The Art Gallery at Congdon Yards (TAG) recently dedicated the mural titled “The Park” by the late artist Warren Dennis. The mural, generously on permanent loan from the Dennis family, is located at the entrance to TAG.
Originally, commissioned for the Burke Street Mission in Morganton, North Carolina, by devoted patrons Paul and Jackie Deaton, “The Park” holds a significant place in the legacy of Dennis. Following the closure of the Mission in 2023, and in honor of the artist’s passing in 2021 at the age of 93, the Dennis family sought a new home for this remarkable piece.
Dennis, recognized for his extraordinary skills as a painter and draftsman, had previously exhibited a one-man show at TAG in 2015. His distinctive style captures the essence of everyday life, infusing ordinary moments with unspoken emotion.
In the artist’s own words, “My entire body of work is a meditation on the American Spirit which I have seen in its humor, complexity, struggles, and above all, in its unquenchable determination to triumph over adversity. All my work is personal and it all has personality—that’s what I try to get across.”
Born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, in 1927, Dennis’s artistic journey included studies at the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Mississippi. He further honed his craft with influential artists such as Jack Tworkov, David Smith, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and Reginald H. Neal. Dennis began his professional teaching career in 1955 at Judson College in Marion, Alabama, and played a pivotal role in establishing the College of Fine and Applied Arts at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.
His legacy is a substantive body of paintings and drawings that his family continues to exhibit, sell, and celebrate through the Warren Dennis Legacy, LLC.