of Montgomery was awarded a music fellowship in the amount of $5,000. His fresh
and experimental compositions fill a niche in the area of music for lower brass
instruments. Bristol composes for professional musicians as well as young
emerging musicians and has a broad audience appeal.
Jenny Fine of
Birmingham was awarded a visual arts fellowship in photography in the amount of
$5,000. Her work is deeply rooted in Alabama and explores memory and
relationships through a lens of southern symbology. Fine’s core work is
photography , but she has masterfully integrated installation and performance
art into her exhibitions.
Goldspiel of Montevallo was awarded a music fellowship in the amount of $5,000.
Goldspiel’s compositions exhibit a variety in thematic melodies that are well
suited for musicians and audiences. His work is imaginative and explores new
H. Greenman of Montgomery was awarded a visual arts fellowship in crafts in the
amount of $5,000. Greenman creates beautiful, rustic Asian-inspired ceramic forms
that reflect his study of ancient ceramic traditions; a knowledge that he
willingly shares with his students and community.
of Huntsville was awarded a visual arts fellowship in the amount of $5,000.
Johnson’s work delves into deep issues of southern identity, but his use of
bright colors and non-traditional materials such as sequins and glitter combine
to form beautiful compositions that create space for dialogue with the
of Troy was awarded a visual arts fellowship in design in the amount of $5,000.
Johnson’s work reflects images that are sophisticated and well-crafted due to
his skillful computer detailing. He actively collaborates with another Alabama
artist to produce work that is educational as well as artistic.
of Birmingham was awarded a theatre fellowship in the amount of $5,000. His
work as a playwright reflected characters that were colorful and
three-dimensional with well-timed dramatic incidents. The language used was
intelligent, yet very accessible. As a theatre educator, Litsey is a seasoned
playwright and qualified to develop his next theatre project covering human
Beasley Lockett of Selma was awarded an arts administrative fellowship in the
amount of $5,000. Over the years, Lockett has demonstrated a clear commitment
to arts administration and community culture development. Using her fellowship
funds, Lockett plans to attend leadership training through the National Arts
Strategies program. The NAS program offers opportunities to explore issues that
impact growth and efficiency of a community arts organization and to explore
how community arts development can be used as a vehicle to bring about substantive
change within a community. Lockett is the Executive Director of ArtRevive in
Medcalf of Montgomery was awarded a dance fellowship in the amount of $5,000.
His choreography structure is clear and dynamic in shape and design. His
performers appear to be skilled, expressive and aware of content. Medcalf
demonstrates an ability to capture major works of recent years on film for use
in professional and academic settings.
of Gardendale was awarded a visual arts fellowship in crafts in the amount of
$5,000. Mercer’s work is very focused, modern and fresh. His body of work
reflects a very consistent, cohesive and compelling control of clay and glazes.
Nell of Opelika was awarded a visual arts fellowship in the amount of $5,000.
Nell’s large paintings blur the lines of realism and abstraction. His current
work is a departure from his previous work with small canvases. The new work
introduces Nell’s skillful use of texture and clever mastery of light in his
of Auburn was awarded a literary arts fellowship for fiction in the amount of
$5,000. Parsons specializes in young adult fiction and just published her first
novel, Still Waters with Penguin/Random House and has another one Flying, Not
Falling, forthcoming in 2017. Parson writes with authority in a strong,
authentic voice that appeals to young adult audiences. She was recently
selected as a PEN Literary Award Winner for the Phyllis Naylor Working Writer
Johnathan Purvis of Birmingham was awarded
a visual arts fellowship for photography in the amount of $5,000. His work
utilizes gum bichromate printing, a nineteenth century photographic process.
Portraits from around Alabama are combined with experimental processes to
create unique compositions.
of Birmingham was awarded a dance fellowship in the amount of $5,000. As the
artistic director of Natyananda, she teaches, choreographs, and performs
Bharatanatyam, a classical dance form of India. Rubin has a long track record
of high accomplishment and plans to develop major new work.
of Montgomery was awarded a theatre fellowship in the amount of $5,000.
Thornton’s professional work is unparalleled in the discipline of theatre. His
career achievement and artistic prowess indicates his ability to break through
to new levels in his career.
Allen Trimble of Montgomery was awarded a literary arts fellowship in poetry in
the amount of $5,000. Dr. Trimble is the
chair of the department of Languages and Literature at Alabama State
University. Her work, which explores
themes of race and gender, has been characterized as “poetry of witness,” a
genre of social and public engagement. A
collection of her poems is scheduled for publication by New South Books in
November of 2016.
A 50TH ANNIVERSARY OBSERVANCE
to the quarterly business meeting to address policy issues and approve grants,
Thursday night was reserved to celebrate the Council’s 50th anniversary at a
reunion dinner for past and current Council members and staff. A revolving
photo-expose reflected faces and events dating back to the creation of the
Council in 1966. A Council history was compiled and presented to the alumni
gathered, along with a Senate Resolution sponsored by Senator Tom Whatley from
Opelika. The Resolution in part recognized the Council’s 50 years of support
for all of the arts and artists in Alabama highlighting the significant
emphasis on arts education, maintaining a nationally recognized folk arts
program, providing matching grants to hundreds of organizations statewide for
programming in the visual, performing and literary arts. These programs
included concerts, exhibitions, festivals, community plays and diverse
in-school presentations. The Resolution also noted the Council’s support of
Alabama artists through fellowships, award programs, employment through
grant-funded projects, residencies in the classroom, apprenticeships and a wide
range of promotional activities.
celebration and program was capped off with a series of reflections by Al Head,
the Council’s Executive Director for the past thirty-one years, eight past
Council chairs and other past and current Council members. The 70 individuals
in attendance all played a significant role in the successful history of the
Council and the growth of all of the arts in Alabama over the past fifty-years.
Dora James of
Opelika stated, “Over the last fifty years, the agency in partnership with many
arts groups, educational institutions, other governmental entities, and
thousands of creative individuals have worked together to enhance the quality
of life and cultural landscape in Alabama.”
State Council on the Arts was created by Executive Order No. 29, on April 8,
1966 by Governor George C. Wallace, stating that "The practice and
enjoyment of the arts are of increasing importance to the personal welfare of
the people as a vital aspect of our cultural heritage and as valued means of
expanding the scope of our educational programs."
Act No. 551 established the Alabama State Council on the Arts and was signed
into law by Governor Lurleen B. Wallace on September 8, 1967, thereby creating
an official State Arts Agency as required by the National Foundation on the
Arts and Humanities by Act No. 1065.
State Council on the Arts is the official state arts agency of Alabama. The
staff of the Council, directed by Al Head, administers the grants programs and
provides financial assistance in arts planning and programming. The Council
receives its support through an annual appropriation from the Alabama
Legislature and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal