Ronald Lockett’s art is breathtaking. Although he is not nearly as well known as his cousin and mentor, Thorton Dial Sr., Lockett is a world class artist with work in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a new exhibition “Fever Within” showing at the High Museum of Art in Midtown until Jan. 8. Lockett died in 1998 of AIDS at the young age of 33.
“Fever Within” shows art that represents Lockett’s work from its beginning to its end. Lockett grew up and lived in the Pipe Shop neighborhood of Bessemer, Alabama. He lived a few doors down from his talented cousin Thorton Dial Sr. and was raised by the same woman who raised many of the Dials and Locketts who lived in that neighborhood. His great-aunt,a quilter, Sarah Dial Lockett, lived to be 105 and was the source of strenght for him as well as many family members. One of his last works “Sarah Lockett’s Roses” speaks to her influence in his life. Lockett used metal instead of cloth to make her memorial quilt.