‘Handed down, passed along’

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 30, 2010

In the South, there’s a tradition of handing things down and passing them along, and it’s something residents do with everything, including art.

That’s what the Wiregrass Museum of Art’s “Traveling Exhibit: Handed Down, Passed Along,” hopes to tell.

“This traveling exhibition is the result of a survey of the unique visual art forms created in the Wiregrass Region over four generations,” the museum’s Web site says. “Interviews with living artists sought to identify aspects of their family history that influences their artistic input. Instead of discovering direct artistic links across generations, research revealed that societal values – hard work, practicality, resourcefulness and love of the land – have impacted the artistic efforts of the succeeding generations. The youngest generation of artists and artisans is encouraged by a social network that was nonexistent 50 years ago.”

The exhibit, which is traveling to nine venues in six Wiregrass counties, went up Monday at the Andalusia Public Library and Director Karin Taylor said it will on exhibit for two weeks.

The exhibit includes two local artists, Florala’s Larry Strickland and Andalusia’s Jimmy Vick.

Vick has on display some of his hand-painted fishing lures that are made of mixed materials.

“We thought since this year the state was participating in the Big Read and we were focusing it on Tom Sawyer, we thought this would fit in really well with the small town artists and atmosphere,” Taylor said. “It also goes well with the Department of Tourism’s year of small towns and downtowns. We thought it would bring all of that together nicely.”

In addition, there is a special hands-on activity for children and adults alike, that Taylor says shows event-goers that art can be made of anything.

Other artists on display are: Paulette Riley of Abbeville; Brenda Register of Dothan; Jack Deloney of Ozark; Neal Brantley of Montgomery; Sammy Barron; Catherine Smith of Dothan; Nelda Mann of Eufaula; Becky Morgan of Dothan; Jane Jernigan, Wilson Fomar, Julia Wiley Brantley White and Larry Godwin, all of Troy.

Taylor said the exhibit, which is on display in the Dixon Room, will be open to the public Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.

Andalusia Public Library Director Karin Taylor demonstrates a hands-on portion of the exhibit that shows how anything can make art. | Kendra Bolling/Star-News