Congratulations go out to Charlotte Pence, Ph.D., of Mobile for her $5,000 literary arts fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Pence earned her MFA in creative writing at Emerson College, her doctorate at the University of Tennessee and is director of the Stokes Center for Creative Writing at the University of South Alabama.
Her collection of poems entitled “Code” is due on shelves this month. Published by Black Lawrence Press, it was a finalist for the Vassar Miller Prize. Her previous poem collections — “Many Small Fires” in 2015 and a 2012 chapbook — were also published by Black Lawrence Press. Her work has also appeared in The Southern Review, Harvard Review and Prairie Schooner among other prestigious journals.
Pence was also selected as a James Patterson fellow at Vanderbilt University for this summer and was a 2018 fellow at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.
The Eastern Shore Art Center (ESAC) encouraged communal effort by producing squares for their “Quarantine Quilt.” Over 37 artists, ages 5 to 83, answered their call with varied textile mediums including crochet and embroidery, eco print, painting and collage. One contributor plainly stated, “Life in Quarantine Sucks.”
Since ESAC’s physical galleries at 401 Oak St. in Fairhope have been reopened since June 16, you can drop in to see it all for yourself. According to their website, COVID-19 safeguards including social distancing, masks, and hand-sanitizing stations are in place.
Those interested in purchasing a piece of the quilt can contact Marketing Director Adrienne Clow at email@example.com. They will hold the piece until the exhibit ends and either deliver it locally for free or ship it to you.
Other exhibits include Letty Oratowski’s “Then and Now,” contemporary artworks by Ashley Terrell and the ESAC members’ sales gallery.
Those unsure about public ventures during the pandemic can check out ESAC’s virtual gallery at esartcenter.org.
According to the Mobile Arts Council, downtown is reviving. The full assortment of cultural businesses and organizations back open are listed below, with one or two special accommodations for some. Institutions in smaller spaces may limit the number of visitors to allow for social distancing.
-Alabama Contemporary Art Center (301 Conti St.), open 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thursday – Saturday. They request visitors wear masks and practice social distancing.
-Bienville Souvenirs and Gifts (5 N. Jackson St.), open 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday – Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Thursday and Sunday.
-Gulf Coast Exploreum (65 Government St.), open Tuesday – Friday, 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Their “Dinosaurs Around the World” exhibit has been extended to Labor Day.
-Haunted Book Shop (109 Dauphin St.), open by appointment (251-348-7668) Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Visitors need masks to visit the cozy space and the proprietor does have disposable masks available for $1 each.
-History Museum of Mobile (111 S. Royal St.), open Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Museum staff say there are floor markers for social distancing and hand-sanitizing stations.
-Lupercalia Art Society (358 Dauphin St.), open 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., weekends; 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., weekdays. Closed Wednesdays. They will have hand sanitizer and are cleaning surfaces.
-Mobile Arts Council’s Room 1927 (6 St. Joachim St.), open Wednesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. High-touch areas are cleaned between guests, staff are wearing masks and visitors are asked to wear masks and maintain social distancing.
-Mobile Carnival Museum (355 Government St.), open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. They have ceased guided tours but have 15-minute talks at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., after which visitors are free to tour at leisure. There are social distancing markers and hand-sanitizing stations. The children’s costume area is closed until July when there will be a reassessment. Price of admission lasts the entire day, so visitors can leave then return before closing.
-Sophiella Gallery (111 Dauphin St.), open 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday – Friday; 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday. Their latest show, “Connection,” features artists’ connections with others and their personal themes. Work from new artists Kent Walsh and B’Beth Weldon are there as is a new medium for Randy Moberg.
-Urban Emporium (260 Dauphin St.), Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Visitors are asked to wear masks. Hand-sanitizing stations are available and capacity will be kept at 50 percent.
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