Media

Arts Advocacy Day

date: March 20, 2017

The arts play a big role in life on the Gulf Coast.

You can see and hear evidence of this role nearly anywhere you travel in Mobile. Public art pieces are visible in the form of statues, painted oyster shells, and murals. Musical performances are a regular occurrence at local restaurants and venues, the sounds of which you can hear travelling down Dauphin Street. Local organizations bring the arts to life through classic and modern performances in theatre, ballet, and classical compositions.

We celebrate local arts achievements annually at the Artys, but the arts deserve recognition and celebration throughout the year.

The arts do so much more than provide entertainment or something pretty to view. Dating back to the Great Depression, arts funding projects through the New Deal employed thousands of artists. Such funding sustained these artists and laid the groundwork for community art centers and public art pieces around the country.

The arts are more than a simple public school art class. Studies show that students of the arts are significantly more optimistic about their chances to attend college than non-arts students. Adolescents enrolled in arts programs were up to 26% less likely than their non-enrolled counterparts to be engaged in delinquent behaviors.

More and more businesses are recognizing the positive impact of arts and actively supporting the programs. Businesses such as Wind Creek Hospitality, Jake Peavy Foundation, and the Hargrove Foundation all recognize the role of arts in the community and celebrated local achievements with us as major sponsors of the 2016 Artys.

There are so many more ways to celebrate arts than just through an annual event. We celebrate the arts every month at Art Walk, various Arts and Crafts Markets, and special programs, such as ChARTing New Directions in the summer. We help get the word out about events at Mobile Ballet, Mobile Opera, Joe Jefferson Players, Playhouse in the Park, Mobile Museum of Art—the list goes on and on.

March 20-21 is Arts Advocacy Day, but we want to continue to recognize arts achievement throughout the year.

After all, as Mobilians we are “born to celebrate.”

Art of the Bay

date: February 24, 2017

In celebration of Baykeeper’s 20th Anniversary, MAC put out an open call for artwork in any media relating to the Mobile Bay Watershed and/or recycling to fill our galleries. There are three separate components to the show: a photography exhibition, a recycled art exhibition, and artwork in all other media. In addition to landscape and animals along the watershed, the show relates to federally endangered or threatened watershed animals/plants. The exhibition’s goal to educate the public about sustaining the Watershed as well as to raise awareness of Baykeeper’s mission: to provide citizens a means to protect the beauty, health and heritage of the Mobile Bay Watershed and our coastal communities.

The exhibition will be on display through Monday, March 5 until noon on Thursday, March 30. 10% of exhibition sales will be donated to Mobile Baykeeper. Meet the artists during ArtWalk on Friday, March 10 (6 - 9 PM)!

Visit Baykeeper’s website to learn more about their mission and for information about the Watershed. Interested artists - download the show prospectus for information on how to participate! The deadline for submission drop offs is March 3, 2017.

As of now, participating artists include: Ainsley McNeily, April Livingston, Ashley Friend, Bill Morris, Catherine Helmsing, Chris Cumbie, Dawson Morgan, Devlin Wilson, Eddie Erdmann, Elise McClellan, Gail Bramer, Jeff Johnston, Jenn Grainger, Joanne Brandt, Julie Day, Karen Bullock, Karen Spaulding, Kathleen Stoves, Kathy Friedline, Melissa Munger, Lisa Warren, Lucy Gafford, Lynda Smith Touart, Melissa Hinton, Michele Brinkman, Michele Traum, Mike Carmichael, Nancy Milford, Nikki Shaw, Renee Edwards, Ruby Lange, Satomi Kamei, Shawn Berdux, Susan Downing White, and Susan Rouillier.

Mobile Arts Council Announces Artys for Lifetime Achievement and Patron Categories

date: January 06, 2017

MOBILE, Ala. - The Mobile Arts Council announced today the Artys winners in the Lifetime Achievement and Patron categories.

The 2016 Lifetime Achievement Arty recipient is Tut Altman Riddick, Mobile resident and accomplished artist of many art forms. Riddick has been making art as a painter, poet, photographer, author and more for over sixty years. The Dorothy (Tut) Altman Riddick Mezzanine Art Gallery at the University of West Alabama is named in her honor. Her numerous honors also include induction into the Black Belt Hall of Fame in 2013. (Tut at her home - photo courtesy of Press-Register, G.M. Andrews)

The 2016 Patron Arty recipient is Jake Peavy, native Mobilian and major league baseball player. Peavy is as well-known for giving back to the community as he is on the baseball field. The Jake Peavy Foundation, founded in 2012, works with local non-profit organizations to create signature community outreach programs, most recently partnering with One Mobile on a youth mural initiative that can be seen around downtown. (Peavy pitching - courtesy of Peavy Foundation on Facebook)

Riddick and Peavey will receive their career achievement awards at the 2016 Artys ceremony on Friday, January 27, 2017 at 7 p.m. at Alabama Contemporary Art Center, 301 Conti St., Mobile, Ala. 36602. Tickets are $30 in advance/$35 at the door and can be purchased online at: http://macartys2017.bpt.me/ and are also available for purchase at Mobile Arts Council (318 Dauphin St., Downtown Mobile). 

