#039;Alabama Art#039; goes to Fairhope

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 30, 2003

The Alabama Art traveling exhibit

will open at the Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope, at 6 p.m. Friday and run through the month of May.

Eva Green, coordinator of the traveling exhibit, said internationally recognized artist and Troy native, Nall Hollis, promoter of the Alabama Art exhibition, and his wife Tuscia will be the honored guests at the Friday night opening and reception.

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The couple makes their home in Vence in the south of France where the artist has a studio and art museum.

The Alabama Art exhibit

originally featured the works of 13 Alabama artists and opened in Vence in the summer of 2000.

During his tenure as artist-in-residence at Troy State University in 2001, Nall added a local outsider artist, Betty Sue Mathews of Brundidge, to the exhibition.

Green said Mathews adds to the mixture of artists that includes Charlie Lucas, Moses Toliver, Kathryn Tucker Windham, Clifton Pearson, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Steve Skidmore, Bill Nance, Yvonne Wells, Fleming Tyler Wilson, Frank Fleming, William Christenberry and Nall.

The exhibit includes Nall's insightful portraits of the artists and works by each artist. The wide variety of medium s includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, quilts, landscape designs and engravings.

"Nall is very proud to include the work of Betty Sue Mathews in the Alabama Art exhibit," Green said. "Betty Sue's first pieces were painted on cardboard and scraps of wood. Then, she graduated to tin cutouts, which have been extremely popular with collectors. She cuts many of them out with an ax and shapes them with clippers."

Mathews' work will be shown for the first time as part of the Alabama Art exhibition.

"Her portrait, which was done by Nall, has been included in the traveling exhibit

but her work was not - not until now," Green said. "The pieces that will be included in the traveling exhibition are those that have been on display at Troy State for the past six months. I took them to Fairhope on Monday and, from what I understand, the cutouts will be suspended from the ceiling, giving an added dimension to the exhibit."

Green said a large crowd of art enthusiasts is expected for the opening of Alabama Art in Fairhope.

"I understand the re has been a lot of publicity surrounding the exhibit and a lot of interest in it," she said.

The Alabama Art traveling exhibition is coming to Fairhope from the Renaissance Art Center in Dickson, Tenn. Other recent stops on the 2002 -2003 tour have been at the Tuscumbia Tennessee Valley Art Center in Tuscumbia and Talladega Heritage Hall in Talladega.

After closing in Fairhope at the end of May, the exhibit will be shown at the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, the Birmingham Civil Rights Center and the Gadsden Cultural Arts Center.