Hickory – Hickory Museum of Art is pleased to welcome Matthew Diffee for an evening of laughs and art on Friday, March 2. The evening will feature a two-part ticketed event beginning with the exhibit reception with the artist in HMA’s 2nd floor Coe Gallery from 6 – 7:30 PM. A second ticketed opportunity to interact with the artist will take place in The SALT Block’s Drendel Auditorium at 7:30 PM where the artist will discuss his creative process and motivation. The evening will culminate in a book-signing where ticket-holders will be encouraged to return to the Coe Gallery to spend more time with this versatile exhibit installation. An Evening with Matthew Diffee is presented in conjunction with his exhibition One Man Group Show: The Cartoons and Other Art of Matthew Diffee which opens officially on March 3 and runs through July 8.Diffee_elevator

Artist reception, talk, and book signing tickets are $30 for HMA Members and $50 for non-members. Tickets for the just the artist talk and book signing are $10 for HMA Members and $20 for non-members. Student tickets to the talk and book signing are $5; a valid student ID is required at door. Custom Cartoon Raffle tickets are also available for a chance to win a custom New Yorker-style cartoon by Matthew Diffee based on winner’s life. To purchase tickets or raffle ticket online, go to www.hickoryart.org or if preferred, purchase in person at the museum.

Matthew Diffee was a painter first, of landscapes and abstractions, but then he became a cartoonist for The New Yorker Magazine. He kept painting but no one ever saw that work until now (unless you came to his house for some reason and looked under the bed). In One Man Group Show, Diffee shares his best cartoon art and the other art he’s been doing for the past twenty years.

Far from cartoony, Diffee’s cartoons stand out for their draftsmanship and aesthetic design. His single panel black and white cartoons appear in The New Yorker magazine. He also does long-form cartooning for Texas Monthly and Esquire, as well as illustrations for bluegrass bands like Punch Brothers and books by Stephen King.

One Man Group Show includes the original drawings for the cartoons and illustrations that have graced your coffee table and night stand. And for the first time, Diffee will exhibit his more traditional artistic endeavors: realist landscapes, abstract paintings, and collages.

Finally, an art museum exhibition where you’re encouraged to laugh at the art…well, some of it.

Hickory Museum of Art was founded in 1944 to collect, foster, and preserve American art. Eight works were collected that year. Today, almost 75 years later, the museum has evolved into an arts center featuring an extensive permanent collection of art objects across all mediums as well as a variety of education classes for all ages. Hickory Museum of Art is located on the SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory. Admission is free. For more information about museum exhibitions, art classes, field trips, and events, visit www.HickoryArt.org or call 828-327-8576.