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)

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