“Kindred Spirits” art opening draws large crowd

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 23, 2005


LIVINGSTON, Ala.-The opening reception of the University of West Alabama art exhibition “Kindred Spirits: Thirty Years of Friendship, Thirty Years of Art,” which showcases the works of Alabama artists Tut Altman Riddick and Charles Smith, drew a large crowd of faculty, staff, students and area residents. The reception on Sept. 15 allowed guests to meet the artists and hear stories about their works.

Riddick, a York, Ala. native and founder of the The Coleman Center for Arts and Culture, expressed her gratitude for the reception: “To have all those wonderful students sitting and studying my ideas and listening to Charles tell of his love of clay was a dream come true.”

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The exhibit features paintings, photographs, and multimedia work by Riddick and many examples of Smith’s pottery. In addition, several pots completed through collaboration by both artists made the trip from the pair’s hometown, Mobile. These special pieces reflect the artists’ friendship.

Riddick said she knew Smith was “her soul mate off the bat.” The two are now working together to complete 100 pots, hand-thrown by Smith and featuring Riddick’s poetry carved on the sides.


“Kindred Spirits”…2

Another piece of special interest, a Riddick painting titled “Grenada,” portrays young African-American children’s faces following a Mississippi bombing in the 1960s. The painting won a prize from the Mobile Museum of Art and hung in a coffeehouse in a predominantly Black area during integration.

“When Blacks saw it in the paper or in the coffeehouse, they realized they had a champion in the arts,” Riddick said. “The work is special to me because it represented the stand I took.”

The “Kindred Spirits” exhibit in the Webb Hall parlor will remain open until Dec. 16. For more information about the exhibit, contact Dr. Neil Snider at 205-652-3614 or nsnider@uwa.edu.

Caption: Grenada, by Alabama artist Tut Altman Riddick, portrays African American children during the tumultuous 1960s. This work, and other pieces by Riddick and Mobile potter Charles Smith, will be on display at UWA until Dec. 16.