Nall taps Alabama roots in new exhibit

Published 6:33 am Thursday, January 5, 2012

Around the world, Nall is considered a modern day Renaissance man. Around town, Nall is known as the artist grandson of Lucy Trotman Nall.

And, that’s all right by him.

Nall has always been proud of being a Troy boy and a son of the South.

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He gives much of the inspiration for his “Bouquets and Local Color: Artwork by Nall” exhibition that opens Friday at the Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope to his Alabama roots.

“As I call Alabama home, much of my inspiration comes from early morning walks on the Fairhope beach collecting driftwood and found objects from the natural abundance of Mobile Bay,” Nall said. “The camellias in my artwork remind me of my grandmother’s gardens in Troy with her 15-foot bushes and were the inspiration for my latest porcelain series, ‘The Bellingrath Collection.’”

Nall said his grandmother was constantly going to Europe and bringing back Meissen antique porcelain from Germany, antiques, and paintings.

“She traveled widely and eventually became a tour guide, knowing all the good addresses in Europe,” Nall said. “Her influence on things European had a profound impact upon my becoming an artist, living in France, and being interested in the more refined things in life. Her sister, Glennie Trotman Mashburn, lived in the Panama Canal area for many years, and was a painter who raised lots of pets and orchids.

“Thelma Loman Hollis Middlebrooks lived across the street on Murphree Street and was a seamstress, influencing me in clothes making.”

Nall most recently designed costumes for the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago, Italy.

He even created a gingerbread house in a zoo, which was “finally done as an arty foundation” in Vence, France.

Nall, a classically trained artist, has traveled the world studying diverse cultures and exploring art, architecture and indigenous craft.

But no matter where his travels take him, to North Africa, India, the Middle East, South America and Mexico, he always comes back to his roots in Alabama.

With the “Bouquets and Local Color” exhibit, Nall said he is presenting flowers and landscapes from his “home” to the viewers.

The opening reception for “Bouquets and Local Color” will be at 6 p.m. Friday at the Eastern Shore Art Center at 401 Oak Street in Fairhope. Everyone is invited.