Each month, our community gallery features new exhibitions of original works created by local and regional artists in our Gallery @ Room 1927, located at 6 South Joachim Street (next door to the Saenger Theatre). The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Any artists are eligible and may submit a proposal for consideration. Exhibitions are usually displayed from the first Wednesday through the last day of each month.
In addition to our traditional gallery, we are now also accepting proposals for quarterly exhibitions in our window display cases, located between Room 1927 and the Saenger Box Office. If you are interested in creating a window installation, email email@example.com.
Join us on the second Friday of each month during LoDa ArtWalk for our exhibition receptions. Meet the artists, see their work in person, and create a personal connection with what is on display. Our gallery is open to the public Tuesdays - Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those that are vaccinated are not required to wear masks in the gallery. View our extended Virtual Gallery program, implemented during the 2020 quarantine, online here. View our current and recent exhibitors below!
November/December Exhibitions: “The Flora-Bama Paintings" by Pixie Alexander & The Bay Area Art Educator's "Annual Fall Exhibition"
This November and December, the Mobile Arts Council’s Gallery @ Room 1927 will feature two exhibitions: The Flora-Bama Paintings by Pixie Alexander and the Bay Area Art Educator’s Annual Fall Exhibition. Gallery Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays – Fridays and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. These exhibitions will hang through Wednesday, December 22nd.
The Flora-Bama Paintings explores the way economic, sociological, and cultural distinctions express themselves in the landscapes that Pixie Alexander knew as a child. Pixie returned to the Gulf Coast in 2012 after 24 years in New York City. Her earliest years were spent studying and practicing art in various forms, with a particular commitment to painting, but when she arrived back in the South, it had been some time since she had kept a studio. Pixie was fresh out of a master’s program in urban planning at Columbia University when, upon graduating, felt that her young son needed her more than did the market for that kind of work. She took advantage of the sugar white beaches of the Florida panhandle, rededicated herself to painting, and launched into her first series, “Beach Paintings”. After a couple of years and a few road trips, she started her "West Alabama" series and the "Highway 98" series. Eventually, those separate categories were let go, and, as a group, Pixie now refers to them as the “Flora-Bama Paintings”. Fresh out of planning school Pixie had a new, heightened awareness of the way economic, sociological, and cultural distinctions expressed themselves in the landscape, and wanted to take this heightened awareness to the landscapes of her childhood while exploring them as a painter. “These paintings are important and special to me, and I am happy to show them on the Gulf Coast, where they were conceived. I thank the Mobile Arts Council and all who come to see them!”
The Bay Area Art Educator’s Annual Fall Exhibition will showcase artworks in a variety of mediums by students throughout the greater Mobile area. The Bay Area Art Educators (BAAE) are a regional group of the Alabama Art Education Association comprised of visual art teachers located in Southeast Alabama, primarily in Mobile and Baldwin counties. BAAE upholds and abides by the AAEA mission statement: "AAEA is a professional organization dedicated to the leadership opportunities, advocacy, professional development, and support for all visual arts educators in Alabama." In addition to attending their annual state conference, throughout the year BAAE hosts local meetings and small professional development workshops for the visual arts in our region. Two regional art shows are organized each year in which they feature their students’ artwork from their schools and communities. Any who teaches, has taught, is interested in teaching art, and/or is an artist and interested in supporting arts education in our communities is invited to join their group and to also join AAEA.
This October, MAC’s Gallery @ Room 1927 will feature two exhibitions: “A Celebration of Hispanic Artists” and “Furnishing America – The Ages of Quality Craftsmanship.” Gallery Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays – Fridays and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. These exhibitions will hang through Friday, October 29th.
In conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month, we will be featuring “A Celebration of Hispanic Artists” with recent photographs by Daniel Domenzain (pictured) and works on paper by Alma Hoffmann. This exhibition is marked by the bold use of color and drastic contrast in both artists’ compositions, which will be arranged together in the front portion of the gallery.
