Thursday, April 26, 2012


Wyatt Waters captures a fast flowing stream in vibrant colors.
With 15 professional plein air painters in town, the walls of the Gadsden Museum of Art soon fill with amazing art!  For locals the Southeastern Plein Air Invitational offers a chance to see sights we see everyday in a new, exciting, and provocative light--light very literally.  The plein air artists seek to capture not just the subject but also the fleeting light effects of a spring day in the south.  For everyone the collection offers the chance to share the experience of being there with the artist, seeing what the artist sees, and appreciating the beauty of nature.

Here is a link to view the over 150 paintings created between April 9 and 13.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Jill Berry finds blooms bordering a path--the essence of a spring walk.

Craig Reynolds combines dappled light and smooth water to create a spring memory.

Wyatt Waters captured the art deco green-and-black front of a White Castle Cafe from the mid-twentieth century.

Ron Bayens discovered a street fair and came back with a painting of a slice of life for the kid in everyone.

Today is Artist's Choice day at the Southeastern Plein Air Invitational--artists can go anywhere in the city/county and find the subject that most represents their style. To see the results of their search, join the artist at the opening reception at the Gadsden Museum of Art, 515 Broad Street, Gadsden--Friday, April 13, 6-8 p.m.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Artists will find the streetscape of Broad Street in Gadsden little changed from that shown in vintage postcards. Many storefronts feature the original owner's name and the date when they were built--the oldest from the turn of the 20th Century with others added through mid-century. The same is true for Alabama City and Attalla--all possible destinations for the first day of the Southeastern Plein Air Invitational.

Artists will find many architectural gems waiting to be painted including:

  • Movie palace marquee--the Pitman in Gadsden and the Ritz in Alabama City.
  • A prime example of Art Deco style, the former White Palace with its green glass facade banded in black on Broad Street in Gadsden.
  • The 50s vibe at the Magic Burger with its turquoise and red color scheme and original sign topped by an ice cream cone (halfway between Gadsden and Attalla).
  • The Nichols Memorial Library built in 1899, the first public library building in Alabama and listed on the National Register of Historical Places, it anchors Alabama City's Wall Street.
  • Alabama Power got its start in Attalla and the office there has the only remaining Reddy Kilowatt sign, the company's original logo.
  • The main intersection in Attalla features the former Walker's Drug with its original sign (now an antique store), a florist and wedding chapel, the city bell and gazebo.

What will the artist choose? Streetscape, architectural gem, storefronts with colorful merchandise, street vendors, or people shopping? After Monday night, we will know because the artists must turn in each day's paintings at the Gadsden Museum of Art. Visitors to the museum can see them on the following day. But none will be for sale until the reception Friday night, 6-8 p.m. The public is invited to meet the artists and see Gadsden, Alabama City, and Attalla through their eyes.

For daily information on the Invitational:

Follow this blog on and other information on the Gadsden Museum of Art web site (

Call or visit the museum (515 Broad Street in Gadsden, 256 546-7365)

Friday, April 6, 2012

ART QUEST: 15 Chances to Win Art Collectables

Left: Sample of Art Quest postcard.

The season for hunting Easter eggs may be over but another quest begins during the Southeastern Plein Air Invitational, April 9-13. In the fourth year of the event a new feature has been added—ART QUEST! 15 chances to win sketches, studies, and other art collectables donated by the 15 professional artists painting on location in the Gadsden area. Three ways to join in Art Quest:

1) See the artists painting on location and view the finished paintings in the Gadsden Museum of Art galleries.

2) Collect a postcard from each artist. The postcards are a free souvenir of the experience and include the artist’s picture, a reproduction of a painting showing their distinctive style, and a quote explaining their approach to creating art.

3) Collect five different postcards to become eligible for the drawing of sketches, studies, or prints from the plein air artists. Simply show your postcards at the Blue Umbrella (information central for each location), or at the Gadsden Museum of Art office during the week, or bring the postcards to the opening reception to enter the drawing.

The drawing will be held during the opening reception on Friday, April 13, 6-8 p.m., at the museum.

The public is invited to see the week’s paintings, meet the artists, and congratulate the Art Quest winners. All works completed during the event will be on exhibit and awards winners will be announced at the reception. All paintings will be available for purchase. Paintings will continue on exhibit through May 14.

Postcards will be available every day but some locations make collecting the cards easier.

Monday, April 9, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the artists will be painting in downtown Gadsden, Attalla, and Alabama City.

Wednesday, April 11, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. artists will be in the parks along the Coosa River including Coosa Landing (the city boat dock), Lafferty’s landing boardwalk, Jack Ray Family Park (behind the Hampton Inn), and James Martin Wildlife Park (behind the mall).

Friday, April 13, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., find the artists in Gadsden’s historic residential neighborhoods—Turrentine and Haralson Avenues; Argyle Circle; Reynolds, Walnut and Chestnut Streets.

The two other days of the event artists will be more widely distributed and in less accessible situations: On Tuesday, April 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the area around Gallant and on Thursday, April 12, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the artists are on their own to find the locations they most want to capture in paint.

To find daily information on the Invitational:

  • Look for the Blue Umbrella on location.
  • Consult the GMA Web site and follow the event in this blog.
  • Call GMA (236 546-7365) or stop by the museum at 515 Broad Street
Staff and volunteers will be available to assist visitors.