by Larry Lemmons
Amarillo, Texas - Friday the Amarillo art community gathered at The Gallery at Sunset Center to honor Amarillo artist Mardy Lemmons. Lemmons died of heart failure Monday at the age of 49.
The organizer of the event, George Ingalls, whose father, Hunter, who died last year and was a colleague of Lemmons' says, "It's a complete show of the work of Mardy Lemmons that we've been able to get together honoring his life and his phenomenal body of work."
Local artist Kellie Kelley says, "It's a great treasure for us to have him here. And we'll always have him here through his art. And that's an Amarillo legend for us."
Mary Emeny, Hunter Ingalls' widow and a supporter of the arts in Amarillo says Lemmons was "controversial to say the least. A friend, a supporter. One of my favorite pictures is of him and Hunter sitting at the table at the 806 and obviously talking art."
Heath Ingersoll, a friend and fellow artist says, "I didn't know if I was finished with a painting or not till he walked up behind me and said, "stop!" And I knew it was done then."
George Ingalls adds, "His impact was that he showed that something with shock value could actually be really good art. It's great painting first and then it happened to rub some people the wrong way but it's great art by any standard."
Ingersoll spoke of Lemmons' influence. "He was like a father figure to most of the artists here in Amarillo, especially the contemporary artists. He was a great artist, a great teacher, a good friend and I always trusted his opinion.