Artists in Action: Art exhibits reveal world’s beauty at home and abroad
Feb 02, 2014 | 7092 views |  0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Work by Lineville artist Tommy Moorehead will be on view at Nunnally’s Framing and Art Gallery through April.
Work by Lineville artist Tommy Moorehead will be on view at Nunnally’s Framing and Art Gallery through April.
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When viewing a piece of art, exhibit goers often allow their personal backgrounds to color their connection to the art and shape their understanding of what’s on canvas. Find your life’s connection at both Jacksonville State University’s opening Thursday in Hammond Hall and at Nunnally’s Framing and Art Gallery Saturday.

The thought-provoking JSU exhibit is one of stark reality while Nunnally’s, illumined by vivid color on every wall, should be a place of warmth for the soul on a chilly day.

JSU exhibit features diverse trio of artists

"Dolls, Dreams & Divinations," the new exhibit at Hammond Hall Gallery, features the artistic team of Pinky Bass, Carolyn DeMerritt and Doug Baulos, who in their various visits to other cultures “were constantly confronted with images of the histories of people, places and things, revealing one good story after another,” according to their collective artist statement. As viewers will see, the three approach image-making and photography in radically different ways.

According to Sarah Cusamino Miles, photography instructor in the art department at JSU, the three artists have all spent time in Mexico and their work has been inspired by the mysticism and lore of Mexican mythology. Just as all myths and legends help explain a culture’s mysteries and phenomena, these artists use this visual language to explore their personal experiences with natural processes in life, explained Miles.

“I am impressed by the openness and candor in their artwork, as well as the way they acknowledge beauty in all aspects of human existence, not just the ones we usually think of as joyous,” she said. “Addressing sickness, grief and the unknown can be cathartic and encourage healing. There is a vitality in their work that speaks of the magnificence of transformation.”

The opening is Thursday from 5-7 p.m. in Hammond Hall, with the gallery talk at 5:30 p.m. This Kaleidoscope event will continue through Feb. 28.

Lineville artist's work on display at Nunnally’s

What do professional artists focus on after they retire? For Tommy Moorehead of Lineville, the decision came quickly. He has returned to what he enjoys the most: painting Alabama’s coastal and country landscapes, while adding abstracts to his visual repertoire. Most of his 12 paintings in this exhibit are oils on canvas ranging from small to large.

“I consider them impressionistic with a variety of different brush strokes,” Moorehead said.

His work, as well as paintings, photography and crafts by other area artists will be on view at the show’s opening Saturday from 10 a.m.to 3 p.m. at 1014 Noble Street.

Moorhead’s works have already sold well at this gallery, primarily because of the viewers’ connections to places in Alabama, he said. “From beaches to forests to mountains, Alabama has varied landscapes.”

His color in some of the work is intentionally exaggerated, he added, giving his paintings an emotional feel.

Moorehead recently retired from serving as curator of exhibits and arts education director at Heritage Hall Museum in Talladega. Because he also did long- and short-term residencies across the state with the Alabama State Council on the Arts, Alabama scenes fill his portfolio.

Raised on a farm in Dale County, in the southeastern corner of the state, Moorehead, had hands-on experience in growing peanuts, corn and raising livestock. The memory of the barns, the houses, the fields and the rolling hills has motivated him to record these vistas.

“I have seen changes taking place,” he said. “The small farmer’s way of life is just about gone. Farming as a big business has lost lots of its charm for me and I would like to preserve the ways of the agrarian past.”

Landon Shirey, manager at Nunnally’s, bought a floral still life by Moorehead at a recent exhibit. Now an abstract by the painter is on his wish list.

“I especially like his use of the impasto technique,” Shirey added.

Something to notice in the exhibit — a technique called impasto in which paint is applied very thickly on certain areas of the canvas making it stand out from the surface and giving the painting more texture — can be seen in his oil “Storm’s A Coming.”

The show will be up through April. Light refreshments will be served at the opening and the public is invited.
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