A trio of exhibitions at the TVMA:

Celebration and Preservation: Drawing Alabama's Architectural History

Rise of the Southern Craft Movement

The Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama


Pen and ink artist Melissa Tubbs will be exhibiting a collection of her drawings called Celebration & Preservation: Drawing Alabama’s Architectural HistoryJune 2 – July 5 at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art.

The exhibition is a touring Alabama Bicentennial project featuring 25 drawings of landmarks from across the state. Accompanying the exhibit will be a book by the same name featuring prints of the drawings along with information about the history of each building.

An opening reception will be held from 1 to 3 p.m., June 2 at the museum where Tubbs will give a gallery talk. 

During the length of Celebration & Preservation, the museum will be exhibiting the Helen Keller Art Show of Alabamaand a selection of fine craft from the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art’s permanent collection, titled The Rise of the Southern Craft Movement.

The Helen Keller Art Show of Alabamais an annual exhibit of work by blind, deaf-blind and visually impaired students from across the state of Alabama. It will be at the museum from June 2 – 28. 

These three exhibitions are endorsed Alabama Bicentennial events.

In choosing the buildings to feature in Celebration & Preservation, Tubbs said she split the state into five regions and picked five buildings from each region so her work would be balanced geographically. Additionally, she said she tried to pick buildings from different decades and in different styles in order to showcase the variety of the state’s architecture.

“I love drawing architecture because I love history,” Tubbs said. “Who built it, why they built it, what they used for materials. All of that color ignites your imagination with that particular building.” 

Tubbs draws from photographs she takes of buildings because she wants a very specific time of day to capture the best lighting. Both the photography and drawing help preserve Alabama’s history and culture. 

Not only does she hope that visitors learn about the history and culture of Alabama and its architecture, but she hopes it develops a greater appreciation for pen and ink drawing as an artform. Working in black and white is a challenging medium that draws focus to light and value, she said.

“I put a lot of detail in my drawings always, because whether we are conscious of it or not, it’s the details of things that make them what they are in our mind,” Tubbs said. “It’s all the little details of your home that make it yours as opposed to your neighbors’.”

Copies of the Celebration & Preservation: Drawing Alabama’s Architectural History catalog is $15 plus tax.

The Tennessee Valley Museum of Art’s exhibition The Rise of the Southern Craft Movement will feature a selection of fine art and craft from its permanent collection andwill be on display from June 2 to July 5.

The Rise of the Southern Craft Movementfeatures a series of purchase awards made by the Tennessee Valley Art Association from 1983 through 2011 during their time organizing the Helen Keller Art and Craft Show.

The TVAA began organizing the art and craft show in 1978 as part of the new Helen Keller Festival, which eventually became a juried event with cash awards determined by independent professionals. 

As the event grew Georgine Clarke, founder of the Kentuck Festival of the Arts and Community Arts program director at the Alabama State Council on the Arts, took an interest in the TVAA’s efforts and became an invaluable consultant and juror for a number of years. Clarke had said the purchase awards documented “the rise of the southern craft movement,” hence the title of this exhibition.

Outdoor craft shows throughout the south developed rapidly during these years early years, but according to Clarke, the TVAA was the only show organizer that documented this movement by purchasing art for its permanent collection. The art on display inThe Rise of the Southern Craft Movement is one of the most comprehensive collections of the late 20thCentury southern fine art and craft movement and includes oil and watercolor paintings as well as works in metal, clay, wood, glass, fiber and mixed media.

The exhibition The Rise of the Southern Craft Movementis an endorsed Alabama Bicentennial event.

The Tennessee Valley Museum of Art is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 1 to 3 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. 

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Event Calendar

Saturday July 20 @ 7:35 PM -
West Side Story
Sunday July 21 @ 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
ArtWorks 2019
Monday July 22 @ 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
ArtWorks 2019
Thursday July 25 @ 7:35 PM -
West Side Story


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Members of the Art Association enjoy an array of benefits ranging from free admission to the Museum, discounts on art classes to tickets for theatre programs and a member dinner. Whatever your interest, there is a membership level for you. We strive to create a personal, engaging, and memorable experience at the Museum and Ritz.


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