Art buffs get first look

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

Selma arts buffs got more than an eyeful Sunday afternoon at the Selma Art Guild Gallery’s opening reception for the Holiday Art Show.

In addition to displays of local artists’ work, the reception, which lasted from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., featured local artist Charlie Lucas and a guest speaker from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

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Donna Pickens, assistant curator for the museum and internationally exhibited artist, spoke at 1:30 p.m. Pickens described artists’ use of symbolism and isolation in paintings, and used Mark Rothko to illustrate composition. Rothko is recognized for his abstract works, paintings that at first glance are squares. Pickens said in natural lighting Rothko’s work is designed to appear to move.

With audience participation, Pickens explained artistic use of repetition, in shapes, lines, curves, and color. “I wanted people to start thinking of some devices artists use in composition and space,” she said.

Pickens said much of her art is inspired by ceremonial spaces in the Southwest called kivas.

Pickens said the time allotted for the lecture went by quickly. Pickens shared several of her works with the audience in conclusion, including photo reprints of her large-scale artwork, including a wall made with seven years’ worth of newspapers, pieces with ladders and wiring called installations and a mural in Atlanta that took over a year to complete.

Current artist of the month Charlie Lucas, also known as the “Tin Man,” attended the event. Lucas just finished filming a Canadian documentary and moved into a new studio. He now has a book in the works. “I’m doing what I wanted to do,” Lucas said. “It’s been a beautiful ride.” Lucas said what he enjoys most is teaching children how to make art, using tin or wire to craft into shapes, complete with stories.

His work is currently on display at the Birmingham Museum of Art.