Opening Reception – Sunday, June 5, 2016 – 1:30-3:30 pm
Michael S. Ballew is the featured artist in June. The public is invited to the opening reception on June 5, 2016, 1:30-3:30 pm, to view his beautiful paintings. Admission is free.
Michael is a self-taught, contemporary folk artist whose main medium of expression is mixed media. His work incorporates the use of various discarded materials (wood, glass, vintage books, rusted tin, etc.) and paint. Influences of his religious upbringing, spiritual nature, and his Native American heritage are evident in much of his work. The result is a unique piece of art that reaches out to the viewer with the “spirits and colors” of the subject.
Michael was raised on a farm in North Alabama. He was exposed to all aspects of nature and was taught an appreciation for what it can offer. Following in the footsteps and teachings of his elders, he learned to appreciate nature, listen to it, and seek guidance from his surroundings. These life lessons and messages are incorporated into his work and are often seen as whimsical and surreal with a visionary art quality.
With an appreciation of life and all it has to offer, he finds it important to share with others through his art. The influence of old southern churches, angels, animal spirits, and nature – as true life forces – continuously add dimension to his work. Michael views all of these things as carefully placed gifts from God, to be appreciated and cared for.
As an artist, his goal is to create pieces that affect others. In describing this desire and deep-seated purpose in his work, Michael states that it is his sincere wish to bring enjoyment to others through his work. Along the way, however, he wants to take them into a deeper appreciation of the simple things – the things that we often take for granted. Specifically, the “spirits and colors” around us.
As you view his work, he encourages you to look first for enjoyment… then allow the piece to provoke your imagination… stir emotions… and in the end, experience its true “SPIRITS AND COLORS.”
Mr. Ballew’s work will be on exhibit through June 30, 2016.
The Arts Center is located at 8140 Parkway Drive, in downtown Leeds.
The gallery is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and during events. In case of inclement weather, call the center at 205-699-1892 to confirm opening hours.