University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
September 02, 2010
Contact: Jennifer Z. Ekman, USA Public Relations, (251) 460-6211

USA Alumnus, Local Artist Josh Ashley Donates Sculpture to USA Libraries

Josh Ashley
Josh Ashley

University of South Alabama alumnus Josh Ashley, a local artist, has donated a sculpture to USA Libraries. His “#10 (the Can-Can Girl)” exhibits the creativity Ashley brings to his artwork, an assemblage of debris, defunct tools, instruments and personal effects he transforms into his masterpieces. His gift will be on permanent display in the first floor atrium of the USA Main Library on campus.

In addition to Ashley’s gift, a collection of his sculptures is on display in the first floor gallery of the Main Library through December 17. The exhibit is free and open to the public during library hours.

“I enjoyed my time at South, and I love the school,” Ashley said. “Giving a piece of my work to the library's collection is more an honor to me than a gift to it. I am very excited to have the “Can-Can Girl” find a home there. I hope she inspires at least a smile out of everyone that stops to see her.”


Ashley said he first met USA Libraries Dean Dr. Richard Wood several years ago when Ashley worked on the furniture installation for the addition to the main library. Wood invited Ashley to exhibit artwork at the library in years past.

Wood said he is excited about Ashley’s gift to the library and appreciates its addition to the space.

“It’s the first free-standing sculpture we have ever had in the library, and we are so proud of it,” Wood said. “It adds to our growing permanent collection of art, which includes a Rembrandt painting.”

Ashley said art has been a lifelong interest and vocation for him. His takes his inspiration from people he knows or meets and materials he finds.

“I don't remember a time when I was not interested in art,” he said. “For the last ten years, I've been designing furniture and space planning for a commercial furniture dealership. I made my first assemblage in 2007 and now I feel like that's what I should be doing. Because I use found materials, it's like I'm sampling existing designs and using them to create my own. It just feels natural to me.”

Ashley’s exhibit is running concurrently with Mike Carmichael’s photographic exhibit, “Room with a View,” which represent experiences Carmichael has had exploring several of the pristine lakes, creeks and rivers in Alabama.


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