JCA to host Melissa Tubbs reception Friday

Published 3:00 am Thursday, October 11, 2018

Some things are just more graphic in black and white.

Among those things are the pen and ink drawings of Melissa B. Tubbs, a highly regarded Montgomery architectural portraitist. Tubbs’ work is featured in “Celebration & Preservation,” an official project of the Alabama Bicentennial Commemoration. “Celebration & Preservation,” a traveling exhibition,  is now on exhibit at the Johnson Center for the Arts. An artist’s reception will be held for Tubbs from 6 until 8 p.m. Friday and will feature an Art Talk by the artist. The public is invited to attend.

Wiley White, JCA exhibitions coordinator, said Tubbs’ 25 pen and ink drawings highlight the variety of architecture in Alabama that has had a major role in its history.

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Alabama architecture stands as a reminder of the forgotten ways of life that shaped the way people live today, she  said.

For the project, Tubbs said she wanted to select buildings that have had a major role in Alabama’s history.

“So, I traveled the state, north to south and east to west, taking photographs of buildings as references for my drawings,” she said. “Alabama has a wide range of architecture and from every period. The buildings I chose include historically landmarked buildings.

“I chose the state capitol because of its historical significance and because it is widely recognized. And, how could I not include the President’s Mansion at the University of Alabama? The president’s wife would not allow the Northern soldiers to burn that magnificent house on their way through the South. That’s such an incredible story.”

Included in the “Celebration & Preservation” exhibition are such recognizable buildings as the Bashinsky home in Troy, Hargis Hall in Auburn, the Old Monroe County Courthouse of  “To Kill a  Mockingbird” fame, the Macon County Courthouse in Tuskegee and the Ritz Theater in Greenville.

White said Alabama architecture ranges from folk houses to architectural styles including Victorian Gothic, Georgian, Greek and Roman Revival and Art Moderne and Mid-Century Modern.

“Melissa Tubbs’ drawings are so finely detailed that it’s hard to believe they are drawings,” White said. “We are excited to feature “Celebration & Preservation” at the Johnson Center and look forward to hearing Melissa talk about her drawings, how she selected the ‘subjects’ and the process of putting the pen and ink on paper. We invite everyone to join us for the reception and art talk.