July 22 - Aug. 31
Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Mon. - Fri.; 1 - 3 p.m. Sun
Admission: $5 Adults; $3 Children and free on Sundays
The Tennessee Valley Art Association’s annual member exhibition, ArtWorks, will open 1 – 3 p.m., July 22 at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art, 511 N. Water St., Tuscumbia.
The exhibit is open until Aug. 31, museum hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 1-3 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students and free on Sundays.
ArtWorks is an official Alabama Bicentennial event and the opening is a W.C. Handy Music Festival event. The band Doctors, Lawyers and Such will perform at the opening.
Any member of the art association is welcome to submit up to two pieces that have been completed in the past three years and that haven’t been exhibited within a 50-mile radius of the museum. The show is not juried; however, an opening-day popular vote will determine four People’s Choice Award winners with a $25 prize for each.
Participating artists range from full-time, veteran professionals to part-time hobbyists and amateurs, younger artists and students.
Recently graduated artist Wesley Hooper exhibited in ArtWorks in 2017, which he said gave him an opportunity to not only showcase his work but network with and introduce himself to the creative community in the Shoals. Hooper said he had just graduated from the University of North Alabama with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and was looking for as many opportunities as possible as he began pursuing a career as a professional artist.
“I wasn’t expecting such a huge turnout at the opening and I met a lot of new people, many of them were more experienced and had been doing this for a while,” Hooper said. “That showed me just how involved the Shoals actually is in the arts.”
Hooper submitted two ceramic and iron sculptures in 2017, and despite his focus on three-dimensional works, he said he took inspiration from every piece he saw at ArtWorks.
“When you start to talk to people who are doing different things and building connections with people, it inspires you to keep going,” he said. “In a way, just having that community is an inspiration in pursuing the arts. You think, if they’re capable of that, what am I capable of? Seeing great work pushes people.”
Like Hooper, artist Emily Ivey exhibited in ArtWorks for the first time in 2017, and was joined by her young daughter. She and her family are new to the Shoals and Ivey said they appreciate the opportunity provided by ArtWorks.
“I was really pleased to be a part of such an interesting and diverse group of local artists,” Ivey said. “It’s an opportunity that I don’t think a lot of people have in their communities. And it’s great the museum supports young talent. Every mom puts their children’s art on the refrigerator, but to be able to display it alongside other artists for people to enjoy and recognize and encourage the creativity of young people, it is really special.”
Artist Marianthe Snyder is a long-time participant in ArtWorks, and like Ivey her children participated in ArtWorks for the first time in 2017.
“I think ArtWorks is an essential thing because I want my children to be part of the art community,” Snyder said. “If they start out this early appreciating and participating, then they realize the community exists not just as the art they look at, but the art they create. They’re more than just observers, they can participate in it as well.”