TUSCALOOSA, Ala.—The Paul R. Jones Gallery in downtown Tuscaloosa will open a new exhibition, “Collected Memory,” Friday, July 7.
The exhibition will run until Aug. 25 and showcases a collection of works created by artists of Southern heritage including Benny Andrews, Fahamu Pecou and 27 other artists.
The exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, photographs and works of other media and is free and open to the public.
Aaron Head, curator for this exhibit and graduate of The University of Alabama, said one of the most common themes in contemporary art is the presentation of an artist’s memories in their work.
“This relationship is never quite as complex as it is with artists who make or have made work in the American South, whether it be due to an artist’s race, family history or economic background,” Head said. “For artists, the South can simultaneously be a source of inspiration, repression, nostalgia and repulsion.”
The exhibit features the memories of artists like Benny Andrews, who grew up in Georgia in a family of sharecroppers and was the first to graduate high school when he received his diploma in 1948. He continued his education for two more years on scholarship before joining the U.S. Air Force and fighting in the Korean War, then went on to get a degree in fine arts, cofound the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition in 1969 and establish the Benny Andrews Foundation.
A reception to celebrate the opening of the exhibit will take place Friday, July 7, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The gallery honors the late Paul R. Jones who, during his lifetime, amassed one of the largest collections of African-American art in the world. The Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at UA includes more than 2,100 works valued at $10.3 million. Jones donated the collection to UA in 2008.
The Paul R. Jones Gallery is at 2308 Sixth St. in downtown Tuscaloosa. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and the first Friday of every month from noon to 8 p.m.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.