Frank Calloway was born sometime between 1896 and 1913 in Montgomery, Alabama. He spent his life as a laborer, working mostly on farms, logging and building roads. He claims to have begun drawing as a small child, although, he explains, his working hours as a laborer prevented him from making art. Diagnosed as schizophrenic in 1952, Calloway was committed to Bryce Hospital and the Alabama Department of Mental Health in Tuscaloosa.
Calloway’s imagery is primarily agrarian and depicts the Old South as he remembers it. He draws on butcher paper using crayon, pen, and marker. The scrolls are either 24 or 36 inches high, and anywhere from 8 feet to over 60 feet long. It is unclear whether he intends to make one artwork, or if he is embedding many separate artworks on one sheet. When asked about the content of his work he replied, simply, "I do my best.”
Calloway’s work has been shown in a number of institutions including Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, The American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, Kentuck Museum, Northport, Alabama, and Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York.
Courtesy of Andrew Edlin Gallery