The Artys is an annual awards program that celebrates the important contributions that individuals, groups, and businesses make to the Mobile cultural community. Finalists have been announced in the remaining nine award categories, with winners to be announced live at the event.

Artys attendees will enjoy a night of celebration, complete with food, drinks and entertainment by the Tyler Mac Band. The Artys committee is expecting the largest turnout to-date for the event. Artys winners will be announced for the career achievement awards and nine other categories, from a pool of three finalists in each, including:

Lifetime Achievement - Tut Altman Riddick

Patron - Jake Peavy

Art Educator: Eric Browne, Paige Vitulli, and Robert Holm

Artistic Design: Jason D’Alessandro & i-Team Mobile, Ron Barrett, and Tripp Gustin

Art Soldier: Bob Spielmann, Dr. Steven Alsip, and Red Cup Revolt

Artistic Innovation: Fry Building Project, Live from Avalon, and The Lost Garden

Business: Hargrove Engineers, PNC Bank, and Wind Creek Hospitality

Literary Artist: Tom Perez, John Sledge, and Frye Gaillard

Performing Artist: Excelsior Band, Lauren Woods, and Thomas Rowell

Visual Artist: April Livingston, Devlin Wilson, and JD Crowe

Organization: Mobile Big Band Society, Mobile Fashion Week, and Mobile Museum of Art

The 2016 Arty Awards are made possible by the generous sponsorships of Wind Creek Hospitality, Jake Peavy Foundation, Hargrove Foundation, Alabama Contemporary Art Center, Devin Ford Photography, Teague Branding Strategies, Smith’s Catering, The Southern Rambler, Alabama Public Radio, Bottles Up Mobile, Soul Kitchen, Gulf Distributing Co. and Threaded Fasteners, Inc. 

Weathering

date: January 02, 2017

“Weathering”, a series of encaustic and rust paintings by Ashley Friend , will hang in the Skinny Gallery for the month of January.

Weathering is a continual process - as is painting. This show is an exploration of color and form. Ashley Friend discovered encaustic painting while pursuing a Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree at the University of South Alabama and has been smitten with the medium ever since. With encaustic painting, the form changes as you heat the paint. The paint cools on the panel, and you apply heat to seal each layer. The process of heating versus cooling is a science - a form of experimentation that Friend finds particularly refreshing. She describes the versatile medium as an analogy for life - you never know what each day will bring. The artist weathers the paintings and creates science - for example, via oxidation and through exposure to air. This exploration of form and color are a self-portrait and expression of Friend.

Ashley Friend has been inspired by microcosms ever since her youth - the moss growing on statues, the oxidation of metals, the diversity and complexity of the botanical world. Growing up, the constant of her life was the rising and setting of the sun - along with the changing of the seasons. The beautiful, natural contrasts involve uplifting splashes of colors. She would look to nature and see the various processes working together, and she would find comfort in the land, the sky, and the love of learning about anything and everything in the natural world. The artist's love of science is reflected in her work.

In her words, "Despite the trials in my life, growing up (and even now), welcoming the changing of the seasons has been a comforting constant in my life. This constant continues to embrace me from day to day. Weathering the elements and the storms of life, I looked to nature for inspiration and found it with the majestic landscapes and also through science."

Her exhibit will be on display at MAC through January 30th. Meet the artist on ArtWalk night, January 13th, from 6:00 - 9:00 PM. The gallery will be open from 9 - 5 on weekdays through the end of the month and will be open select Sundays from 12 - 5 during Sunday Fundays (the 8th and the 22nd).

Splinter Hill Bog

date: January 02, 2017

The Nature Conservancy in Alabama and the Coastal Alabama Botanical Artists’ Circle are partnering to present “The Flora of Splinter Hill Bog” in the Danielle Juzan Gallery this January. The participating artists are members of the Coastal Alabama Botanical Artists’ Circle, including Elisa Baldwin, Nancy Barry, Gail Bramer, Anne Brooks, Tutta Greer Cone, Carolyn Courson, Julie Day, Roxann Dyess, Jane Funkhouser, Clair Hamlin, Joan Hargett, Phyllis Henson, Carol Hoadley, Catherine Hall Kiser, Karen McGahagin, Nancy Milford, Rinda Mueller, Derek Norman, Missy Patrick, Karen Smith, Karen Spalding, Sharon Strang, and Rosemary Johnson. The artists hope to inform the public of our area’s little-known botanical treasures through realistic depictions of the bog’s flora and fauna. The show features 60 original drawings.

The exhibit will be on display at MAC during the month of January. Meet the artists on ArtWalk night, January 13th, from 6:00 - 9:00 PM. The gallery will be open from 9 - 5 on weekdays through the end of the month and will be open select Sundays from 12 - 5 during Sunday Fundays (the 8th and the 22nd).

Slider image is a cropped picture of "Switchcane" by Sharon Strang.

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