Artistic Renderings of Youth 2019

IMG_9354THIS EVENT’S RECEPTION HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO MARCH 21 at 5:30-8:00 due to severe weather!!

Artistic Renderings of Youth, a juried exhibit of work by 7th through 12th grade artists from Colbert, Franklin and Lauderdale counties, will be on display at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts in Florence from March 6 through April 5. Celebrating its 28th year in existence, this exhibit has developed into an outstanding showcase of youth art. A reception will take place on Thursday, March 14, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.  The public is invited to attend and meet these young artists and their teachers. 

March is nationally recognized as Youth Art Month.  This exhibit provides an opportunity for the community to discover the young artistic talent in our area. The competition is coordinated by a group of junior high and high school art teachers to give students a chance to exhibit their art work and receive recognition for their talent.  There are 358 pieces in the show. Ribbons are awarded in three grade divisions.

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To Seal My Mouth with Dirt: Nathan Harper

Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts presents To Seal My Mouth with Dirt, an exhibition by Nathan Harper February 27 – April 03, 2019. The installation explores primitive and modern relationships with iconography and technology. These paintings meditate on pattern with foraged materials, some with overt text. Harper will give a gallery talk Sunday, March 3 at 1PM at the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts. 

In my work, I explore post-internet imagery in relationship to prehistoric processes and materials.  Hand-foraged materials often command a kind of value reserved for images of the sacred such as European red ocher being for paintings of martyrs blood or Japanese indigo being for fabrics of spiritual importance.  I hower use dirt as the pigment for my paintings that explore the images of the internet age through the techniques of cave drawings.  The result is a certain kind of absurdity that I seek out and labor over like religious iconography.”

Nathan Harper is an artist and educator originally from Florence Alabama.  He received his BFA in Drawing and New Media from the University of Montevallo in 2017.  After graduation he began teaching visual art in Huntsville Alabama at New Century Technology high school. His work has been exhibited in galleries in Alabama and Ohio. He currently teaches on the topic of foraging artist materials from nature.

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Light and Land: 3 Artists

Light and Land: 3 Artists Exhibition by Craig Goode, Tom Moye, and Nicholas Strong

Local artists Craige Goode, Tom Moye, and Nicholas Strong present Light and Land: 3 Artists at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts this January 11 – February 15, 2019. A reception to meet the artists will be held Thursday, January 24 at 6PM in the WrightDouglass Annex Galleries. This concentration of light, color, and landscape in painting and photography is the result of years of work by these three artists. 

Three artists.pngCraig Goode works with watercolor and gauche in large scale. His natural color pallet lends itself to both representational and abstract forms. Goode studied at San Francisco Academy of Art and worked as dental technician for many years. A native of Florence, Goode moved back two years ago and began teaching watercolor to young students. “Paint, paint, paint. That’s what it about; practice and color. I consider myself a colorist,” Goode says.

Tom Moye, presently retired in Florence, Alabama, has lived in Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, and Malaysia, and has traveled to at least 35 countries all over the world.  He met his Korean wife, MyungHee, in Malaysia where they both led schools in the University of the Nations based in Kona, Hawaii.  He has recorded 103 original songs, some of which were played on the national TV station in Russia, and he is hoping to complete his 4th book in the near future.

“I’ve always wanted to paint like no one else ever has, to develop a new style of painting where colors jump off the canvas and even vibrate against one another,” Moye says.

Nicholas Strong currently lives and resides on his family farm since the year 2000.  Presently, Nicholas works at Publix Supermarket in Florence, Alabama.  Since purchasing his first camera in 2010, Nicholas has learned to capture many moments throughout the Shoals Area.  Nicholas has displayed his work in Arts Alive and was recipient of the Waterman Photograph Award in 2018. 

“I plan to pursue my love of photography by capturing the beauty of the Shoals Area and many other places throughout the coming years,” Strong says. 

