Reflections and the Infantree Project: New Art Exhibits Honor Soldiers, Survivors and 9/11
Sgt. Ron V. Kelsey began writing, drawing and painting in a journal after his first deployment in Iraq. The creative outlet allowed him to slowly overcome his PTSD and open an art therapy program in Fort Bliss, Texas. On National Suicide Prevention Day, Thurs. Sept. 10, Kelsey will celebrate the opening of his exhibit, Reflections of Generosity – Reflections of the Soul, with a reception at Samford University’s Swearington Hall Art Gallery.
“Sketching out ideas and painting and writing is what really saved me,” Kelsey said in a radio interview on KTEP’s State of the Arts. “After I journaled, it became a book, and then it became an exhibit.”
That exhibit, an intimate collection of Kelsey’s and his clients’ therapeutic exercises, has since received wide public attention, allowing the artist to take his work on the road to military bases in the U.S. and Germany.
“I am proud to not only have these challenging artworks seen by the Samford and Birmingham community, but to also help spread awareness of the valiant Americans who, along with their families and loved ones, have sacrificed so much to defend our freedom,” said Robin D. Snyder, Samford Art Gallery director.
“Many of the soldiers serving and dying in our current wars and conflicts, as has been the case historically, are the same age as our students,” Snyder said. “Often, for various reasons, college students do not really think about the costs of war.”
In conjunction with Reflections of Generosity, another exhibit at Space One Eleven, by Larry Thompson, Samford’s associate dean of art, critiques America’s complacency and foreign policy in a post-9/11 world. The Infantree Project’s opening reception is Sept. 11 from 5:30–7 p.m. at Space One Eleven.
“As The Infanttree Project evolved, it became funded by the Warhol Foundation after Space One Eleven’s Peter Prinz and Anne Arrasmith put together a proposal” Snyder said. “Some of the art from the Reflections Of Generosity will be included in Thompson’s exhibit at Space One Eleven.”
Samford University’s Swearington Hall Art Gallery is located at 800 Lakeshore Dr. Space One Eleven is located at 2409 2nd Ave. N. Free admission. For more information, visit samford.edu.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3
Beth Bradley Opening — Rojo. 2921 Highland Ave. S. The opening reception of artist Beth Bradley’s exhibit in Rojo’s side room will allow attendees to meet Bradley and mingle with other art patrons while enjoying Rojo’s dinner and drink menu. 6–10 p.m. Free. For more information, visit rojobirmingham.com.
First Thursdays at the BMA — Birmingham Museum of Art. 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd. The first Thursday of the month, the Birmingham Museum of Art stays open late to allow the community to enjoy studio classes, docent-led tours and film screenings. This month brings a docent-led tour of Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College; a Drop-In and Draw class; and a screening of the film Against the Odds about the visual artists of the Harlem Renaissance. 5:00–9:00 p.m. Free. For more information, visit artsbma.org.
Art Crawl — Downtown Birmingham. August’s Art Crawl will feature the usual bevvy of artists, local talent and unique-to-Birmingham businesses. The Crawl will take place at venues across downtown Birmingham including galleries, restaurants and bars and downtown businesses throughout the historic, loft, business, arts and theater districts. Specials, giveaways and new art are waiting to be discovered around every corner. 5–9 p.m. Free. For more information, visit birminghamartcrawl.com.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4
Chris Troutman and Gerry Wubben Charcoals Opening — The Durbin Gallery. 900 Arkadelphia Rd. Troutman and Wubben present this shared exhibit of charcoal drawings that expresses human life and the human experience within urban settings. During the opening reception, meet the artists and other art lovers. 6–8 p.m. Free. For more information, visit bsc.edu.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6
Cynthia Cox at The Joy Gallery Opening — The Joy Gallery. 513 Columbiana Rd. Cynthia Cox’s landscape paintings are inspired by her travels and life abroad: from Birmingham and New Mexico to Germany and Alaska. Meet and mingle with the artist and other art patrons during the opening reception. 1–3 p.m. Free. For more information, call (205) 942-3051.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11
Hither and Yon Opening Reception — The Fuel and Lumber Company. 1805 Third Ave. N. Hither and Yon, a two-part exhibition and panel discussion presented in collaboration with UAB’s Department of Art and Art History, will feature the contemporary paintings and drawings of Southeastern artists Craig Drennen, Jane Fox Hipple, Astri Snodgrass and Jered Sprecher. 6–9 p.m. Free. For more information, visit thefuelandlumbercompany.com.
Can’t Get There From Here — Paperworkers Local. 3815 Clairmont Ave. Fine art photographer and Birmingham resident Philip E. Griffith’s roadside photographs in Can’t Get There From Here span two years and two states, from Alabama to Mississippi from 2012 to 2014. Monday 6-8 p.m., Wednesday 1-5 p.m., Thursday 5-8 p.m. and Friday 12-5 p.m. Closing Sept. 13. Free. For more information, visit paperworkerslocal.blogspot.com.
David Maisel|Black Maps: American Landscape and the Apocalyptic Sublime — Abroms–Engel Institute for the Visual Arts. 1221 10th Ave. S. The Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts presents David Maisel|Black Maps: American Landscape and the Apocalyptic Sublime, which will be on display at AEIVA until Nov. 14. Maisel may be recognized for his work seen on HBO’s True Detective. Free. For more information, visit uab.edu.
Aquatic Dreams — Daniel Day Gallery. 3025 Sixth Ave. S. The Daniel Day Gallery presents this art show centered on all things marine featuring local artists who each have their own take on the theme, Aquatic Dreams. Exhibiting artists include Beth Bradley, William Jeffrey Faulk, Linda Meadows, Luanne Bondarenko and Richard Dimarzo. Tuesday–Friday, 1–6 p.m. and Sunday, 2–6 p.m. through November. Free. For more information, call (205) 731-9420.
Magic City Steel — Naked Art Gallery. 3831 Clairmont Ave. S. Rodney Lawley and Reuben Halpern’s exhibit Magic City Steel displays both artists’ creative bent toward using metal: Flutes and saxophones become lamps, tin siding transforms into metallic canvas and piles of contorted steel bloom into hanging sculptures. Tuesday–Saturday, 10:30 a.m.–6 p.m., through Sept. 18. Free. For more information, visit nakedartusa.com.
Interchanges — The Edge of Chaos. 1700 University Blvd. PaperWorkers Local presents, Interchanges, a new exhibition of paper works at The Edge of Chaos on display through Sept. 30. Displaying artists include Mimi Boston, John Demotte, Jill England, Andy Harris, Tenisha Hicks, Roger Jones, Linda Merry, Michael Merry, D’Arcy Savage, Richard Stockham, Joi West and Cathy Wright. Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Through Sept. 30. Free. For more information, email email@example.com.
Layers of Meaning — Birmingham Public Library. 2100 Park Place. The acrylic paintings in Layers of Meaning surge with emotion and energy that reflect the artist’s intuitive process of discovering deeper levels of color, mood and importance. Matthew Mayes explained that the properties of acrylic paint allow each painting to determine its direction and give the artist the opportunity to exercise confidence in his talent and display an impressive array of themes. Closing Sept. 4. For more information, visit bplonline.org.