Selma Art Guild exhibit celebrates Black History Month

Published 10:46 pm Thursday, February 9, 2017

February is Black History Month, and the Selma Art Guild is having a show to celebrate the African-American artists in Selma and nearby communities.

“We wanted to celebrate Black History Month, and we thought highlighting the African American artists that are local and some out of town would be a good way to do that,” said Jo Pate, recording secretary for the Selma Art Guild.

The show will feature a majority of African-American artists, from beginners to long-time artists.

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“So may beginning artists are afraid that they are going to be judged, and you’ve got to start somewhere,” Pate said. “So it’s wonderful to have artists that are willing to start and go forth and show at the gallery.”

Pate said the show is a great reflection of the talent in Alabama and features a wide assortment of work.

“I walk in here and it just makes me smile because it is such a variety. It goes from folk art to fine art and rarely do you get to see that variety in one place,” Pate said. “It’s interesting to see the different ways artists interpret their subject matter. That makes it fun and exciting.”

The artists include Nataki Alexander, mixed media; Nate Brown, pastels; Cecily Chaney, painting; Lynthia Edwards, mixed media; Leanna Leithauser Lesley, needlepoint; Charlie Lucas, metal; Mary Margaret Pettway, quilter; Tammy White, varied media; Bevelyn Anderson, pencil sketches; and the late Beatrice DeYampert, painting.

“We do have one piece of artwork from a deceased Selma Art Guild member [DeYampert], who left Selma and chose to back to move back to Selma in her retirement years,” Pate said. “It’s an honor to be able to show her work.”

The opening reception for the show is Sunday, Feb. 12 from 2-4 p.m. at the Art Guild at 508 Selma Avenue.

Charlie Porter will also be playing jazz music on the piano during the opening reception.

Many of the artists will be at the event to speak about their work and inspiration.

“It’s such a wonderful opportunity to meet the artists and be able to find out something,” Pate said. “Being able to talk to an artist gives you the opportunity to find out why they create.”

The show will run through the Bridge Crossing Jubilee and Pate said she hopes the Jubilee will draw people in to look at the art work.

“We hope that visitors of the Jubilee will come and be excited about the artistic value that we have here in town,” Pate said.