Pen & Ink Exhibit
Pen & ink exhibit of Alabama landmarks by artist Melissa Tubbs
featured at Tennessee Valley Museum of Art
Pen and ink artist Melissa Tubbs will be exhibiting a collection of her drawings called Celebration & Preservation: Drawing Alabama’s Architectural History June 2 – July 5 at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art.
The exhibition is a touring Alabama Bicentennial project featuring 25 drawings of landmarks from across the state. Accompanying the exhibit will be a book by the same name featuring prints of the drawings along with information about the history of each building.
An opening reception will be held from 1 to 3 p.m., June 2 at the museum where Tubbs will give a gallery talk.
During the length of Celebration & Preservation, the museum will be exhibiting the Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama and a selection of fine craft from the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art’s permanent collection, titled The Rise of the Southern Craft Movement.
The Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama is an annual exhibit of work by blind, deaf-blind and visually impaired students from across the state of Alabama. It will be at the museum from June 2 – 28.
The Rise of the Southern Craft Movement features a series of purchase awards made by the Tennessee Valley Art Association during their time organizing the Helen Keller Art and Craft Show at the Helen Keller Festival from 1978 through 2011. The Rise of the Southern Craft Movement is one of the most comprehensive collections of the late 20th Century southern fine craft movement. It will be at the museum from June 2 – July 5.
These three exhibitions are endorsed Alabama Bicentennial events.
In choosing the buildings to feature in Celebration & Preservation, Tubbs said she split the state into five regions and picked five buildings from each region so her work would be balanced geographically. Additionally, she said she tried to pick buildings from different decades and in different styles in order to showcase the variety of the state’s architecture.
“I love drawing architecture because I love history,” Tubbs said. “Who built it, why they built it, what they used for materials. All of that color ignites your imagination with that particular building.”
Tubbs draws from photographs she takes of buildings because she wants a very specific time of day to capture the best lighting. Both the photography and drawing help preserve Alabama’s history and culture.
Not only does she hope that visitors learn about the history and culture of Alabama and its architecture, but she hopes it develops a greater appreciation for pen and ink drawing as an artform. Working in black and white is a challenging medium that draws focus to light and value, she said.
“I put a lot of detail in my drawings always, because whether we are conscious of it or not, it’s the details of things that make them what they are in our mind,” Tubbs said. “It’s all the little details of your home that make it yours as opposed to your neighbors’.”
The Tennessee Valley Museum of Art is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 1 to 3 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. Copies of the Celebration & Preservation: Drawing Alabama’s Architectural History catalog is $15 plus tax.
Hours: Monday – Friday: 9 – 5 p.m.
Sunday 1 – 3:00 p.m.