We will also feature “Furnishing America – The Ages of Quality Craftsmanship” by the Society of American Period Furniture Makers, Gulf States Chapter.The Society of American Period Furniture Makers, (SAPFM), is a non-profit organization whose mission is to further the understanding and appreciation of American “Period” furniture, its history, and to teach the methods of how it was made.The organization’s focus is on making historic furniture reproductions. They offer classes for those interested in learning woodworking techniques, design, restoration, and the history of this craft.The Gulf States Chapter brings the benefits of the SAPFM to the Central Gulf Region of the United States. The group’s “Furnishing America – The Ages of Quality Craftmanship” will feature a variety of pieces made by the group, as well as live woodworking demonstrations. Representatives will be available to answer any questions throughout ArtWalk night!
Each year the Mobile Arts Council hosts our Annual MAC Members’ Show. This year’s exhibition is sponsored by the Dempsey & Litchfield Fund and features 44+ artists in a variety of artistic mediums and styles representative of our area. Unlike our typical month-long exhibitions, this show will be featured in our gallery throughout the months of August and September! During September ArtWalk, we will announce our first-ever awards for this annual exhibition, including a People’s Choice Award.
View the works for our 2021 Members’ Show on our online gallery here! People’s Choice voting will be available for MAC Members only (one vote per member) online using the link below until Wednesday, September 3rd! This year’s exhibition judge will be Nicholas Croghan, artist, Director of The Pensacola Museum of Art, and teacher of museum studies, gallery practices and studio art classes at the University of West Florida. Our awards are possible thanks the generosity of the Dempsey & Litchfield Fund. The categories and awards are as follows:
Best in Show – $500
2nd Place – $300
3rd Place – $250
Dempsey & Litchfield Award – painting, photography, or drawing specifically focused on the greater-Mobile area – $200
Members’ Choice Award – $150
Honorable Mention – $75
Honorable Mention – $75
MAC’s Gallery @ Room 1927 is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Masks are required for all gallery visitors until further notice.
A Creative Coming of Age Show
Malaya Bengel is a local painter and illustrator, and has been working in the arts for the past five years. Her work focuses on mixed mediums, self-expression, and intersectional identities and experiences across marginalized groups. A Creative Coming of Age Show is her first ever solo exhibition, and serves as a visual timeline of Bengel’s adolescence as shown through her artwork. Some of Bengel’s first pieces, alongside work included in her college portfolio, are displayed here so that viewers are provided with the unique opportunity to see the artist’s progression all in one room. This will be the last opportunity to see Bengel’s work while she is still local. This fall Malaya will be moving to New York City to study at The New School where she will be pursuing a BFA at Parsons School of Design as well as a BA in the liberal arts at the Eugene Lang School of the Visual Arts. Please enjoy this special journey that has been years in the making as Malaya prepares to begin the next chapter of her life!
Costal Creations & Other Works
Curtis J. Giarrusso graduated from the New Orleans Center of Creative Arts and Delgado College for Commercial Art. His studies included sculpture, drawing, design, painting, and art history. He also attended noncredit courses at an early age in drawing, watercolor, acrylics, still life painting, and sculpture. A native of New Orleans, Curtis has been involved in the creative industry his whole life. From creating mud figures as a child to helping his mother with her ceramic shop, Curtis literally grew up with clay in his hands.
His first sculpting job started at Barth Brothers: a New Orleans float company that was the major sculpting contractor for the 1984 Louisiana World Expo entrance gate. It included two forty-foot mermaids and two large alligator wrestling gods. Another milestone in his career was being approached by Gambina Doll company to sculpt a Columbus doll for the centennial celebration. Giarrusso was featured in DOLLS Magazine as a leading sculptor, and his Columbus doll was nominated for doll of the year. Curtis quoted “working at Gambina Doll company was a nuptial love of art and beauty.” A major influence on Curtis’s creative psyche was the painting and sculpting on floats and various embellishments.
In his career he has worked with porcelain, paper cache, and clay to produce dramatic concepts in sculpting. His inspirations in sculpting and art are Much, Michelangelo, Auguste Moreau, Rodin, and Umberto Boccioni. When Curtis isn’t working with paper mache or clay he enjoys working out and practicing yoga, refinishing furniture, restoring his 1852 Coastal Creole Cottage, and working on creative projects. He is a lover of nature and history, and draws inspiration from all of nature. He is constantly looking to live in a better harmony with the natural world.
In the deep souf: the mud, the mouf… an idea was birthed at the intersection of art & hip-hop.
