Current Exhibitions

“The Nature of Things II” 

Mobile, AL – The University of South Alabama Marx Library is pleased to present a new art exhibit by local artist, Lynda Touart entitled, “The Nature of Things II”. This exhibit will be on display in the Mary Elizabeth and Charles Bernard Rodning Gallery of Art on the third floor of  USA’s Marx Library from December 4, 2017 to February 28, 2018.

Lynda received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting from the University of South Alabama and her Master of Fine Arts degree in painting/photography from Florida State University. She has received many awards and has exhibited extensively throughout the area. For more information, visit her website lyndatouart.com.

This exhibit will display Lynda’s work done in ink, acrylic or color pencil on paper in a style that is described as realism with a twist. Below is Lynda’s artist statement:

“Although obviously realism, I prefer to think of my work as more than just an exercise in reproducing life.  My particular interests concern composition, patterns, and reflections. These sometimes odd points of view are intended to enable the viewer to look at the "real" world in a new way.  It's important to me for the work not to look like a photograph – not an easy task considering that I work from photographs.  Perfectly normal areas of observation can seem surreal if viewed with an unusual approach. Patterns, and especially reflections, can, in and of themselves, seem surreal if isolated from their surroundings I especially like the complexities of water and glass, and the subtlety of floral elements. When someone sees past the realism, I’m pleased; I want to suggest that there is a story behind the work, but I am not interested in telling the story.

My work is ink, acrylic, or color pencil on paper. Because there are no lines in the ink drawings, I enjoy getting the delicate tonal graduations that are possible with the stipple method, using technical pens, ranging from #005 to (occasionally) #1. Often leaving a part of the drawing suggested rather than totally detailed, leaving an expanse of white and breaking the picture plane, passes on to the viewer the responsibility of thinking about it in depth.

The acrylic paintings use a very thin application of built-up color, through glazes and dry brushing.  I use very small brushes, which roughly correspond to the size of the technical pens used for the drawings. This allows for a great deal of depth and detail.  Acrylic is better than watercolor for me, so that I can put many layers over each other and not pick up the underneath color. The color pencil drawings are done in much the same way, applying one thin layer over another many times.  This is another way to achieve a richness, working up to a dense surface.

The two questions I am most often asked are, ‘how long does it take’ and ‘do you work from photographs’. I could not answer the first question, although I knew that each piece stretched over months.  As to the second question, since it takes me so long to complete a piece, I do have to work from photographs.  I use my digital camera as a sketchbook, and change the photographs in Photoshop until I get a composition that pleases me.  In that way, digital photography has been a great help in the preparation for my work.”

The exhibit is free and open to the public during regular library hours.


“Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama” 

Mobile, AL – The 2017 Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama is currently on display in the first floor gallery of the University of South Alabama Marx Library. The show will be on exhibit from November 16, 2017 – January 31, 2018. It is free and open to the public during regular Library hours.

The Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama is an annual show for Alabama students who are visually impaired, blind, or deaf/blind. It was established in 1983 as a cooperative project between agencies serving children with visual impairments. The art show is open to students of all ages in Alabama public, private, residential, and home schools. The philosophy of the exhibit is that all participating students are considered winners and teachers are encouraged to incorporate visual arts into the individual educational plan of each student. The show provides students an opportunity to showcase their special talents and abilities. The artwork is unique with emphasis on creativity, color, and tactile media.
Every year, the art show travels throughout the state of Alabama and is displayed in museums, art galleries, and agencies. The grand prize winner’s art remains in a permanent collection at Ivy Green in Tuscumbia, Alabama, which is Helen Keller’s birthplace.

Support for the annual Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama is provided through the sale of the art and through sponsors, including UAB Vision Science Research Center – Education and Outreach Module, UAB School of Optometry, UAB Program for Visual Impairments, UAB School of Education, EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital, the Patty Johnson Award, the Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau, the Nelson Family Award, and the Boyd Rogan Family Award.