No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you, those are sailing masts you’ve seen near the GulfQuest National Maritime Museum at the Mobile River’s edge. It’s a new visitor with a nod to our past who won’t be in town much longer.

El Galeón, a full-scale replica of a16th century Spanish galleon, will be docked at GulfQuest through Sunday, Nov. 29. There are daily tours providing background on how ships like these were the first known European vessels to explore the Gulf of Mexico.

(Photo/ Gabriel Tynes/Lagniappe) El Galeón, a full scale reconstruction of a 16th century Spanish ship, is docked at GulfQuest through Nov. 29.

(Photo/ Gabriel Tynes/Lagniappe) El Galeón, a full scale reconstruction of a 16th century Spanish ship, is docked at GulfQuest through Nov. 29.

While those journeys sound commonplace to us, they were roughly equivalent to ventures to the moon in their day. While our lunar excursions lasted less than a week, Spanish explorers spent months aboard a wooden ship just 164 feet long, sailing unawares into the heart of hurricane territory.
Sponsors providing funds for El Galeón’s visit include the Alabama State Port Authority, Norton Lilly International, the Propeller Club, Page & Jones and Alabama Power.

Admission for El Galeón tours is $10, $5 for children ages 5-12 and free for children under 5. Tours run 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
For more info, call 251-436-8901 or go to

Cameras and clay at UM
A pair of artists will have shows in place at the University of Mobile through mid-December. Both feature varied outlooks and occupations in a pair of campus locations.

A photography exhibit by UM Associate Professor of Biology Steven D. Carey will be on display at the M.C. Farmer Building. Carey describes his work, entitled “State of Mind,” as his “his desire to create artistic images that invoke emotion and curiosity.”

Carey’s work has been previously exhibited at the Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope, where he is an artist member, he says. He also cites publication of award-winning photos in varied print media.

The exhibit is on display through Dec. 18 and is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Fairhope artist Jake Ollinger’s work will be featured in the art exhibit “Animate Inanimates: Clay in Motion” at the UM Marilyn Foley Art Gallery through Dec. 8.

Born and raised in Fairhope, Ollinger is a multi-disciplinarian whose work touches on themes of pop culture and historic concepts of self. His mediums include ceramic, sculpture, video and installation art.

Ollinger holds a BFA from Clemson and an MFA from Notre Dame. He cites “car culture and sci-fi” as dominant influences.

In a news release, Ollinger said he has “always admired other ceramic artists who were able to get a real sense of life into their work, to create something that pushed outside of the ‘normal’ boundaries of ceramics while exhibiting absolute control of the medium.”

“I feel my work is finally displaying that sense of professionalism and control, while also exhibiting a real sense of playfulness and movement I’ve strived for years to achieve,” Ollinger said.

In recent years, his ceramic work has been either Cone 10 gas reduction or Cone 10 Soda, with a preference for soda.

“I have been experimenting with glazes within these two firing methods to find surfaces and colors that react well with each other, adding visual depth to the surface while enhancing the flow of the overall piece,” Ollinger said.

Gallery hours are weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.
For more information about art exhibits at the University of Mobile, contact Phillip Counselman, associate professor of art, at 251-442-2283.

Holiday show on tap for USA
The University of South Alabama Concert Choir and University Chorale will contribute their own joyful noise to the holiday season when they hold their annual holiday concert in the Recital Hall of the USA Laidlaw Performing Arts Center (5157 USA Drive S.) on Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m.

Under the direction of Dr. Laura Moore, the 32-member group will perform a repertoire including sacred works by Josquin, Palestrina, Rachmaninoff and Lauridsen, as well as contemporary holiday carols such as “Deck the Halls,” “Carol of the Bells” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”

Tickets for the Musical Arts Series event will be sold at the door only. Admission is $8 general and $5 for USA faculty, staff, USA students, youth under 18 and all senior citizens. Cash or check only.

For more information or for those in need of special accommodation, call 251-460-7116 or 251-460-6136.