The Eastern Shore Art Center welcomes a new executive director when Bryant Galloway Whelan steps up on Sept. 18. She succeeds Kate Fisher, who is retiring after seven years atop the Fairhope arts agency.

Whelan spent years in the same role at the Mary O’Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education in Ocean Springs. A Mobile native and visual artist, Whelan has a BFA from Auburn University and a background in both art instruction and business, with stints at Red Square Agency and The Focus Group in Gulfport. She also headed her own marketing and consulting firm for arts, tourism, environmental and outdoor recreation clients.

“Her wide-ranging experience in business, marketing and the arts makes Whelan the ideal candidate to lead the Eastern Shore Art Center as it embarks on a major exterior renovation, following significant interior upgrades performed over the summer,” ESAC Board President Gaye Lindsey said in a press release.

Paint and passion at MMoA
It’s sadly common for contemporary acclaim to bypass unique artistic talent in favor of less gifted fare. Examples abound, names exalted post-mortem that meant little in their lifetimes.

That battle is the force behind Robert Altman’s 1990 film “Vincent and Theo.” It portrays Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh and his art dealer brother, Theodore, as both men wrestle with lack of appreciation for the fiery painter’s obvious gifts, careening passions and the complications of mental illness.

Tim Roth plays Vincent and Paul Rhys is Theodore in a film labeled “an Altman masterpiece.” Variety said “Tim Roth powerfully conveys Vincent’s heroic, obsessive concentration on his work and then resultant loneliness and isolation.”

The Mobile Museum of Art (4850 Museum Drive) will screen the film on Thursday, Aug. 3, at 3 p.m. in the cool recesses of the Langan Park facility. The movie is rated PG-13 and entrance is free.

For more information, call 251-208-5200 or go to

Ballet questions
Readers requested developments in a lawsuit filed by Mobile Ballet former and current directors against the organization’s managing director and current board. The initial motion cited breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy to breach those duties as its motivation.

A June 7 hearing before Mobile County Circuit Judge Jay York reviewed defense motions for dismissal. Separate attorneys for the director and the board argued the suit was invalidated since only one of the three original plaintiffs remain on the board and all plaintiffs can’t take action on behalf of Mobile Ballet.

Lagniappe discovered two actions filed since then. The first is a June 30 defense reply to plaintiffs’ arguments reiterating arguments presented to the bench. The other is a July 1 plaintiffs’ response citing various state and federal rulings on entities such as Louisiana State University, FedEx and Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama.

Despite hopes of a midsummer ruling, there is no further word. Plaintiffs’ attorney Ray Thompson pointed to shorthanded circuit court staffing as a difficulty.

“Judge York might be doing a lot of his own research himself,” Thompson said.