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Wiregrass Museum of Art's spring exhibitions set to open April 20

Matt Boster

Viewed: 662

Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: Apr 04 2017 8:33 AM

DOTHAN - The Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA) is pleased to announce the opening of its spring exhibitions, including From Here to There: Printmaking in Alabama, documentingBlues: Photography by Jenn Ocken, and the Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama, on the evening of April 20 at Art After Hours. 



From Here to There: Printmaking in Alabama explores the work of five artists from around the state who use innovative printmaking techniques in their work. The artists include Derek Cracco (Birmingham), Sarah Marshall (Tuscaloosa), Scott Stephens (Montevallo), Andrew Kozlowski (Auburn), and Amy LeePard (Northport).


Whether employing monotype, letterpress, or lithography, each artist uses their medium in new and interesting ways, incorporating aquatint and hand coloring to execute their work. The artists represented in this exhibition focus on a variety of subjects including language and communication, architecture, nature, and biology. As an example of Alabama's excellence in art, the exhibition includes traditional works on paper, art books, and wallpaper installations.


From Here to There: Printmaking in Alabama was organized by the Wiregrass Museum of Art in recognition of the unique contributions of Alabama artists. In the years 2017-2019, Alabama is hosting statewide events in celebration of the state's bicentennial. WMA will observe this by hosting exhibitions and programs that highlight the accomplishments of Alabama artists.



Jenn Ocken has been photographing blues culture for over a decade, capturing the often emotional reactions and experiences of the legendary music scene. She has been working professionally since 2002, building a library of images that she calls "documentingBlues." Her work focuses on blues musicians in the midst of their performances, as well as interactions from fans and relationships with other musicians.


Included in the exhibition are photographs taken by Ocken over the years at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis,Tennessee. The series of photographs has

recently culminated in a book titled Blues on Beale Street: Memoirs of the International 

Blues Challenge, which Ocken describes as "a love letter told in photographs, accompanied by a series of written experiences."

documentingBlues: Photography by Jenn Ocken is a partnership between the Wiregrass Museum of Art and the Wiregrass Blues Society in conjunction with the annual Wiregrass Blues Festival. This is the third year WMA has partnered with the organization to bring an art exhibition to Dothan during the music festival, which will be held in the Museum's garden this year on Saturday, April 22.


For over a decade, WMA has hosted the Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama, an exhibition of work created by Alabama students with visual impairments, blindness, and deafness. The exhibition is juried statewide and travels from Birmingham to Mobile. Select pieces are also shown internationally. The show emphasizes creativity, color, and tactile media in the arts, and includes a gallery guide in braille. The winning entry for the grand prize is selected by the Helen Keller Festival Board to receive the Patty Johnson Award and will remain in the permanent collection at Ivy Green in Tuscumbia, Alabama, the birthplace of Helen Keller.

Additional exhibition information


After opening on the evening of April 20, From Here to There: Printmaking in Alabama and documentingBlues: Photography by Jenn Ocken will run from April 21 through June 24. The Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama will be open from April 1 through May 13. WMA's galleries are open to the public every Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Private tours and activities can be arranged by appointment on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Art After Hours is held quarterly at the Wiregrass Museum of Art. The spring event will take place on Thursday, April 20, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free for members and $5 for non-members. 

From Here to There: Printmaking in Alabama, documentingBlues: Photography by Jenn Ocken,
 and the Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama have been made possible by the Daniel Foundation of Alabama and grants by the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Images of artwork available upon request. 

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