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September 8, 2021

September 1, 2021, Decatur, AL – The Alabama Center for the Arts is pleased to announce the opening of “Sustaining Dialogues: Two Painters” in the Center’s Main Gallery on September 9. The exhibit will feature 20 paintings a piece from Alabama artists Daniel White and Tony Sturgis. Sturgis will exhibit new works from over the last year and White will exhibit work culled from over the last few years.

White’s work in “Sustaining Dialogues: Two Painters” focuses on the abstracted portrait. Often these paintings can serve as studies for larger paintings, but the intimacy of the facial expression and the abstraction it offers within that framework is intentionally paired with Sturgis’ larger, often monumental works, to hopefully create a dynamic conversation for the viewer about painting abstraction. While different in approach and styles, the intersection of patterns, color, and line bring Sturgis’ and White’s work together for this show.

Daniel White is a painter living in Northport, Alabama. His work is figurative painting that explores the realm of personal narratives and the formal principles of painting, aiming to create a formal painting using informal subject matter. Often, White uses bodies of water as the backdrops in the painting, which is a familiar scene from his childhood. He says, “I paint to understand the world around me, to connect with art history, to connect with others. In my recent work I have focused on the figures in my painting, while concurrently alternating between figures and narrative scenes.”

White serves as the Museum Director of the Paul R. Jones Museum and the Gallery Director of The University of Alabama Gallery in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Trained in studio art, he holds an MFA from the School for American Crafts at RIT, and a BFA from the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Alabama.

Robert (Tony) Sturgis is a painter living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. As a full time Firefighter Paramedic with Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue, creating art has cathartic and healing qualities for him. He works as a professional artist creating portraits, murals, and painting abstract paintings. Sturgis is a studio artist at Kentuck Art Center in Northport, Alabama and holds a BFA from the University of Montevallo.

“I am drawn towards abstract shapes and lines; evident in all I see in the world around me,” Sturgis said. “The juxtaposition of these elements provide a platform for the painting to take a life of its own with vague figures peering out at the viewer. Interaction of these figures become more tangible with bold colors and textures. It is in the work I ask existential questions like: what is our place in the past, present, and future?”

“Sustaining Dialogues: Two Painters” will be on display through Thursday, October 28. A Reception and Artist Talk will be held at the Alabama Center for the Arts on Thursday, September 16 at 5:30 pm. The exhibit will be on display during Decatur’s annual River Clay Fine Arts Festival (October 16-17). The ACA will be open during the festival with special weekend hours.

The Alabama Center for the Arts is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm and on Friday from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm.

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Sustaining Dialogues Poster