Brundidge ‘outsider’ among featured artists at IAC

Published 3:00 am Thursday, September 6, 2018

Not many towns of 2,000 have several nationally acclaimed artists, however, Brundidge is rather fertile ground for such artists. Brothers Larry and Ronald Godwin put Brundidge on the map with metal sculptures that include Larry’s Wright Brothers and Flyer in Dayton, Ohio and “Alice in Wonderland” at Disney World and Ronald’s “Marlin” in Destin and “The Strider” that stopped traffic in New York City.

Brundidge also proudly claims outsider artist Betty Sue Matthews who is one of 14 featured artists in the “Alabama Art Inside Out” portrait series by internationally acclaimed Troy artist Nall.

“Alabama Art Inside Out” officially opens with a reception and Art Talk by Nall at 5 p.m. Friday at the International Arts Center on the campus of Troy University. The event is free and open to the public.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Nall “discovered” Betty Sue Matthews after reading an article about her in The Messenger.

“After I read the article I was quite interested and decided to take a short ride to see Betty Sue’s work,” Nall said. “Janice Hawkins and Baba Hendricks went to Brundidge with me. It was immediately evident that Betty Sue had a distinct style. We each bought several of her pieces.”

Nall recognized that Betty Sue Matthews was truly an outsider artist. She had no training in art and had not been influenced “artistically” in any way. When she was not drawing in the sand with a stick, she was cutting figures out of tin with a pick ax.

“Betty Sue was legitimate,” Nall said. “She painted both sides of whatever she was painting whether it was a human figure about six feet in height, a baby or a horse or a rooster. I decided to buy up a whole bunch of her artwork rather than a bottle of wine.”

A large number of people in the local area purchased Betty Sue Matthews artwork. Nall said her artwork was a good buy.
“Betty Sue’s artwork is in museums and in private collections around the country,” Nall said. “She will be remembered in Alabama, but she will not be a star because she’s not working anymore and she doesn’t have money behind her, so she’s not being promoted and too often those with talent aren’t promoted.”

But Betty Sue Matthews – or Mathews, depending on how she spelled her name at the time – will join 13 other artists as stars during the “Alabama Art Inside Out” exhibition that will remain on display at the Troy University International Arts Center through November 9.

The portrait series will feature portraits of each of the artists by Nall and two works of art by each of the artists.

The artists feature are: Steve Skidmore, Yvonne Wells, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Mose T., Frank Fleming, Bill Nance, Clifton Pearson, William Christenberry, Chip Cooper, Kathryn Tucker Windham, Charlie Lucas and Flemming Tyler Wilson, Betty Sue Matthews and Bruce Larsen.