Nall exhibit unites Alabama art under one roof

September 18, 2018

The “Alabama Art: Inside and Out” exhibit at Troy University’s International Arts Center is bringing the state’s diverse and geographically distinct artists together under one roof.

The exhibit, designed by the artist Nall and on display in the Fred “Nall” Hollis Museum until Nov. 9, combines portraits of Alabama artists created by Nall with selections of each artist’s work.

Renowned sculptor Bruce Larsen is one of the artists featured in “Alabama Art: Inside and Out,” having sat for a portrait and even helped Nall construct some of the pieces.

“I saw it being created,” said Larsen, whose “Artifacts” exhibit was on display at the IAC earlier this year. “I learn by doing. Actually getting out and doing it, working with Nall and listening to someone who’s been doing this much longer than me, hearing stories first-hand about Salvador Dali or Ringo Starr, it brings the world a little closer to you.”

This exhibit for the first time displays Nall’s portraits alongside examples of each artist’s work, many pieces from Nall’s personal collection that have been donated to TROY.

From Larsen’s perspective, the gallery is a needed boost to the state’s artistic self-esteem.

“I think in some ways Alabama has a self-confidence problem,” Larsen said. “We’re so spread out. There is a lot to see in Alabama and a lot of stories, but then you have to drive two hours through pine forests to get to another place. In France, if you drive two hours, you’re out of the country. What this show does is pull Alabama art together to one point where you can see it all without going through the forests.”

The International Arts Center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Weekend hours are available on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.