphis

1987  Horn Island, Memphis College of Art, Memphis

1986  New Work, Albers Fine Art Gallery, Memphis



Honors and Awards



2017 Albert Nelson Marquis` Lifetime Achievement Award

2010 Who's Who in America

2001 Best in Tennessee Exhibition, Tennessee State Museum, Nashville

1994 Open Studios '94, Sponsor by Number, Inc., Memphis

1994 Who's Who in American Universities and Colleges

1993 Featured Artist, Memphis Arts Counsel Calendar

1988 Memphis College of Art, Mary Louise Dinsmore Memorial Drawing Award

1985 Portfolio Award Scholarship, Memphis College of Art







Fredric Koeppel, The Commercial Appeal,  and "Ricordando":


Ledbetter exercises what could be called Old School abstraction with her panoply of technical mastery that covers the canvas within its four edges and posits a sense of composition that is both intuittive and formative. Her palette is muted. Arctic, an array of whites, grays, occasional revelation of red, pink and yellow, but her gestural capacity feels infinite in its in gesture, the movement of the hand, so that these thirteen fairly large works repay contiuned attention. 


The peces here, all oil and mixed media on panel, begin with the broadest of gestures, that is, the hand wielding a brush of medium width to create a white or ivory or cream ground that is scraped away, repainted, scraped again into a broad base that Ledbetter uses as her blank slate.


However cool and elegant they may be, if paintings can be elegant and impassioned simultaneously, they open facets of nostalgia, memory and history almost unaccountable for their size. Certainly, they project a European air as if, though contemporary, they were built upon the ruins of a beautiful, fading and tainted civilization. 


Carol Knowles, Memphis Flyer, magazine, "Grit and Grace":


Across hardscrabble landscapes...Jeri Ledbetter has created a body of work filled with boundless possibility and an unbridled zest for life in her L. Ross Gallery Exhibition, "Mana a Mano II."


In "Tessiers' Bend II," weathered branches work their way out of underbrush and cross a somewhat arid, sometimes golden-ochre earth, moving toward a pale-blue patch of sky or pool of water searching for sustenance and light. The incisive blood-red lines in "Sugar Ditch IV," suggest life's brambles can cut to the quick, and the clarion-red morass of lines and veins in "La Palma" remind us, like William Faulkner's novels, that life is full of sound and fury. 


Ledbetter is master of the palimpsest as well as the expressive line. We see traces of former worlds covered over with broad, thick swaths of pale-gray paint the artist lays down with gusto. Ledbetter dismisses her inner critics, banishes the fierce demons guarding the temple door, and gives herself permission to experiement, to fail, to start anew, to create works of art that, like life, are complex, uncertain and achingly beatiful.






Askew Nixon Ferguson Architects, Memphis, TN

Embassy Suites, Memphis, TN

Gardner Construction, Memphis, TN

Holiday Inn, Corpus Christi, TX

Perkins Restaurant Corporate Offices, Memphis, TN

Plough, Inc., Memphis, TN

ScheringPlough, Bernardsville, NJ

Halliburton & Ledbetter, Memphis, TN

Trustcorp of America, Memphis, TN

Cochran Law Firm, Memphis, TN

Commercial Bank & Trust, Memphis, TN

Compass Bank, Dallas, TX

Iberia Bank, Memphis, TN

Westin Times Square, New York, NY

Anonymouse, New York, NY