Tuesday, April 10, 2012

“The Sanctuary Artists: The Art of Nature” exhibiting at Tennessee Valley Museum of Art

TUSCUMBIA, ALA. … An exhibition celebrating the natural beauty of Huntsville’s Goldsmith-Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary is at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art, 511 N. Water St., Tuscumbia, from Sunday, March 18, through Friday, May 11.

“The Sanctuary Artists: The Art of Nature” includes paintings, photographs, pottery, prints and turned wood as well as poetry and story excerpts. Contributors to the exhibition are members of the Sanctuary Artists, a group of north Alabamians who are inspired by the 300-acre wilderness park and want others to learn about and appreciate it.

Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 1-3 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $5 adults, $3 students, members free, Sundays free and group rates available.

The exhibition will open 1-3 p.m. Sunday, March 18, with several members of the Sanctuary Artists attending. Activities, all free, include -- 1-2 p.m., Chuck and Katrina Weber perform traditional music; 1:30-2 p.m., in association with the Children’s Museum of the Shoals, children’s author and storyteller Sara McDaris reads from and signs her books about the Sanctuary; 2-2:30 p.m., Clayton Bass, organizer of the Sanctuary group, presents a history of the Sanctuary and shows some of his Sanctuary photographs; 2:30-3 p.m., Bass and other exhibiting artists discuss their works during a gallery walk; and 2:45-3 p.m., Jimmy Robinson reads three of his Sanctuary-inspired poems.

In addition, on Sunday, April 1, 1-3 p.m., Maggie Little and Katrina Weber will discuss the history of plein-air painting in context of the Sanctuary and show examples of materials used in the process; and Saturday, April 14, 10 a.m. to noon, Larry Long, Sanctuary historian and archivist, and Drucilla Esslinger, horticulturist and naturalist, will lead a walking tour of the park, with additional Sanctuary artists attending. 

Other activities include an Earth Day Celebration on Friday, April 20, at the museum. Education and outreach coordinators Jill Perry, with the Shoals Solid Waste Authority in Colbert County and Rachel Mansell, with Florence’s departments of solid waste, streets and recycling present programs on recycling. Museum docents will lead scheduled school tours through the Sanctuary exhibit, and Perry will park a recycling trailer outside the museum for collecting recyclables.  

Other members of the Sanctuary group are Jerry Brown, painter; Margaret Anne Goldsmith, philanthropist and naturalist; Dee Burt Holmes, painter and printmaker; Blake Hudson, videographer; Marian Lewis, photographer; Mary Ann Pope, painter; Guadalupe Robinson, potter; Jack Rogers, turned wood; and Sam Tumminello, photographer and videographer.

“The Art of Nature” exhibition has traveled throughout Alabama in 2011 and is scheduled for other museums in the state and the Southeast after it leaves Tuscumbia.

Goldsmith-Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary was created in the 1990s when members of the Goldsmith and Schiffman families donated land along the Flint River, south and east of downtown Huntsville, for wildlife and greenspace preservation. In February 2009, a group of artists, naturalists and others formed the Sanctuary Artists to raise public awareness of the Sanctuary and all natural spaces, Bass said.
For details, contact the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art, 256.383.0533.

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