Renowned artist takes assignment

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 19, 2000

at TSU for Spring 2001

Special to The Messenger

Dec. 18, 2000 10 PM

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Troy State University students will have the unique opportunity to learn from one of the world’s premier artists next year when internationally acclaimed painter and sculptor Nall Hollis serves as artist-in-residence.

The artist, known professionally as Nall, will work as artist-in-residence during the 2001 spring semester, from Jan. 8-May 1. His semester-long visit represents a rare chance for TSU’s students to get a first-hand view of an accomplished artist at work, said Dr. David Dye, Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts.

"The College of Communication and Fine Arts tries to expose its students to professionals who have enjoyed success in their fields," Dr. Dye said, noting that actress Polly Holliday served as artist-in-residence in 1999. "In keeping with that philosophy, we are thrilled to bring someone of Nall’s stature and ability to Troy State to share his talents with our students," he said. "The benefit to our students will be immeasurable." A Troy native, Nall studied at the prestigious L Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and later worked with famed artists Salvador Dali and Lucien Coutaud. He is known in the United States and Europe for his paintings that combine vivid realism and intricate details to convey psychological themes. His works include collage paintings, black-and-white portraits and watercolor landscapes.

Nall’s subjects have included Prince Albert of Monaco, musician Ringo Starr and actress Barbara Bach. A versatile artist, he has created a collection of fine porcelain – commissioned by Limoges – that is sold throughout the United States and Europe. He is also a past recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Grant.

Nall’s work has been exhibited at museums and galleries in Paris, Nice and Cannes, France; Cologne, Germany; Venice, Italy; Mexico City; and at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. During his service as artist-in-residence at TSU, Nall will maintain a studio on campus and will work with several student apprentices each day, according to Jerry Johnson, chair of the Department of Art and Design. He will give guest lectures to classes and also plans to hold workshops for area high school students, Johnson said. "To have such an acclaimed artist with an open studio on campus is an incredible teaching device for us," Johnson said. "Nall has tremendous energy and work ethic. Our students will be able to learn a great deal from him."

A highlight of Nall’s term will be the presentation of the show "Alabama Art" in TSU’s Malone Gallery of Art. The show, which was organized by Nall and features the artwork of 12 native Alabamians, was displayed in Nice, France in August. The date and time of the opening of "Alabama Art" will be announced at a later date.