VibRaNtaKe is a visual/audio art company formed by CJ Foster (Uncle See’J) in 2020. See’J is a 32-year-old emcee/producer and digital artist. Between all the mediums, he has more than a decade’s worth of experience under his belt. Born in Queens, NY, but raised in Mobile, AL, See’J has seen the benefit of a simple, southern upbringing as well as the need to expose “home” to all different forms of expression. “Everything we do down here is art; we just don’t have the insight to realize it as such”.
The idea for VibRaNtaKe came from the desire to close the gap between Hip-Hop and fine art. “If you really break down the lyrics, Hip-Hop has produced some of the most amazing literary works of the past century” says See’J. “I remember applying for a writers fellowship in 2015 where they asked me to break down some of my favorite literature and I broke down rap verses. To this day, I feel like I didn’t get the position because of that decision, and to this day… that bothers me”. Originally, VibRaNtaKe was meant to offer creative services to other musicians (album covers, merch, etc.), and while that’s still the case, it eventually took on a life of its own. “I originally started VibRaNtaKe as a way to cover the money I was losing in the midst of the pandemic, but I noticed more than just rappers and singers appreciating it. The more I started sharing, the more people were attracted to its artistic value, even separated from the music”.
See’J is a rarity in that he isn’t formally trained in any discipline. The VibRaNtaKe journey has been equal parts creating, equal parts defining those creations. “Somebody hipped me to Dadaism and told me my works reminded them of it. I did a little research on it, but realized that I only partially agree. I coined the term “AfroDaDa” to describe my work. Dadaism has a lot to do with political and social commentary, sometimes through satire. My work isn’t satirical at all.” says See’J. “There is an unapologetic focus on the Black experience in America, but not through a political lens. I replace that with more of a spiritual dialogue, as spirituality is a cornerstone of Blackness, no matter what context it’s filtered through. The use of water and skies in the works represent a portal between the inner and outer self, between the imagery we see on a day to day, and how it’s processed mentally, emotionally, and well… spiritually”
The Mobile Arts Council Gallery will be hosting two exhibitions this June. These shows will hang in our Gallery @ Room 1927 from June 4th through June 30th, 2021. See them in person throughout the month or on LoDa ArtWalk night, Friday June 11th! A date for the closing reception honoring these artists will be announced at a later time. The MAC Gallery is open Tuesday – Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Funky for Mobile
An Art Experience by Ginger Woechan
By Ben Kaiser and Vanessa Quintana
In this world, beauty can be found almost anywhere. From traveling to strolling in the park, or even just stepping out in the garden, beauty is everywhere; but we would like to turn your gaze to some of the lesser known, or overlooked beauties. The ones that you may find just by walking through your yard or turning over a leaf. For most people, when they think of insects, they don’t tend to think nice thoughts, but we would like to challenge your perspective. “Entomology” is here to open your eyes to the fascinating world of insects, their close cousins, and their environment. We created this collection acknowledging the classic scientific drawing and added our own artistic flare. We hope that after viewing this show you will have a new appreciation for the beauty of the insect world.
In conjunction with National Photography Month, the Mobile Arts Council Gallery will be hosting three photography exhibitions this May. These exhibitions will hang in the Mobile Arts Council Gallery from May 5th through May 28th, 2021. See it in person throughout the month or on LoDa ArtWalk night, Friday May 14th! A date for the closing reception honoring these artists will be announced at a later time. The MAC Gallery is open Wed-Fri, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Quarantine Diaries will be a group exhibition from photographers with the Camera South Photography Club. Each featured image was taken of Mobile since the start of quarantine. The exhibition explores both the constant changes and screeching halt that the pandemic has brought to us all.
Camera South is a camera club in Mobile, Alabama and works to provide a platform for people interested in photography. Both professionals and beginners can share ideas, ask questions and have fun with photography.
Sans Camera – Exploring Photograms
Mike Kittrell’s Sans Camera – Exploring Photograms features camera-less photograms of botanical, industrial and household objects using the antique cyanotype photo process from the early 1840s. Objects depicted in the exhibit were placed in direct contact with watercolor paper hand-coated with iron-based photosensitive chemistry and were exposed using direct sunlight or a UV box. Cyanotype chemistry can be applied to a variety of mediums including paper, fabric, wood, glass and ceramics. Traditional black and white negatives or enlarged digital negatives can also be printed as cyanotypes when laid directly on the medium.
