In Many Ways, Artists Serve As Historians

—by Mark Harris, Founder & Director of the DAC Foundation

The Dixie Art Colony Foundation is pleased to announce the Elmore County PREMIERE of our updated video titled "DIXIE ART COLONY: A Look At Its Lasting Legacy" on the large screen at the historic MOUNT VERNON THEATRE located in downtown Tallassee, Alabama.

Tallassee Alabama

The Mount Vernon Theatre located at 321 Barnett Boulevard in downtown Tallassee, Alabama

The 17-minute video chronicles the history of the Dixie Art Colony, which began in 1933 near Tallassee at Camp Dixie on Lake Martin. The video will be followed by a brief intermission and an exciting new slide presentation and lecture titled The History of Tallassee Through the Eyes of an Artist. The slide presentation and lecture will focus on the four mural-sized oil paintings located in the lobby of Trustmark Bank directly across the street from the theatre. The first showing in the theatre will take place on Friday evening, June 7. The second showing will be Saturday morning, June 8.

The four mural-sized paintings commissioned in 1953 by Bank of Tallassee president Roberts Blount were designed by Dixie Art Colony co-founder John Kelly Fitzpatrick who died while working on the paintings. One of Fitzpatrick’s students Arthur Walter Stewart completed the paintings. Stewart was also a participant in the Dixie Art Colony. The paintings were designed by Fitzpatrick as a visual narrative about the history and development of the Tallassee area.

Our presentation will show how art can transport us into a different time and place, and how we, the viewers of art, can learn to appreciate different periods in history and better understand the significance of how our history has impacted our communities. In many ways, artists serve as historians, creating visual records of our society and culture.

In addition to the festivities at the Mount Vernon Theatre, for the third consecutive year, the Dixie Art Colony Foundation will also hold an exhibition of Dixie Art Colony related artwork in the bank lobby of Trustmark located at 304 Barnett Boulevard in downtown Tallassee. This year’s exhibition will include some of the works from previous years along with many fresh, new additions.

We are also pleased that the Elmore County Art Guild’s third annual summer exhibition will also be held in Tallassee. The ECAG exhibit will be part of a larger exhibition titled “VISUAL VOICES: An Artistic Collaboration.” The McCraney Cottle Arts Council and the Elmore County Art Guild will coordinate this collaborative exhibition. “Visual Voices” will also include student work from Tallassee’s City School system and other adult artists from across central Alabama. This combined exhibition will be held at 101 North Ann Avenue. This building known as the “Patterson Building” is located behind the downtown Trustmark Bank at the corner of King Street and North Ann Avenue. All of the art related venues are clustered together in the same city block.

More details will be released soon about this collaborative effort which will be held during Tallassee’s annual June celebration known as Tallassee NOW: RiverFest.

Thank you to the following for their support: McCraney Cottle Arts Council, Elmore County Art Guild, Trustmark Bank, Tallassee Community Development Corporation, Tallassee Mount Vernon Theatre, Inc., Dylan and Haley Daniel, Debra Hughey, Gallery One Fine Art, and the many volunteers that assist in this annual group effort.

Vintage photographs are taken from the Mildred Blount Foundation and Trustmark Bank archives.

View our 2017 DAC Tallassee NOW Exhibition Catalog

 

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