Alabama has strongly always strongly supported the visual arts. The state is home to a number of excellent art museums, and even many of the smaller communities are home to galleries featuring the work of local artists.
The Birmingham Museum of Art has grown from a five-room SOMETHING in city hall to the largest municipal museum in the Southeast. The museum’s permanent collection features over 21,000 works of art dating from the fifteenth century to the present day. Temporary exhibits include both major traveling exhibitions to smaller showings focusing on the work of a single artist. Located in downtown Birmingham, the Museum also features an outdoor sculpture garden, museum store, and a terrace café on the second floor atrium.
The Tennessee Valley Museum of Art offers a variety of multi-disciplined exhibitions annually. The permanent exhibition of the Martin Petroglyph is on display in a replicated bluff shelter setting. The 3,000 pound boulder depicts human footprints and snakes carved by the prehistoric people of northwest Alabama. Objects including shell and stone carvings, pottery, projectile points, among others interpret the mastery of the earliest people of our area.
The Blake Center is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of fine art and history of North Alabama. Established by the H.C. Blake Co. in 2020, HC Blake Art & History Center has quickly become one of the most popular fine art galleres and history museums in the south. This popularity is due to the unique history displays, fine art and world class cultural and art instruction.
Art isn’t just about what happens in the classroom. That’s why the Department of Art, Art History, and Design presents the work of regionally and nationally known artists and gives students opportunities to show their work in our three gallery spaces. From visiting artists’ lectures and workshops to the nuts and bolts of mounting and promoting exhibitions, students experience a slice of the art world right here on campus.
South Alabama Museums
A modern 40,000 square foot building overlooking a 3-acre lake on the campus Auburn University, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art is one of the most respected arts museums in the South. Permanent collections primarily include American and European art of the 19th and 20th century. Works by such masters as Chagall, Renoir, Salvador Dalí, Picasso, Miró and Matisse can be found within the museum’s eight exhibition galleries. The museum grounds themselves encompass 15- acres of botanical gardens showcasing large sculptures, walking paths and water features.
Founded in 1991, this unique gallery buys and sells rare pieces of art created by self-taught artists. The gallery focuses on the work of contemporary folk and fringe artists, pieces shaped by life outside of the mainstream. The collection represents artists from many different areas, philosophical beliefs and personal backgrounds. The gallery’s location in Montgomery is available for informal showings by appointment.
Richard Templeton’s artwork reflects the interests of the communities within the Gulf Coast region. His love of coastal life is reflected in the warm impressionistic tones of his sketches and watercolor paintings. A native of New England, Templeton spent the majority of his life in Mobile, and deeply enjoyed capturing the vivid lifestyle of the region.