Author: Kevin Lee

My lunch with Ramon

I turned a corner in downtown Mobile and found Cuba on a side street, leaning against a wall and drawing from a hand-rolled cigarette in the breezy late summer sunshine. The occasion was lunch, with art the main course. Ramon Vargas Artiz was 630 miles from his island home and living for three weeks in a second-story walk-up while his work was being installed at Alabama Contemporary Art Center. He is one of a dozen artists in ACAC’s “Back to Havana” exhibition, in place through June 2018. My friend introduced me to his Latin American houseguest as we ducked...

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Judge narrows ballet lawsuit

In a Sept. 6 court order, Mobile County Circuit Judge Jay York upheld motions to dismiss lawsuits against specific Mobile Ballet employees and board members while allowing the action against the entirety of Mobile Ballet to go forward. Of plaintiffs Rhea Mostellar, Beverly Davis and Monty Thull, Judge York said Mostellar had no grounds for action since she was a former rather than current board member. All claims by Mostellar are void. York also said by virtue of Davis and Thull’s respective term expiration and resignation, their claims against specific board members had no standing. That includes board members...

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Mobile Arts Council taps Shellie Teague as new director

Public relations specialist Shellie Teague has been named Executive Director of the Mobile Arts Council, filling a position that has been vacant for the last two and a half years. The 32-year-old is the owner of Teague Branding Strategies. “I’m honored and humbled to serve the Mobile arts community in this new role. We’ve already got a lot of great plans being developed to increase community involvement in the arts. You’ll be seeing a lot more of MAC in Mobile, I can promise you that!” Teague said in a Sept. 18 press release. In addition to aiding MAC with...

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MSO melds dance, paint for season opener

For Mobile Symphony Orchestra Music Director Scott Speck, the excitement is rising like a maestro’s baton. “I had so much time this summer just to do things like study scores at my leisure, to exercise, to do a little bit of travel. I haven’t conducted since a week after our last Mobile Symphony concert so I’m dying to get back into it,” Speck said. Good thing, too, because energy will be abundant in MSO’s 2017-2018 season opener. The “Firebird” concert on Sept. 23 and 24 will feature a convergence of artistic mediums. “We’re going to explore a particular time...

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Archaeology digs into local seashores

The fall lecture series at the University of South Alabama Archaeology Museum (6052 USA Drive S.) starts Sept. 14 at 6 p.m., when Della Scott-Ireton of the Florida Public Archaeology Network talks about the archaeology of Gulf Islands National Seashore. The National Park Service’s Gulf Islands National Seashore on Santa Rosa Island boasts unspoiled natural beauty that is valuable habitat for varied wildlife. Both land and water also hold some of Pensacola’s most intriguing archaeological sites. The presentation will tour some of these, including a Spanish colonial presidio and shipwrecks from several periods. Admission is free. For more information,...

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Art Throwdown led by talent-laden Zeidan

If you could magically get another body part, what would you choose? Another couple of arms, more hands? Melody Zeidan might need another head or two because she wears so many hats. Already a mother of three young children and an attorney, Zeidan will be on her way to medical school before long. Add in her forays into fashion design and roles in musical theater and you’ve got a busy gal. Now she’s donned another chapeau as chair of Mobile Arts Council’s biggest annual fundraiser, the Art Throwdown set for Sept. 15. The urge overtook her during a MAC...

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Houston disaster delays MMoA exchange

Hurricane Harvey has done more than pull in aid and boats from Mobile to Houston. It’s altered Azalea City cultural schedules. A Mobile Museum of Art collaborative exchange with Houston Baptist University set for October has been delayed. The tentative opening is now January 2018. “It was determined [Aug. 28] this wasn’t going to work. Two of the three abstract painters in the exhibit have had their studios flooded,” Mobile Museum of Art’s Stan Hackney said. As MMoA’s manager of external affairs and curator of contemporary art, Hackney has been in extensive contact with HBU’s Jim Edwards, director and...

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Arts vs. crafts showdown at MMoA

What starts as practical creativity often moves into something beyond function. Whether it’s a quilt from Gee’s Bend, pottery by Charles Smith or furniture from Noguchi, Saarinen and Eames, at what point does craft become art? What defines fine art from other forms, and where is the role of utility? Is there a higher aim in decoration? On Thursday, Aug. 3, at 6 p.m. a panel of local artists and academics will discuss these criteria and whether boundaries exist at all in a special program at the Mobile Museum of Art (4850 Museum Drive). Entrance is free. For more...

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