For Immediate Release
The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa
Contact: Kevin Ledgewood
DINAH WASHINGTON CULTURAL ARTS CENTER WILL FEATURE THE WORK OF PAUL LOONEY IN DECEMBER AND JANUARY
(Tuscaloosa, Ala.) The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa will host an exhibit of work by Paul K. Looney at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center from Dec. 4-Jan. 8, 2015. “People, Places and Things” will feature works in oil, acrylic and graphite. The exhibit will open with a reception on Dec. 4 from 5-8 p.m. during First Friday. The artist will also be the featured speaker during Art Talk Tuesday on Dec. 15, 2015 from noon-1 p.m.
Presently the Executive Producer/Artistic Director Emeritus of Theatre Tuscaloosa and Executive Producer of the Alabama Stage and Screen Hall of Fame, in 2001 Paul Looney returned to his lifelong passion for the graphic arts and is now heavily involved in his “new” career as a studio artist. Originally from Birmingham, the artist (along with his wife Susan) moved to Tuscaloosa to work toward his MFA in Theatre Directing and Design. After graduating in 1979, he undertook the leadership of Theatre Tuscaloosa.
During his long career in theatre, Paul Looney produced, directed and designed over 120 major productions. He was Theatre Tuscaloosa’s first full-time Artistic Director and founded Stage Centre Company, Theatre Tuscaloosa’s professional touring program. He is the founding director of The Jasmine Hill Production Company in Montgomery, Ala. and was the Technical Director/Scenic Supervisor of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival for its first two seasons. He is the founding director/chairperson of the Shelton State Community College Theatre Department, led the move to have SSCC named the Alabama Community College of the Fine Arts and is a co-founder of The Alabama Stage and Screen Hall of Fame. He capped his career in theatre by designing, developing and supervising construction of the Bean Brown Theatre in Tuscaloosa.
Having graduated from The University of Montevallo with a degree in painting, Mr. Looney taught art in the Jefferson County Schools and has several years of experience in the advertising business. For a short time he was the art director for the Birmingham NBC-TV Affiliate WAPI-TV (Now WVTM-TV). For several years he was an artist and art director/creative director in the Birmingham advertising arena and won numerous local, regional and national awards for his work as a commercial artist. In 2003, he spent an extended time at the N.A.L.L. Foundation in Vence, France, studying and painting with the internationally acclaimed master, Nall. Today, working primarily in oils, acrylics, watercolor and graphite, the artist exhibits his work extensively throughout Alabama and the Southeast, and his work is included in many private collections. Presently, his work is on display at the Matt Jones Gallery in Birmingham.
After spending most of my adult life performing, directing, designing and producing for theatre, I, now, have returned to my first passion: painting. Throughout my career in theatre, my visual sense proved to be my most dynamic (and expressive) tool, so it is only natural that I have returned to graphic expression and painting.
I have always felt that light, color, mass and movement have the power to evoke feelings and emotions in non-verbal, visceral ways that are apart from our verbal sense. Of particular importance to me is the role that light, shadow and color play in producing dramatic tension. Notwithstanding subject matter (or context), these pure visual elements have the power to initiate sensations that are, while unexplainable, dynamic and real. As I progress, my painting continues to rely on these basic tools to connect with the viewer. Drawing on a vast inventory of images that interest and move me, I strive to depict them in ways that illuminate the reasons for my attention. Through my work, we will connect (the artist and the viewer) immediately, and if I am successful the viewer will share my sensations and an unspoken understanding will occur between us.
Presently, I am drawing inspiration from photographs and sketches gathered on travels to Italy, France, Spain and Africa. To date, I have been working primarily with oils, acrylics and graphite. I’m particularly interested in off beaten paths or familiar vistas from unexpected points of view. I also get satisfaction depicting the human form, particularly dancers in unguarded, private moments. Recently, I have begun exploring portraiture with both oils and graphite. I enjoy using texture in my work and am not afraid to let the medium contribute to the experience. Of singular importance to me is that my work be a personal and familiar experience to both me and the viewer.
Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. on weekdays and noon-8 p.m. on First Fridays.
The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is located at 620 Greensboro Ave. in Downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information about the CAC, The Arts Council or Bama Theatre, patrons should LIKE the Facebook page “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” and follow tuscarts on Twitter. Call 205-758-5195 or visit tuscarts.org for further information.