Mike Kittrell is an freelance editorial photographer based in Mobile. With a career spanning over 30 years, his work has appeared in national and international publications. Non-silver based processes and pinhole photography are two of his photo-related interests.
Boys & Girls Club National Contest
The top selections from the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama‘s recent art competitions will also be featured in the gallery this May, showcasing original photography and paintings by local students. The winners of this competition will proceed to the Boys & Girls Club’s National Fine Arts Exhibit and ImageMakers National Photography Program!
Competing within four age groups and 18 categories, participants in the National Arts Contest complete original works of art that are exhibited locally, regionally and nationally. The annual contest launches with National Arts Education week in September and closes at the end of May.
The Mobile Arts Council will be hosting two exhibitions this April – “L’inizio” and “The Folk Art of Abe Partridge.”
L’inizio: Works by Freddie Blache, Tres Johns, and Gage Nobles
Freddie Blache was born and raised in Mobile Alabama. He began working with glass in the fall of 2013 at the University of South Alabama. After his first semester of the glass blowing elective, Freddie switched to a full-time pursuit of a B.F.A. with a concentration in glass and secondary concentration in sculpture which he received in the fall of 2017. Freddie’s personal style of glassblowing is derived from the Venetian techniques with a funky, southern twist. Most of his work is influenced by the natural surroundings on the gulf coast. While learning glassblowing in school, Freddie teamed up with his better half, Caroline, and their friend’s Gage Nobles and Tres Johns to form Muffinjaw Designs.
Gage Nobles was born and raised in Mobile, AL, and started blowing glass in 2015 at the University of South Alabama. Primarily focusing on Venetian style works, he specializes in goblets and stemware, attempting to go as thin and light as possible, while maintaining a straight and centered body of work. Though Gage does not consider himself as an advanced glass blower, he hopes to one day be as good as the master glassblowers such as Dante Marioni, James Mongrain, and William Gudenrath.
Tres Johns is a glass artist and sculptor from Mobile, Alabama. He received a B.F.A. from the University of South Alabama in 2017 with a concentration in glass blowing and a secondary concentration in sculpture. His artistic taste centers around abstract expressionist works and street art. Most of his work is hot, sculpted glass objects with gestural, sometimes crude-looking painting and sculpting techniques on top of the glass. The juxtaposition of the traditional thinking that glass is an elegant, beautiful form and the abstracted, gestural painting often reserved for expressionist and street art is important to his work. He desires for people to carefully examine his work, so they see past the crudeness and find the beauty.
Muffinjaw Designs makes functional and decorative glass art for home and garden as well as seasonal products. The collaborative team also preforms live glassblowing demonstrations with their portable glass studio.
Alabama Astronaut: The Folk Art of Abe Partiridge
Abe Partridge is from Mobile, Alabama. He left Mobile when he was 18 in pursuit of a Theological education. After attending 4 bible colleges in 4 years, he became the pastor of a small Independent Baptist Church in the Appalachians of Eastern Kentucky at only 25 years old. When he was 27 years old, Abe became acquainted with a horrible depression, left the ministry, and turned to Art. Abe has written songs, and made paintings like the ones in this exhibition ever since. Only after joining the military and going to war did he decide to begin sharing his art with the world. Abe has never taken even one songwriting class or art class. His artwork is made with roofing tar that is thinly applied to plywood, musical instruments, old, damaged, vinyl records, and whatever else he can stick tar on. It is cured for 30 days before he carves his images in the tar with a screwdriver or an ice pick. Finally, he paints the tar with acrylic paints and seals it with a clear gloss acrylic sealer.
“Rethink preconceived notions. Question authority. Create new methods of survival. See beauty.”- Abe
The Mobile Arts Council is hosting three exhibitions throughout March! Impressions by Carol George, Life Under the Sea by Susan Gibbs, and Love In Bloom by Sandy Holberg will hand in the Mobile Arts Council Gallery until March 31st, 2021.
Impressions by Carol George is a collection of impressionistic acrylic paintings that focus primarily on landscapes. As a self-taught artist, she expresses herself in a painterly style. Bold colors and brush strokes can be found throughout her works.
