Prattville – Sunday afternoon found world-renowned artist Charlie “Tin Man” Lucas well represented at The Art Gallery at the Prattville Creative Art Center in downtown Prattville.
The reception was presented by the Prattauga Art Guild and held in conjunction with ARTrek, the River Region’s Premier Art Event.
ARTrek is a presentation of The Montgomery Art Gallery Association where participating art galleries in the Greater Montgomery Area are open and have their own receptions, giving patrons an opportunity to “trek” from gallery to gallery.
Autauga County, Alabama native found-object sculptor Lucas was the featured artist and is internationally known and lauded for his unique style of artwork.
“I’m so proud to be here in Prattville to see my work being recognized. It’s not only me, but other artists as well,” said Lucas. “This is what I’ve been dreaming of to happen. It’s a new language … and everybody needs to just kind of listen to the language.”
Lucas spends quite a bit of his time in schools conveying the idea to children that any of them can create art, and in the process use their own items; this method is sure to bring a smile to the faces of cash strapped educators.
“It has been overwhelming just to tell kids you do have a great mind and you can create. To me, that’s the icing on the cake. I’ve been doing this in the school system for over 27 years. I can go in with the kids and we can make something and it won’t cost the school system hardly anything because the kids will bring in the supplies,” he said. “I say, go in there and look in your drawers … there is something in there that you like, but you want to put it somewhere special and that’s what they will use.”
Prattville Mayor Jim Byard Jr. and his wife Beverly made an appearance. Lucas presented the mayor with a special autographed copy (featuring an original Lucas drawing) of his upcoming book Tin Man – Charlie Lucas which will be available from The University of Alabama Press in October.
“This is so nice. This means more than you know, Charlie,” Byard said, as he received the book from Lucas. “Thank you. That’s fabulous,” he added.
Robert Harrison, Nancy Raia, Thornton Clark, and Karen Seamon are just a few of the other artists whose works were exhibited at the event.
Several of the artists were on hand mingling with the gallery’s guests. Among them was Barbara Simpson, President of Prattauga Art Guild. According to Simpson, Sunday was also the grand opening of the art museum itself.
“This is the official opening. We’re not sure how we’re going to do it yet. We’re still brand new and still trying to learn from things, so we don’t have set hours,” Simpson said. “We’re going to be run on a volunteer basis and we’re trying to get some help from the community.”
“We have some art guild members who actually do a lot of volunteer work. So, we’re hoping to have people come maybe for a couple of hours on Thursday … a couple of hours on Friday … so that when we get our schedule set up, people can just come in and look.”
Prattville artist Anneliese Roemer lived in Hawaii before moving here four years ago. She works full time which limits her ability to show her art outside of the local area.
“I’ve been painting in acrylic about 17 years. I don’t usually travel a lot to exhibits because I work full time and my time is limited, but I try to join the local shows whenever I can,” Roemer said. “I work at Russell Price in Montgomery, so I do a little commuting.”
“I’m happy when I paint. It’s very freeing. It’s not good to be an artist and to be cloistered–you need to be inspired, too, by other artists. The great thing about the Guild is that it brings people together.”
Article by Marc Parker
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