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Nall selects works for golf trail hotels

The roots of internationally renowned artist Fredric Nall Hollis are deeply imbedded in the red clay of Pike County but his heart is in all Alabama.

“Nall,” as he is professionally known, has long been a tireless supporter of Alabama artists. His book “Alabama Art” champions 13 Alabama artists. The portraits Nall painted of the 13 artists comprised the Alabama Art traveling exhibition, which he showcased at his studio in Vence, France. Several of the artists attended the gala event in France.

Working closely with The Retirement Systems of Alabama, Nall is now selecting the works of state artists for the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail hotels.

“I think it is important for Alabama hotels to have Alabama art,” Nall said. “I express my soul through my works as do these artists. You can smell the kudzu and the red dirt when you look at their works.”

Nall was recognized for his efforts to promote Alabama artists in the March 2010 edition of Southern Living Magazine. The article cited several of the artists whose works Nall selected for the Retirement Systems of Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail lodgings.

Among the artists was Betty Sue Matthews, formerly of Brundidge, who paints on tin and cardboard.

Matthews’ works can be seen in the Grand Hotel, the Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel and The Battle House in Mobile; the Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery, Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort in Birmingham and the Marriott Shoals Hotel in Florence.

Also included in the article were Charlie Lucas, Jimmie Lee Sudduth and Mose Tolliver whose works are popular among folk art collectors in the Pike County area.

Nall started doing portraits of Chip Cooper and Flemming Tyler Wilson while at the University of Alabama as an artist in residence.

From that beginning, Nall created the Alabama Art project which began its travels in Sweet Home Alabama.

“I thought it would be a nice exhibit to give the French public a vision of Alabama,” he said of the Alabama Artists gala event in Vence. “I thought we should be known for something other than racist ideas and football.”

Nall’s vision was to bring awareness to and appreciation of the many artistic talents of the people of Alabama.

“I’m happy that Southern Living has noticed the Alabama Art project,” Nall said. “Hopefully, it will continue to foster interest in the extremely talented artists here in our home state.”

Other artists that Nall has recognized for their outstanding contributions to Alabama art are Steve Skidmore, Clifton Pearson, Frank Fleming, Flemming Tyler Wilson, Chip Cooper, William Christenberry, Kathryn Tucker Windham, Yvonne Wells, Anton Haardt, and Les Thompson.

“Bruce Larsen and Rob Johnston are two of my other favorite artists that I will be speaking a lot about in the near future as we continue to spread the news about Alabama art,” Nall said.

“The Alabama Art Movement should take a pace in art history.”