An exhibit of sculptures by Alabama artist and Troy University alumnus Larry Strickland will open on Nov. 7 with a reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at TROY’s International Arts Center on the Troy Campus.
The exhibit, “Larry Strickland: Sticks and Stones,” features a collection of sculptures composed of materials Strickland has encountered in nature, such as driftwood, heart pine, bones and stones. The exhibit will be on display through Feb. 5.
Among the pieces included in the exhibit is a larger-than-life horse, a Trojan warrior and numerous angels. A series of poetry will be intertwined with the individual sculptures.
“Larry Strickland’s artistic vision co-exists with the destructive effects nature has inflicted upon the materials, celebrating their movement and imperfection by incorporating them into the sculpture’s design,” said Carrie Jaxon, curator of TROY’s International Arts Center. “Strickland sees in each lifeless piece of wood he stumbles upon the representation of life’s cycle – birth, life, death, and re-birth through the artist’s vision.”
A native of Florala, Strickland attended Troy State University following high school, but was drafted into the Army, serving as an illustrator during the Vietnam War. After the war, Strickland chose to further his career in art at the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Fla., where he graduated at the top of his class. He later returned to Troy State to complete his degree in 1984.
Strickland has shown his artwork extensively throughout the United States in both solo and group exhibitions. His works have been acquired by a long list of art patrons and private collectors throughout the world. He has had work accepted for the American Watercolor Society Exhibit in New York and has been accepted for exhibition in various shows such as The Jean Lake Memorial Art Show, The Greater New Orleans International Art Exhibit, and The Kentuck Festival.
Strickland sculpts primarily in weathered wood, using bone, copper, shell, deer horn and precious metals as symbolic accents. He’s also well-known for his whimsical cityscape paintings which focus on the old architecture of Southeastern cities. Strickland is also an artist of the written word, writing poetry that at times is inspired by his sculptures.
On the campus of Troy University, Strickland is known for his 9-foot-tall bronze Trojan Warrior sculpture which soars about the Academic Quad on the Troy Campus, which was finished in 2004. Similar statues are found at the University’s campuses in Dothan, Montgomery and Phenix City, as well as overlooking the football field at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Troy.
“The nature of my work is a direct result of nature itself,” Strickland said. “The wood I find along creeks, streams, and in wooded areas has fallen, weathering over time by the elements. This natural process of decay is the process I work with. As each piece is excavated and cleaned, only the hardest and most durable wood remains. The movement and beauty of this driftwood becomes the soul of the sculpted piece, as its original form is always left recognizable even after my interpretation is hewn.”