There’s a voice to be heard in quality art exhibits, ballet performances and concerts. In art shows, each work speaks through expression. In ballet, there’s a story to be told. In concerts, the composer’s voice has a definite effect on mind and mood. I’m told that some people do their best thinking at concerts.

An upcoming Jacksonville State University exhibit will showcase county artists. The “Nutcracker” ballet and the upcoming 74th season of the Knox Concert Series are being planned this month. Each of these has lots to share with us.

Calhoun County Community Art Show

If artists need encouragement to continue painting, drawing or crafting, they might find the needed boost in opportunities with the JSU art exhibit beginning Aug. 27.

In the art department’s Hammond Hall Gallery, artists ages 18 and up who are permanent residents of Calhoun County will be displaying their works from Aug. 27-Sept. 17.

For some, this will be their first exhibit experience.

The opening reception, open to the general public, will be Aug. 27 from 5-7 p.m. in Hammond Hall Gallery.

“We have discovered many artists that were unknown to us,” said Mary Springer, assistant professor of art history at JSU. “Come, find out what the county has to offer aesthetically. There’s an amazing diversity in the creative backgrounds and styles,” she said.

Diversity would certainly be expected, since the entrants’ ages range from 18 to 91. There will be a hands-on digital display, ceramics, jewelry, photography, paintings, drawings and more, all shown in a recently updated gallery.

An addition to the main gallery, the Roundhouse, is used for visiting artists. Abstract paintings by Justin LeBlanc of Houston, Texas, will fill this space.

The Calhoun County exhibit is the first of its kind in Hammond Hall Gallery, according to Springer. It is hosted by the university art department and the Jacksonville Arts Council. Special attention will be directed to the work of the late Karen Henricks, who taught art history and was a book artist, among other skills.

“Karen was a keen believer in art outreach,” Springer said. “She was my mentor.”

There will be shows specifically for JSU art students and for faculty later in the year, according to Springer. “But for this exhibit, we wanted to connect with county artists at large and bring them into our gallery. We see it as starting an art community.”

Each year, JSU displays work by art students who, in this writer’s view, show much promise in their planned art careers.

“And we have some uniquely talented faculty members,” Springer said. Steve Loucks and Lynette Hesser with their ceramic sculptures are examples. Morgan Worsham, gallery coordinator (although she does not teach), is an artist of 3D photography or stereoscopic photography, which is the art of capturing and displaying two slightly offset photographs to create three dimensional images.

The gallery is open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Knox Concerts to continue outreach

The Knox Concert Series will take its final bow with the upcoming season, which starts Nov. 14 with Kenny G. But its mission will remain.    

 In a letter to patrons from Phil Webb, chairman of the Knox Board, he stated that the “Nutcracker” ballet, danced by the Alabama Ballet, will continue, as will Alabama Symphony Orchestra performances for sixth-graders, as well as new collaborations to add to the cultural life of the region.

A local cast is part of the “Nutcracker” performance. Here’s how to get involved: Auditions for young dancers ages 7-16 will be Aug. 25 at 1 p.m. at the Anniston Performing Arts Center. At least one year of dance experience is required. The local cast dance instructor is Jessica Futral. Rehearsals will be on Sunday afternoons.

The characters and scenes for young boys and girls include:

• The party scene.

• The Polichinelles in the Mother Ginger scene — little children or clowns who emerge from underneath Mother Ginger’s enormous hoop skirt and do a little dance.

• Angels.

• Candy Canes.

Volunteers love working toward making the ballet successful. It’s a wonderful thing for families to do together during the Christmas season.

Knox Concerts final lineup

Season tickets for the final Knox Concerts series are on sale now. A season ticket is $155 and includes four concerts. They are:

• Nov. 14, Kenny G.

• Jan. 18, The Siberian State Symphony Orchestra.

• Feb. 21, Allman Betts Band.

• May 14, a celebration of the history and legacy of the Knox Concert Series. Details will be announced soon.

To purchase tickets, call Mandi King at 256-235-2553.

Volunteers hope that everyone will join Knox once again and be a part of making the season a lasting memory. “Come, make some memories with us,” said King. “We want this season to be one of our finest.”


Hervey Folsom writes about the local arts scene every Sunday. Contact her at