Artists’ Reception held at Johnson Center

Published 8:12 pm Saturday, October 10, 2009

Southern traditions⎯ that’s what “Celebrating Contemporary Art in Alabama: The Nature of Being Southern” exhibit at the Johnson Center for the Arts exemplifies.

Nearly every medium is displayed in an exhibit like no other in the state.

Forty-one Alabama artists, who are all past recipients of Fellowship Grants from the Alabama State Arts Council are on exhibit until Nov. 8.

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Richard Metzger, Johnson Center for the Arts executive director said he was pleased with the turnout at the Artists’ Reception held Saturday evening.

“I’m very excited about the support the community has shown,” Metzger said. “I’m thankful to the board of directors for supplying the food.”

Even artist Stephen Savage of Daphne said he was surprised no one else in the state had an exhibit like this.

“I was surprised that another institution hasn’t done this,” Savage said.

“It makes Troy look like a wonderful place. I’m proud to be in this exhibit because is such high quality.”

All of Savage’s work educates about life in Baldwin County.

Savage, who is a 2001 fellow is a photographer and his displays include “Tire Track in the Sand,” “Market Truck,” “Fort Morgan Beach House” and “Florabama.”

Photographer and fellow Carolyn Sherer said her exhibit is sort of a Cinema Verde-type work.

“I set it up and let the scene unfold,” Sherer said.

Some of the photos in Sherer’s exhibit are of her family and were taken with film, but digitalized and printed on Hahmemuehle paper, which she says is similar to watercolor paper.

Another photography series, which is a display of Southern baptisms, is by Caroline Davis.

Davis said a black mother, who couldn’t swim, raised her, which is the inspiration of her 14-year underwater baptism series.

“I photograph under and above the water. In the rivers, creeks, lakes and baptisms pools of three black belt counties an four rivers running through them have drawn me back year after year to this mystical cultural area,” Davis said.

Davis’ work shows full immersion baptisms, which still occur in parts of Alabama, particularly the Black Belt.