Local artists present showcase

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The works of Jo Kelley and Walt Moore will be on display at the LAAC. | Kendra Bolling/Star-News


Two local artists are joining talents for an art show like no other, Lower Alabama Arts Coalition officials said Tuesday.

Walt Moore and Jo Kelley were busy Tuesday setting up the LAAC’s gallery with their broad array of paintings, pottery and sculpture.

“Walter and I are very pleased the arts council has given us the opportunity to show our work in our home town,” Kelley said. “We hope that everyone interested in the visual arts or who have children interested will come to Friday’s reception.”

The reception will be held Friday from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Moore works primarily in abstract art using mixed media and describes himself as a “self-taught artist”

“I’ve had no lessons to my knowledge,” he said. “I’ve always been a doodler. I was always the one drawing sketches in my textbook, but my first real attempt was at acrylics, doing landscape scenes and old buildings.”

Moore said he put down his painting for more than a decade.

“When I started back, for some strange reason, I tried abstract,” he said. “This may sound crazy, but when I decide to paint, I have no clue what I’m going to do. I usually paint on wood, and then I’ll surround myself with paint and have at it. Sometimes it looks like a train wreck.”

Moore said his favorite pieces tend to always be the right combination of orange and red.

“For example, my ‘Two Ways’ and ‘Down at Green River,’ ” he said. “They all incorporate red and orange. I also mixed in brown and green in ‘Fire Dance.’ ”

Kelley, on the other hand, is a contemporary painter, known around the county for her ladies in flowers paintings.

“About five years ago, I decided to choose a subject and revisit it to see what I learned,” she said. “I was taking a figure drawing class, and decided to put my figures in my drawings, so I decided to do sunflowers again and again with a figure in it, and most have a woman in them.

“My favorite is ‘Flower Power’ because of the texture I was able to achieve,” she said. “I owe that to Walter because he gave me the surface. We’re neighbors.”

Kelley also started making pottery after Larry Manning encouraged her to learn to “throw pots.”

“Now I have the Hayfield Studio on the Conecuh,” she said. “That’s where I paint and make pottery.”

Kelley described herself as a “lifetime student.”

“I’ve always done art,” she said.

“I’ve had wonderful instructors who have given me good tools and helped show me the way.”

The exhibition is made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.