COMPULSIVE READER visits the Appalachian show at the C Museum of American Art:

Old Patent Office Building. (Sign engraved on outside wall of museum.)

More Than Land or Sky: Art From Appalachia. (On wall above entrance to show.)

Appalachia: land of mists and reverie, of myths, visions and stories; land of ephemeral, softly vibrating light; of contrasts -- panoramic views of sweep and power alternating with sensuous, gentle curves of mountain slopes, rolling vistas contrasting with glades and thickets rich in leaf and flower. Yet, a land and people hard and resilient . . . (On another wall.)

David "Blue" Lamm. West Virginia 1978. Roof Collapse. Acrylic on canvasboard. Lent by Phyllis Kern, San Francisco, Calif. I am active in the union, the UMWA. Many of my paintings are of my fellow workers at the mine or on the picket line. My paintings reflect the struggle of miners through the union for a better life for their families and for safety in the mines.

Caryl Jones-Sylvester. Suppertime. In memory of William John Jones and Mary Jane Jones. (Life-size diorama of small-town kitchen, possibly in a trailer, with superrealist cutouts of people dangling over bits of furniture and bric-a-brac.)

Fragments engraved on brass plaque with buffalo horns attached to diorama:

. . . they say, the inside -- the living room is all colored Orange.

I'd like to get the price on one a them . . .

Oh, they say, it's lovely.

. . . ecchi. Huygens. Airy. Struve. Arago. (Names carved on lintel of stone observatory in painting.)

Howard Finster. Georgia 1977. He Could Not Be Hid. Tractor paint on fiberboard.

I've got more than this old world can ever hold,

I've got more than all the silver and all the gold,

I've got more than land or sky,

I've got more than all the money in this old world could ever buy,

I've got more than land or sea,

Let it be, oh Lord, let it be.

Youngest President believed in Him . . . The rainbow records His promice. (Written on painting.)

I am Howard Finster. I begin painting January 1976 and don 267 painting up to this day of March 11, 1977. I painted myself the very first time I tryed. I painted on 12-30 in 10 minute. I have had no training no one can hide God from me.

David Parrish. Kayo. Alabama 1976. Oil on canvas. Jumbo DC 10. Kayo Kayo. Cigarettes 50 . Fire extinguisher. (Superrealist painting of a gas station.)

Superrealism A (illegible) Anthology Edited by Gregory Battcock. (Book cover with fork lying across it in superrealist painting.)

Jean Thickens Francis. Mississippi 1980. Memories of a Moth. Collage: handmade paper. Ten years ago my husband, daughter and I moved to a cabin in the woods of northeastern Mississippi. When one lives in the country, communication is much more intuitive. My work has grown out of physical isolation and a lag in normal communication. From every direction I feel the subtle messages that are always being sent out. The messages I send to those far away are one of a peaceful dawn, a quiet moment in still, wet woods, or the quality and patterns of light.

Images of the Land. Images of the land have emerged so strongly that one might be tempted to speak of a landscape school, except that the term "school" implies conscious, or at least casual, interactions. . . . (On still another wall.)

. . . The cosmetics saleslady, Mrs. Prescott, is talking to Rhodella Brown, who may be in the market for some face powder or a bar of scented soap. Rene Justice is visiting with Betty La Rue (who once had her picture taken with Tom Mix). Mrs. La Rue is minding her grandson, Booger, who is close behind her pongee housecoat . . . (from explanation of Edward Rogge's painting Trailer Park.)

I want to take the time out to say thank you for your time that you gave to help me. I have not been into art but eight months. I asked God to give me something so that I may go to the top in life and he did, and you have a part in it. I got to the fourth grade in school. My mother had 27 kids and I am the seventh . . . (Lonnie B. Holley. Sandstone sculpture.)