Biggest Red Dot News Yet



Our humble press release about our upcoming Red Dot exhibit:
Five Years in the Making: New Work by
DeCamillis and Bennett at Red Dot Gallery

Two highly personal visions—one, paintings of Alabama’s rare places, and the other, voluptuous ceramic sculptures inspired by cars—meet in a two-person show at Birmingham’s Red Dot Gallery. For the first time in over five years, owners Dori DeCamillis and Scott Bennett exhibit their recent bodies of work at the gallery, approximately 25 pieces in all, in “Exhibit A” and “Compact Hybrids.”
The double show opens with a reception featuring the artists from 6-8 p.m., on Friday, October 14.
"Exhibit A," a critically acclaimed series by artist and teacher Dori DeCamillis, comes home to the gallery after a successful summer showing at the Mobile Museum of Art. DeCamillis first moved to Alabama from her native Colorado 17 years ago, and was taken by the physical and cultural beauty of her new home. "The more I learned, the more I wanted to know," she says. "I began visiting places that even my friends who are natives don't know about."
The hikes, canoe rides, photo sessions, and sketching trips DeCamillis took inspired the ambitious series, which she developed when she was awarded an Alabama Council on the Arts fellowship in 2006. Her diverse subjects include the Cahaba River, the Alabama Theatre, Horseshoe Bend, the Sipsey Wilderness, and Jones Valley Urban Farm. Comprised of intricately oil-painted multi-media panels in wood and copper inlaid with handmade ceramic tiles, the works are large and lush.

"I wanted to say to people, 'This place is remarkable.' So, my goal was to create a project that would be a collaboration--of art, nature, history, social change, and a state-wide people who cherish Alabama like I do,” DeCamillis says. To that end, she worked closely with biologists, historians, naturalists, and other experts to gather images and background information for the series. The works have been endorsed by organizations such as the Cahaba River Society, the Freshwater Land Trust, Friends of Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, and WildSouth.





Scott Bennett was a recipient of the Alabama Council on the Arts fellowship this year. As with the work of DeCamillis, research—done over the course of years—was also key to Bennett’s “Compact Hybrid” series. “I’ve been exploring the forms of cars,” he says, and has frequently incorporated grilles, door handles, and flame imagery in his nationally recognized work. “The small and intimate pieces in this show were inspired by my memories of building model cars and old hood ornaments.”

The pieces also bear subtle references to elements as diverse as fishing lures, human appendages, and plant hybridizing—Bennett is a well-respected daylily hybridizer. “These influences have been coupled with my experience and interest in ceramics to create this series,” he says.

The resulting sculptures are elegant yet awkward, sleek yet quirky, provocative and light-hearted, the scale, forms and details are all an attempt to allure the viewer towards closer examination. “They are meant to be fun if not a bit naughty, seductive visual treats begging to be fondled,” Bennett says.
"Exhibit A" and “Compact Hybrids” will be on display at the gallery, which is free to the public, through November 19. 

Red Dot Gallery, a working studio and teaching space, is at 1001 Stuart Street in the Edgewood section of Homewood. DeCamillis and Scott Bennett teach painting, drawing, and clay classes for children and adults at the studio. For hours and directions, call 205-870-7608, or visit www.RedDotGallery.com.


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