Amy R. Peterson: Plein Air Paintings

Plein Air painter and Birmingham artist Amy R. Peterson will display her new collection of work at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts January 8 through February 15. The gallery talk will be Sunday, January 13 at 1PM. Amy R. Peterson’s paintings combine strong draftsmanship with loose, impressionistic brushwork. She aims to capture the immediacy of a moment in time, portrayed in a classic, timeless way. The result is a work of art that will endure.

Amy paints extensively from life, including still life subjects, city scenes, and landscapes primarily in the Southeastern United States. She received strong academic training in the visual arts at the University of Notre Dame where she graduated in 2005, and has since pursued a professional career in the arts.

Amy is a member of the Oil Painters of America; the American Impressionist Society; the Alabama Plein Air Artists; and the Mountain Brook Art Association. She serves on the Art and Sculpture Committee of Aldridge Gardens and volunteers with the art program at First Light, Birmingham’s only 24-hour shelter for women and children. She is represented by the Beverly McNeil Gallery in Birmingham. 

“As an outdoor enthusiast and conservationist, I value plein air as an opportunity to document a place in time, on canvas, immersed in the weather, the season, and the uniqueness of each location. I rely greatly on my plein air experience to infuse my studio paintings with light, life, and confident brush work. The lessons from plein air painting are innumerable and, while my current work is largely based on photographic references (as a parent of three young children, working from home), painting from life remains my greatest teacher.”

 

Works by Jean Schulman

A collection of artworks by Jean Schulman is on display and for sale in the Wright-Douglass Annex of the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts. The collection is available for sale through December 28. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the art center. Schulman is known for her clay batiks and unique natural color palette. Schulman was a pioneer for art education  in the Shoals at a time when art was not considered a priority in public schools. Schulman, now ninety-one years old, considers her work as an educator as one of her most important contributions to the art world. 

“My word does not fit into a single category, however through my research, I feel that I fit into the broader perspective of historical information and contemporary art. Now I am seeking to gather new knowledge, to break new ground and make information available to others,” Schulmann shares. 

Schulman’s eye for design is communicated across mediums of clay, watercolor, and collage. Her batiks are typically abstract renderings in southern clay. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Museum of History and Technology in Washington D.C. and over one hundred private collections around the globe. She has won extensive awards for her innovative approach to both education and design including the Alabama Governor’s Award in 1985.

Piecemakers Quilt Guild Challenge

The Shoals Piecemakers Guild Quilt Challenge ’18 ushers in the winter with quilts themed for this festive time of year.  This year makes the 30th year for this Challenge. The quilts are open to the public on November 13 and display through December 28. Please stop by Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts to vote for your favorite! 
This year’s winners are as follows:
Sara Foster: Best Piecing, Best Machine Quilting, Best Use of Color, and Favorite Quilt
Deborah Douglass-Brown: Best Machine Applique
Mary Margaret Specker: Best Hand Quilting, Best Embellishment
Marion Williams: Best Use of Theme
Karen Risner: Most Innovative
The Shoals Piecemakers Quilt Guild meets at 7:00 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at Saint Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Florence. New members are welcome. Quilters of every level of expertise including those interested in promoting the collection and preservation of quilts are part of the Guild. 

From One Earth: Cotton and Clay

From One Earth: Cotton and Clay, an exhibition of pottery and quilts by Guadalupe Lanning Robinson is on view at the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts from November 8, 2018 – January 02, 2019. An opening gallery talk with the artist will happen Thursday night, November 8 at 6PM. 

Robinson’s studio is located at the historic Lowe Mill in Huntsville. Robinson was awarded the award for Artist of Distinction at the Kentuck Festival this year. She has shown in many arts festivals and museums throughout the Southeast. Her Mexican-inspired pottery and quilts bring pattern and texture to life.

