Duane Paxson | Mors Eloquentiae
August 9 - November 28
In 1986 during an interview on Crossfire, Frank Zappa defended the right of musicians to publish pornographic lyrics, reiterating the phrase “it’s only words.” Zappa maintained thereby that words have neither meaning nor influence, be it positive or negative. He further stated that politicians should no longer be subtle but rather blunt, even coarse in their discourse. He finally predicted that America was headed toward Fascism: Zappa “zapped” it. Fast forward to the presidential campaign of 2016, in which “trash” talk became the norm, and many began to fear the nation’s slip from democratic ideals.
Even though Zappa was giving a spirited defense of the first amendment protecting free speech, his negation of the power of words, runs counter to cultural traditions and even scientific beliefs. Cultures both Eastern and Western hold their literary legacies in great esteem. And psychologists underscore how important supportive language is to all. My sculptures from the Mors Eloquentiae series dramatize today’s alarming disinterest in the reality of words and in the power of their intelligent and skillful use: the art of rhetoric.
Crafted of intricately welded steel, the works bear a dual significance. They are both megaphones, as though blaring empty words, and at the same time baby bottles, dispensing propaganda like liquids to be “sucked up” by innocent and unsuspecting citizens. The installation decries the current debasement of language in contemporary culture, but particularly in the political arena. I therefore title my work Mors Eloquentiae, Latin for the death of eloquence.
Jahni | Notations of a Native Son
February 17 - September 29, 2020
John “Jahni” Moore is a southern-born artist who often uses figuration to navigate
the dark/obscure spaces of humanity. His work explores those spaces with the intention
to serve as a path to identity through self-awareness and social positioning. His
process emerges as paintings, drawings, assemblage, writing, and installation.
Jahni received his Bachelor of Science in Art, and Master in Art Education from Alabama A&M University. He earned his Master of Fine Arts at The Art Institute of Chicago.
He currently resides in Huntsville, where he creates art and works as an instructor at Lee High Art Magnet School. His experience in arts education encompasses fifteen years among a variety of age groups, including primary schools, as well as Alabama A&M University and Oakwood University, Huntsville. He has been nominated twice to serve as an American Ambassador of Art to Colombia, South America, where he created murals, conducted lectures and gave presentations which focused on using art as a tool for social change, addressing the issue of violence and social justice.
Exhibitions that have featured Jahni’s work include: New Orleans African American Museum; Lowe Mill Gallery, Huntsville; Sullivan Gallery, Chicago; Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago; Heritage House Museum, Talladega; Rosa Parks Museum, Montgomery; Alabama State Council on the Arts, Montgomery; Laxart, Los Angeles; Birmingham Civil Rights Museum, Birmingham; Gallery of Contemporary Art, Antioquia, South America, among others.
For more information visit:
Carl Gombert_Radiant Geometry
February 21 - July 20, 2020
"I love pattern; I love decoration, and I love sparkle. These hand stamped works rely on radial structure to explore complexity and pattern arising from the application of simple rules. They explore rotation and repetition as formal strategies and the patterns that emerge from the process. Taking the form of mandalas, they attempt to balance opposites, relying equally on dark and light and on positive and negative shapes. Although they appear highly planned, the works result from a largely improvisational approach. Combinations of images are not generally selected beforehand; rather the images begin in the center ad evolve intuitively as they grow larger. In the little world, there is symmetry and balance and order, but neither rhyme nor reason. " –Carl Gombert
Carl Gombert was born in Brimfield, Ohio in 1959. He started taking painting lessons at the age of 14 with money he earned delivering newspapers. He completed a BFA in Drawing from the University of Akron and an MFA in Painting from Kent State University. He worked as a stagehand before earning a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts at Texas Tech University. He has exhibited in more than 250 exhibitions across the US and abroad. His work is in numerous museum, collegiate and private collections. Since 1993 has taught painting, drawing, and art history at Maryville College in Tennessee.
Chelsey Williams | The Emancipation of Black Women
March 2 - September 29, 2020
Chelsey is a native of Miami Florida and currently resides locally in Troy, Alabama. She works as a commissioned artist with aspirations to further grow her presence within the local art community and on social media. Chelsey is passionate about the message she is expressing in her body of work and looks forward to exhibitions in galleries across the nation.
“My time spent at Troy University has definitely paved the way and helped me grow as an artist. I’ve learned many techniques and discovered new materials that I wasn’t privy to before and I’m very thankful for my time spent with the University. My preferred technique is to just go with the flow! I have never been one to plan out or sketch out an idea in full detail. Once I am touched by a simple thought I just put in on paper or canvas then I build upon the idea while simultaneously working on it. Essentially most of my art is a “gut feeling”. I mostly enjoy painting and drawing; the materials can vary depending on the mood and muse fairy, the only constant is gold leaf (I love the stuff!)."
This group of work art reflects the freedom from mental slavery of self-beauty of one’s own image as a black woman. Throughout history a black woman's features were seen as undesirable and something to not be proud of. This collection of work pays homage to the beauty that is the black woman.
About MossaNall Dialogues
Described by many as a “modern-day Mossa,” Nall’s newest exhibit combines his slant on symbolist painting with that of French illustrator, playwright, essayist, curator and symbolist artist Gustav-Adolf Mossa, who died in 1971. Much of Mossa’s symbolist period focused on his reaction to the turn-of-the-century (1900-1911) boom of socialite leisure activity on the French Riviera, comically satirizing or condemning what was viewed as an increasingly materialistic society and the perceived dangers of the “new woman.”
Nall’s own artistry has been expressed through mosaics, including the monumental “Sunrise & Sunset Pensee,” hanging in Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum; sculptures including the “Violata Pax,” in Assisi and Pietrasanta, Italy, and in Troy; line engravings, some of which are in the permanent collections of the Boston Museum of Art and the Museum of Pau, France; porcelain, including three dinnerware designs for Haviland and Parlon of Limoges, France; sets and costumes, including those for operas performed in Italy; and carpets, consisting of tapestries hand-woven in silk and wool for Kamyar Moghadam in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
A 1997 book, “Nall-Mossa/Eros & Agapa” by Jean Forneris, and published by Galerie-Musee Raoul Dufy/Musées de la N.A.L.L. Art Association, compares Nall’s work to that of Mossa’s.
Nall completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Alabama, and was admitted to study at Ecole des Beaux-Artsin Paris, France in 1971. He travelled extensively in the Middle East, North Africa, India and Mexico, and studied under Salvador Dali, who trained him in artistic techniques and inspired him to devote his life to the pursuit of beauty through artwork.
His artwork is heavily influenced by his international travel and living experiences, and his associations with those whom he encountered.
In 1986, he bought a studio estate in Vence, France, and created the N.A.L.L. (Nature Art & Life League) Art Association, which offered artistic training for college students and provided a cultural life through exhibitions and conferences.