Susan Gibbs’ Life Under the Sea is a collection that has been 35 years in the making. One night after work, Susan found herself admiring the aquariums in B&B Pet Stop. It was here that she discovered an affinity for the colorful organisms that make up Life Under the Sea. With assistance from the internet, Susan has been able to travel under every body of water, from depths of thirty feet to seven miles. Using clay, she has translated her findings into expressions of what she has found. Susan says, “I do not try to recreate what I see, but rather how I feel about what I see.”
Love in Bloom displays Sandy Holberg’s love for flowers and the natural world, filled as it is with sunlight, color and living things. These things bring her joy and happiness, and Sandy tries to express them with a few lines and liquid color. Sandy Holberg spent her early years with the flowers that surrounded her Northeast Mississippi home. Her Dad was a well-known horticulturist, and she captured much of his hybridized creations through her studies at the University of Alabama. After brightening many a South Alabama home with her decorator’s talent, she resumed her garden passion with new images of the blossoms she loved which began her career.
These exhibitions will be on display until March 31st, 2021 with extended gallery hours on March 12th from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and March 27th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Mobile Arts Council’s Gallery @ Room 1927 is open Wednesday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is located at 6 S Joachim St. Mobile, AL 36602. Come by and see these three amazing exhibitions! Contact Sydney Cramer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 251-432-9796 for more information. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday – Friday.
The Mobile Arts Council is now accepting entries for the 2021 District 1 Visual Arts Achievement Program and Young at Art! For the first time, this year’s program will take place virtually AND in person – teachers and students are not required to participate in person to be eligible to compete. Those eligible for District 1 include public and private schools Baldwin, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe, and Washington counties. Every student who receives a District Award will be recognized in the State Awards from the Alabama State Council on the Arts online. All entries, in person and virtual, must be submitted online. Private studios are not eligible to submit work. Entry categories include painting, drawing, mixed media, 3-D/craft, photography, printmaking, and computer images.
The Visual Arts Achievement Program provides opportunities for students in grades 6 through 12 to be recognized for their contributions to the visual arts at the local and state levels. View the statewide schedule, including scholarship opportunities for students (portfolios due on March 1st) on ASCA’s website here. The District 1 juried exhibition will hang from February 5th to February 26th, and will also be displayed on our Virtual Gallery online..
Concurrently, Young at Art is for 5th grade students and below and not included in the juried competition. These entries must be equipped to hang (with a wire, sawtooth hanger, contact strips, or some other way that does not stick out of the top of the artwork). Unlike VAAP, this show is also open to private lesson teachers.
Contact Sydney Cramer at email@example.com or 251-432-9796 for more information. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday – Friday.
The Mobile Arts Council recognizes that Black artists have been historically underrepresented in the Visual Arts field. During Black History Month this February, we extended an invitation for any Mobile-based Black artists 18+ (no MAC membership required) to be featured in MAC’s Gallery @ Room 1927 and/or in our Virtual Gallery online. Featured painting by Soynika Edwards-Bush.
This month we will be featuring two exhibitions: Art For All and Nancy Goodman’s Quilts. These pieces will hang through the end of January in the Mobile Arts Council’s Gallery @ Room 1927. The gallery is open to the public Wednesday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Mobile Arts Council, The Central Arts Collective, Full Life Ahead Foundation, and L’Arche Mobile are pleased to announce Art for All, an inclusive arts education program for adults. The goal of the program is to bring people of all abilities together to express their creativity and develop their skills in a variety of arts media including acrylics, graphics, watercolors, and more. This January, 58 framed works from Art for All, all created by students with developmental disabilities over a number of years, will be featured in our gallery. 100% of proceeds from these art sales will go toward purchasing supplies for Art For All‘s classes, so stop by and purchase a special piece for your home while supporting a great cause! If you are interested in volunteering or making a financial donation towards this program, please contact Lucy Gafford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nancy Goodman makes art quilts – quilts meant for the wall, rather than the bed. While firmly grounded in the craft of quilting, Goodman’s quilt style is improvisational, made without patterns or templates. She creates her designs using vibrant colors and complicated piecing. A final layer of intricate quilting (stitching that holds all the layers together) fills every inch of the quilt. Goodman exhibits her quilts in national and international shows and has won many awards. She lives and works in Mobile, AL. Within the artist’s featured works, she has included a Peace and Freedom Series. According to Goodman, “All over the world people are struggling for peace and freedom. These quilts commemorate some of those struggles.”