Troy says ‘Oui’ to Alabama Art Museum

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 8, 2000

Features Editor

An art movement that began in May 2000

at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and gained international acclaim in Vence, France during that summer, will pause in Troy – but its momentum will not stall.

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The Alabama Art exhibition, that was assembled by international artist and Troy native, Nall, with patronage of Crown Prince Albert of Monaco, is as varied as the artists, whose mediums range from photography, sculpture, and pen and ink to crudely fashioned pictures hung from soda pop tabs.

The exhibition includes the works of 13 Alabama artists and is touring the globe, bringing Alabama to the forefront in the international art world

"’Alabama Art’ shows that there is a common language, a common point of reference for all of these artists," Nall said. "There is a rich impression, a source of inspiration and a sense of humor that is so particular to Alabama. These artists couldn’t be from anywhere but Alabama."

So, when the touring exhibition comes home,

it will come to Alabama – to Troy, Alabama.

Although the touring exhibition is booked well into 2003 and probably will be extended far beyond, its permanent home will be at the Alabama Art Museum located on the grounds of the Pioneer Museum of Alabama.

The idea for the Alabama Art Museum came as a result of the response to the Alabama Art exhibition and from Nall’s desire to show the immense amount of artistic talent in Alabama to the rest of the world.

"’Alabama Art’ is more than an art show," Nall said. "This is really a rich, explosive movement. This movement is powerful and we have to talk about it and let people know."

And, where better for the movement to take root and grow than in rural South Alabama.

Nall admitted that Pike County might seem to be an unlikely place for an art museum, but, then, it might just be the perfect place – a place where people sing, "from both the black and white side of the fence, singing their same song about life, its struggles, passions and joys."

So, it is with that spirit of "oneness," that the Alabama Art "seed" exhibition is being celebrated with a reception at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama from 6 until 8 p.m. Sept. 4.

"The ‘Celebration of Alabama Art with Pike County’ includes works of art that have been donated to the collection, which is temporarily housed at the Pioneer Museum," said Eva Green, curator of the Alabama Art Museum. "These pieces will become a part of the permanent collection when the Alabama Art Museum has a permanent home of its own."

Green said the public is invited to the celebration so that everyone may see the quality and variety of work being done by Alabama artists.

"We want people to see and know what an asset the Alabama Art Museum will be for Troy, for Pike County and for the state of Alabama," she said. "It will be a major tourist attraction for the state and bring national and international recognition to our county and our state."

Artists whose works will be included in the "Celebration of Alabama Art with Pike County" exhibition and reception include local artists, Nall, Jean Lake, Duane Paxson, Pugh Windham, Judy Thornton and Betty Sue Mathews, and Mose Tolliver, Zander Booker, Yvonne Wells, Pearl S. Peacock, Dave Wilmarth, Chip Cooper, Rob Johnston, Annie Tolliver, Chris Clark, Charlie Lucas, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Kathryn Tucker Windham, Steve Skidmore, Bill Nance and Frank Fleming.

The reception is being sponsored by Troy State University, the city of Troy, the Pike County Chamber of Commerce,

the Troy Council on the Arts and Humanities and the Pioneer Museum of Alabama.

Works for the

Alabama Art Museum will be selected by a committee from submissions from the artists.