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ArtsRevive show opens Friday

After placing art around the Harmony Club on Wednesday, the room is ready.

About 40 artists submitted nearly 100 pieces of art for the annual ArtsRevive art show that opened Friday evening.

“This year we really have some high quality work,” said ArtsRevive member Ann Thomas. “We try to make this an incredible show of artwork.”

ArtsRevive sent out more than 100 informational letters near the end of 2009, inviting Alabama artists to participate in the show and competition.

From the submitted pieces, the best are chosen for the show.

“There’s a jury of artists that select the paintings to be in the show,” Thomas said. “Then we have an out-of-town judge to judge them.”

The judge for this year is Jeri Allen, a retired professor of art from the University of Mississippi. Allen was raised in Selma, and is well respected in the art community, according to Arts Revive member Vicky Stoudenmire.

First place artists for the show are: best in show, Suellen Young; photography, Asif Haque; mixed media, Charlie Lucas; painting, Cam Walker; watercolor, Michael Vaughn Sims; drawing, Cindy Stoudenmire; and three-dimensional, Peggy Meigs Allison.

The Harmony Club location is also a contributor to the artistic decor. Each year, the event is held at various historic building in the city.

“We do that to show off our downtown area and how important we feel it is to the community,” Thomas said.

Started as a social club for the Jewish community in 1909, the Harmony Club has been repurposed into retail space, restaurant and a secret room on the second floor also served as a Men’s Lounge for the males in the social club.

The ballroom on the third floor also held many dances and parties. Until the 1930s, the building was also home to the Elks Club until it was boarded up in 1960.

David Hurlbut bought and began restorations to the building in 1999.

Anne Pilcher and Martha Jackson visited the show Friday. “We’re interested in the arts in Selma,” Pilcher said.

Both women enjoyed all the art. “I think this is a great event, and we like to support the arts and ArtsRevive,” Jackson said,

The show will be open March 19 and 20 from noon until 5 p.m. and March 21 from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

All artwork is available for purchase, and admission is free.