As any longtime resident of the South knows, no other American region is as haunted as Old Dixie. The spectral past is everywhere, but no ghost is bigger than the holy one, as is reflected in all of its cultural manifestations.
The Alabama Contemporary Art Center (ACAC, 301 Conti St.) hosts four artists — Merrilee Challiss, Byron Sonnier, Madison Faile and Greg Skaggs — who will discuss the use of religious iconography in their work. The quartet featured in ACAC’s current show, “Urban Wild,” will talk about how and why they employ the symbology. Each will speak 5 to 10 minutes followed by questions from the attendees.
It takes place Saturday, Sept. 28, 2 p.m., in ACAC’s main gallery. Admission is $5, free for ACAC members.
For more information, call 251-208-5671 or go to alabamacontemporary.org.
Female forum inspires area youth
When child abduction survivor Elizabeth Smart was booked as keynote speaker for the 2019 Focus Women’s Conference on Oct. 4, Mobile photographer Devin Ford threw an idea in a familiar direction.
“We have a lot of kids in the crisis center who may not have the exact story but share similar trauma experiences,” said Riley Brenes, the transitional programming coordinator for Strickland Youth Center. “I wanted to do something to connect them.”
Brenes solicited a donation of paints and 8-foot wooden boards from Bill Appling at Alabama Hues, outlined feminine forms on them and put his young charges to work. The result was seven textured, impressionistic “feminine energy” images that will form the backdrop for Smart’s speech.
“[Smart] stayed calm and did what she needed to survive. Kids at Strickland Youth Center deal with survival every day. With [our] Crisis Center and Girls Control [program], these aren’t girls committing crimes but people with nowhere else to go, caught in the system,” Brenes said.
Children’s author signs eco-book in Fairhope
Foley resident Linda Spangrud spent most of her life in education, writing grant applications and professional articles while harboring a dream: to author a children’s book. The long-held wish is now realized.
Her debut work, “Miss Ella and the Turtle People,” follows a volunteer who spends her time protecting marine life familiar to Gulf Coast denizens. The book imparts lessons about the sanctity of life, both in the seas and in humans of all ages.
Spangrud will hold a book signing at Fairhope Brewing Company (914 Nicholas Ave.) on Sept. 27, 3 to 5 p.m. Another signing will be at Fairhope Public Library (501 Fairhope Ave.) on Oct. 8, 4 p.m.
A portion of sales from the book will be donated to Alabama Coastal Foundation to support Share the Beach, Alabama’s sea turtle conservation program.
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