Meredith Art Exhibit
When Don and Susan Meredith determined to make Mt. Vernon the main repository of his sports memorabilia, few of us realized that Don was also a painter. Between 2000 and 2005, Don and Susan shipped many cartons of material and on October 13, 2006, with Don and Susan Meredith present, the FCHA president J.D. Baumgardner welcomed the public to the first viewing of the downstairs of the Fire Station Museum and the Meredith Exhibit. The Meredith exhibit remains open and welcoming.
At the time the artifacts came in, Don Meredith asked if we would like to have some of his painting. Most people knew that he had acted (starting in high school and continuing with drama studies in college on top of his sports career). People knew that he liked to sing. The art was a bit of a surprise. We hold about 150 paintings from the Meredith home. Of these, about 25 are oil paintings by Don Meredith and another 15 are by Susan.
Son Michael says that his father always liked art and would sketch on pads (and not just in a quarterback’s playbook fashion).
Don became good friends with Dinah Shore. We have one of her cookbooks. We’ll have to firm up the next inquiry: Did they cook together? In any event, we understand that they would spend time as friends will, palettes at the ready; painting. The evidence for this is tangible. We have hung all of the works by Don and Susan in the upstairs of the Fire Station. The show will remain up through September 30, 2019. Please call our offices and schedule a time to see the exhibit or come any Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Brochures with lists of the works and the artist are available in the museum and a catalog of the show and photographs from the exhibit are available on our website.
In the elevator foyer, we have five paintings from the Meredith home in Santa Fe including one original work by Dinah Shore.
Michael Meredith has weighed in with his personal take on his father’s artistic bent. We advised Michael of the new show. He responds:
The last time I sat with Dad we talked about a painting. It was a piece that hung on the wall at the foot of his bed in Santa Fe and it seemed to bring him a lot of comfort. When I realized how much it meant to him, and what a sense of serenity it seemed to bring, I took a closer look. The first thing I recognized was the gazebo. I couldn’t place it, but I knew that I had seen that gazebo before. The other was the mountain range, which I knew from my childhood in New Mexico. When I asked where the painting was set, Dad smiled and said, “That’s my hometown, son. That’s the square in Mt. Vernon.” He had taken the square and painted it into the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
For me, an artist’s interpretation is what makes their work unique. Instead of showing us the world as they see it, they show us the world as they choose to see it. This allows us to see something through a different lens and perhaps even gives us a peek into the artist’s soul. Some of the paintings in this show remind me of places and moments from my past, wonderful times and great stories that I’ll pass on to my kids when they grow older. But mostly they remind me of what it felt like to just sit with Dad in a quiet room. To see things through his eyes, the way he wanted them to be seen. And to better understand what he cherished the most.