I moved to Alabama 16 years ago, amazed by the historical and natural wonders that are largely overlooked by Alabamians. I received the Alabama State Council on the Arts Individual Artists Fellowship for 2006-07 which inspired a series of paintings in my mixed-media panel format based on some of my favorite Alabama places. The Mobile Museum of Art has scheduled an exhibit of the project for the spring of 2011.
I photograph extensively at each location and gather hundreds of images for inspiration. From the photos I piece together themes involving animals, plants, patterns, scenes. I find the random and profuse imagery captures the essence of the place better than one straightforward image of a view. Sometimes I like to render with scientific precision, other times it seems appropriate to give only an impression of the imagery. I enjoy the challenge of combining visually diverse styles, and my use of various mediums lends itself to this contrast.
The most wonderful surprise to come out of this Exhibit A is working with the organizations that care for these Alabama places. In most cases a handful of extremely dedicated people have devoted their lives to saving, managing, restoring, protecting, and promoting awareness of their place. I have been honored to get to work with these people, and it has encouraged and motivated me with this body of work.
I have gathered support in the form of endorsements from organizations who value these special places. With endorsements from organizations such as the Cahaba River Society, the Freshwater Land Trust, Friends of Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, WildSouth, and Jones Valley Urban Farm, my series will be given a better chance to raise awareness and appreciation of these amazing places. The project is a collaboration of art, nature, history, social change, and a state-wide community of people who cherish the wonders of Alabama.
The following paintings make up the series:
Best in Shoals: The Cahaba River
Southern Belle: The Alabama Theatre
Safe Harbor: Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
Working for Peanuts: Tuskegee Institute
Italwas: Horseshoe Bend National Military Park
Falling Awake: Bankhead National Forest/Sipsey Wilderness
The Carnivores: Splinter Hill Bog
Bounty: Jones Valley Farm
Fall Out: Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuary
Bible Belt: St. Paul's Cathedral
Gay Won Nesah: Stonetalker's Wall
Pitch Black: Limrock Blowing Cave