The Huntsville Museum of Art is introducing several regional artists during Black History Month. Many of these artists have had their work on display at the Museum. Some are even local to Huntsville. This week, read along to meet six different artists and learn more about their background.
Kimberly Dummons is an Associate Professor of Art and Design at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN, where she primarily teaches Two-Dimensional Design and Three-Dimensional Design. Originally from Baton Rouge, LA, she earned her B.A. in Art from Xavier University of Louisiana and her M.F.A. in Studio Art, with a Sculpture concentration, from the University of New Orleans. Her research is mainly sculpture, with some printmaking, focusing on the female figure in various media.
Her work is included in several collections, including the Amistad Collection, housed at Tulane University, and the Blanche and Norman Francis Collection, housed at Xavier University of LA. Additionally, she has a public sculpture, Buddy Bolden, commissioned by the City of New Orleans and located in Louis Armstrong Park. Her work has been reviewed and published both regionally and nationally. Dummons was included in HMA’s recurring juried exhibition, The Red Clay Survey, in 2020.
Merging faith and contemporary art, Dariá Hammond paints nature and anatomy in relation to healing. Paying close attention to patterns in nature and anatomic structures gives her a love of using unusual textures and materials, often anchored by powerful abstract design. For Dariá, these subjects are spiritually healing factors that anyone can relate to and contribute to any present physical or mental matters. Some of her work hints at current social or political issues that take place, challenging mentalities and traditions. She strongly believes that art is powerful enough to heal, especially when it is pleasing to the eye. And because art is so powerful, she is vigilant about the work she creates and the message she communicates.
Starting out, I was a Medical Lab Tech and a part-time artist. I was so drawn to the medical field because I had always had the heart and passion to help people and to make a difference. It wasn’t until 2018 that I realized I could make that same difference with my hands, creating things that could transform minds and the environment. So I took the leap into my art practice full time, launching Mosoul Arts L.L.C. Mosoul does soul work by providing holistic art products and services to the Huntsville community and surrounding areas to sow seeds of healing, joy, and knowledge about faith, art, and culture.
I currently teach fun art classes at Wine and Design in Madison, Alabama. Crazily enough, I am back in the medical field at Huntsville Hospital starting in the Women and Children’s Department with Arts in Medicine. As an artist-in-residence, I paint and teach art beside patients. Now that we are in a pandemic and I can no longer paint bedside, I take part in curating exhibitions that have a great impact on Huntsville Hospital employees and patients. I have worked with several communities teaching art in the areas of rehabilitation, Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and foster care communities.
My overall passion is to reflect healing in my art for the benefit of others, and for many to be impassioned to self-seek by teaching them to do the same. My passion is now evolving to teach artists what I have learned. Starting in May 2021, I will be teaching workshops at Burritt on the Mountain.
Calvin Hubbard was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He has worked as a professional artist and teacher for over 30 years. He taught everything from painting to photography, but his focus is now on pottery. Hubbard observes that every time he makes something, even if it is the same design as what he has made before, clay behaves differently. Each piece is truly one-of-a-kind.
Hubbard sculpts all sorts of subject matter. Wild animals, important historical figures, and symbols of family and faith are featured throughout his sculptures and adorned upon his thrown ceramic wares. Visiting his studio in Lowe Mill is like a trip to an art museum, history museum, and wildlife museum all at once. He is especially well-known in Huntsville for his ceramic turtles. When asked why he likes turtles so much, Hubbard once said, “I think they’re kind of innocent and they’re very interesting to observe.” He relates to the turtles. According to Hubbard, much of what we hear about turtles is not true; similarly, much of what was said about him while he was growing up was not true.
Jerry Lynn was born and raised in the suburbs of Memphis, Tennessee. He received early success and recognition with the collaborative art he created with his brother under the moniker “Twin.” His art is in the collections of celebrities, business leaders, and notable people such as Bob Johnson, Kem, Alonzo Morning and Isaiah Thomas. His current practice involves taking black figures from the past and present and immortalizing them on canvas in a refreshing way. Lynn’s work was recently included in HMA’s Red Clay Survey.
Expressive brushstrokes and mark makings have been part of my latest body of work. My daughter and son have served as inspiration for me to create positive and evocative work that would uplift the viewer.
Renee Stout grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 1980. In 1985, she moved to Washington, D.C. and began to explore the roots of her African American heritage. She looks to the belief systems of African peoples and their descendants throughout the African Diaspora, as well as to the world and her immediate environment, for the inspiration to create works that encourage self-examination, self-empowerment and self-healing. The lives of Stout’s imaginary characters unfold in a variety of media, including painting, mixed media sculpture, photography and installation. The recipient of awards from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Stout has shown her work in solo and group shows throughout the United States, and in England, Russia and the Netherlands. HMA acquired Stout’s A Vision I Can’t Forget in 2018 and displayed the piece in Looking at the Collection: Recent Acquisitions and a Celebration of African-American History Month.
The common thread running through my bodies of work over the past several years is the continuing need for self-discovery, to understand human motives and the way we relate and respond to each other.
The process of working out the many questions I have about the human condition directly through my work has been both cathartic and empowering. The alter ego of Fatima Mayfield, a fictitious herbalist and fortuneteller, is the vehicle that allows me to role play in order to confront the issues – whether they are romantic relationships, social ills, or financial woes – in a way that’s open, creative and humorous.
As a visual artist, I choose to explore these ideas and concerns through the variety of media that’s available to me. Originally trained as a painter, I came to realize that my creative vision was so expansive it would be confining for me to limit myself to creating in one medium for my entire career. When an idea hits me, I immediately decide which materials will best allow me to make that idea tangible. As a result, my bodies of work have included paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures and photographs. I see each one of my pieces as a fragment or installment in an ongoing narrative of my contribution to telling the story of who we are as a society at this point in time.
Larry Walker utilizes painting, drawing, collage, and mixed materials as the primary processes for his work. His career spans 50+ years and includes an extensive exhibition record: more than 200 invitational and juried group presentations and sixty solo exhibitions in galleries, museums, and art centers in various parts of the country. Walker, the youngest of eleven was born in Franklin, GA. Following the death of his father in 1936, Walker’s formative years were spent in New York City. There, he graduated from the High School of Music & Art before relocating to Detroit, MI for college. He has a B.S. in Art Education and an M.A. in Drawing and Painting from Wayne State University. Now retired as a Professor Emeritus, Walker continues to add credits to his substantial accomplishments as an artist, visual arts supporter, juror, and curator. His work was recently displayed in the 2020 Red Clay Survey.
Walker explores existential truths as they would be found on the walls and doors of urban environments, indicative of his Harlem upbringing. He describes the conversation his work sparks as “pseudo-reality, socio-cultural, and humanistic.” While some of his works are rendered with charcoal on paper, Walker’s mixed media collages provide additional context to his dialogue, featuring magazine and newspaper clippings, partial promotional posters for movies and events, and other symbolic elements such as chains and shackles, earphones, and microphones. His references to pop culture and current events maintain an authentic relevance within his work. Walker envisions urban surfaces as an interaction that occurs within a shared, common experience. The variety of realities and narratives found upon the metropolitan message boards of cities around the world serve as a representation of human life, not just within our local communities, but around the world.