Works Reflect on the Southern Craft Movement

Migrating Mammoths (Richard DiMarzo)

TUSCUMBIA – The Tennessee Valley Museum of Art’s exhibition The Rise of the Southern Craft Movement will feature a selection of fine art and craft from its permanent collection. It will be on display from June 2-July 5.

The Rise of the Southern Craft Movement features a series of purchase awards made by the Tennessee Valley Art Association from 1983-2011 during their time organizing the Helen Keller Art and Craft Show.

The TVAA began organizing the art and craft show in 1978 as part of the new Helen Keller Festival. The show eventually became a juried event with cash awards determined by independent professionals.

As the event grew Georgine Clarke, founder of the Kentuck Festival of the Arts and Community Arts program director at the Alabama State Council on the Arts, took an interest in the TVAA’s efforts and became an invaluable consultant and juror for many years. According to Clarke, the purchase awards documented the rise of the southern craft movement.

Outdoor craft shows throughout the south developed rapidly during these early years. However, according to Clarke, the TVAA was the only show organizer that documented this movement by purchasing art for its permanent collection.

The art on display in The Rise of the Southern Craft Movement is one of the most comprehensive collections of the late 20th Century southern fine art and craft movement. The exhibit includes oil and watercolor paintings, works in metal, clay, wood, glass, fiber and mixed media. The Rise of the Southern Craft Movement is an endorsed Alabama Bicentennial event.