“Bringing together my Mexican heritage with the richness and tranquility of the Deep South has enriched my life. This constantly moves my work toward blending the two cultures,” Guadalupe explains. “Continuous respect for the material is a factor I try to maintain in my work.   I also have a great reverence for the idea of “craftsmanship” and it is an strong element when creating my work.  My work has developed from the respect I have for clay and the joy I experience when working with it.”

 

Art Expressions: Shoals Artist Guild Annual

Art Expressions, an exhibition of works by members of the Shoals Artists Guild, will be on display at Kennedy-Douglass Center of the Arts in Florence from October 2 through November 2, 2018. Join the artists for an opening reception Sunday, October 7 at 1:00 p.m. The exhibit will also be open the weekend of the Alabama Renaissance Faire, October 27 and 28, during the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.

This group of nearly thirty artists was founded in 1952 and includes members who work in a wide variety of media and with many different styles and techniques. The exhibit will include paintings in oil, watercolor, pastel, acrylic, and mixed media. This year’s judge will chose nine pieces as award winners – 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place, three honorable mentions, and three Merit Awards.

The guild meets the third Friday of each month at the arts center for demonstrations of new art techniques and discussions of current trends in the art world. Members are welcome to stay after meetings to sketch or paint. The Guild maintains a permanent gallery of original paintings and prints on the second floor of the arts center and displays work at several other area locations. New members are always welcome.

Floriography in 3 Translations

Eve Styles

Floriography is the language of flowers, a tongue familiar to artists Eve Styles, Amita Bhakta, and Nadene Mairesse. All three women work in mediums concentrated in the organic beauty of the natural world. The show will open at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts September 4 and run through September 24, 2018. A gallery talk with all three artists will be the evening of September 6 at 6PM at the art center. 

Textile artist and eco, sustainable fashion designer, Eve Styles has created a signature style by foraging for designs in the wild and incorporating them into natural pigments and patterns embedded into her fabrics. Also known as Eve Skywalker, her intuitive fashions have become synchronous with the organic color, form, and pattern of plant life. 

“Textiles really excite me, contextually more than other visual stimuli, because the language there is mostly, arguably, for women to signal their identity & emotions to other women. It is an intimate & subversive visual language! Like flowers themselves, which are not for our eyes, but rather for the compound eyes of insects. Beautiful to us, not for us. But imagine for a moment the experience of a flower, as it was meant to be experienced, by an insect! An enormous, scented, pheromone-laced, neon Vegas mattress, signaling where to land and dappled with food and drink, a communicate between the two speaking the language of flowers. The same visual stimuli of flowers similarly draws me in as a designer to interpret theirs and my story through textiles.” – Eve Styles

Nadene Mairesse is somewhat of a Renaissance woman with a background in design, architecture, and community development. She is known for her color work with textiles and natural pigments through her company Idyllwilde. Mairesse also utilizes organic materials in her conceptual artworks. 

“Found in abandoned lots, country roadsides, and fallow fields are the common flowers, leaves, nuts and stems that I use to create dyes and inks for my textile work. I map my encounters with plants; their location and schedule of bloom and decay inform the color I may harvest at any given time. My studies of plant form, location, and pigment are not only a resource for future color gathering, but a way for me to better understand my place in the world of living things.” – Nadene Mairesse

Amita Bhakta is an interdisciplinary visual artist with expertise in narrative expression. Her works typically employ mixed materials to bring continuous flow and dimension.  Her recent works in clay are centered on the beauty of the natural form, texture, and life cycle of plants. 

“Observing nature with upmost gratitude is a form of a prayer,” my grandfather would quote, the words of Tagore’s, as we sat watching sun go down over flatland of Central Texas. Those words became my mantra, hence my love affair with nature begun. Clay and paint are two of my favorite mediums to express the narrative of my heart, the work in this exhibition are my prayer offerings.” – Amita Bhakta

Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts is located at 217 E. Tuscaloosa St., Florence and is open Monday – Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Admission is free. For more information call 256-760-6379.