New shows opening at North Alabama museum

     (PNAN-AL) –  On Sunday, October 3, the Huntsville Museum of Art in Alabama will unveil, “Turning Wood into Art: The Jane and Arthur Mason Collection” and “Encounters: Mark Messersmith” exhibitions.

“Kinetic Rhythms” by William Hunter, #1277 1997, cocobolo rosewood, lathe-turned, carved, Gift of Jane and Arthur Mason, 1998.114.6

     ‘Turning Wood into Art’ showcases approximately sixty-five objects from Washingtonians Jane and Arthur Mason in the Huth, Boeing, Haws and Salmon Galleries. The collection, one of the world’s foremost, offers much insight into the creative growth of the artist while simultaneously offering an impressive lesson in connoisseurship. Turned-wood objects embody a provocative combination of the natural and the manmade. The dialog between an artist and the wood on the lathe is a balancing act between precise control and the forces of chance; a collaboration of hand, machine, mind and matter.

     Arranged by the Mint Museum of Craft + Design of Charlotte, North Carolina and circulated by Smith Kramer Fine Art Services, Kansas City, Missouri, the show, which is on view through December 5, 2010, is organized around five conceptual themes: Design, Material Esthetics, Process and Image, Storytelling and Tree Life, as well as the basics of period history, technique and beauty. For more visual views, including the collection’s artists, see

“Unsettled Spring” by Mark Messersmith

     In the Grisham Gallery, showcasing the museum’s award-winning regional contemporary art, “Encounters: Mark Messersmith” paintings focus on the tensions between the natural world and humankind, played out in the scrublands and backwaters of the Florida Panhandle. “This Southern landscape,” Messersmith said, “is still out there someplace — just beyond the urban sprawl, shopping malls, and trailer parks. It is a land of myths and facts, still inhabited by powerful birds, vigilant panthers, weary gators, blackwater swamps, old cypress trees, back road citrus stands, and careening logging trucks.”

     This artist and Professor of Art at Florida State University in Tallahassee, uses dazzling color, dizzying perspectives, overlapping imagery and masterful light effects to enhance the drama of his works. He adds three-dimensional objects arranged in boxes along the bottom, and often suspends objects directly in front. Although his works tell a modern-day tale, they also incorporate influences from the art historical past, including medieval altarpieces, 19th century romantic landscape painting, and contemporary folk art.

     On opening day of ‘Encounters’ – Messersmith will be leading attendees in a gallery walk of his show. Admission to the talk is free for members or included in general admission for non-members. The show closes January 16, 2011.

     For more information on the museum, including all its offerings, see or call 256.535.4350 or toll free 800.786.9095.

Published by on September 2010. Filed under Archives, Art-to-Art Marketplace Guide, At the Museums dept, PaletteBoards Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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