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For Immediate Release

For Immediate Release
The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa
Contact: Kevin Ledgewood
205-758-5195, x6


 (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa will host an exhibit of paintings created by students involved in the Portraits of Service project at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center Sept. 1-29, 2017. The display, which will also include works by Dr. Thomas Rosenstiel, will be featured in The Arts Council Gallery with a reception recognizing the artists on Sept. 1 from 5-8 p.m. during First Friday. The Rock Quarry Middle School Strings will be performing in the Black Box Theatre during the event.

 The Portraits of Service Project was developed as a way to recognize volunteers who have faithfully served the local community, often in relative obscurity. A portrait of the volunteer will be painted and publicly displayed in hopes of acknowledging the volunteer and his or her service to our community. Ultimately, it will hang permanently at the volunteer’s place of service. The program's educational component involves sharing the materials and expertise used in painting a portrait with middle and high school art students. These students are being taught the fundamentals of drawing and painting while being introduced to volunteerism in a very memorable way.

With the assistance of art teacher, Sheila Kopaska-Merkel, and principal, Lynda Ingram, the project's pilot location is Rock Quarry Middle School. Conceived and developed by local artist, Dr. Thomas Rosenstiel, it began in the spring and has continued through the summer. The project was generously funded by the Alabama State Department of Education through the Alabama Arts Education Initiative (AAEI). Board members of the AAEI who played an active role in the funding process included Andy Meadows, Donna Russell, Diana Green and Randy Foster.

The project’s inaugural subject was Janice Barrentine, who has volunteered 19 years at the Good Samaritan Medical Clinic. Her portrait, painted by Dr. Rosenstiel, will be on display during First Friday with the work of all the young artists who participated in the program.  The students were tasked with completing a small self-portrait and a head study of Barrentine. Participants include: Aisia Bell, 8th grade; Mira Cervino, 8th grade; Sylvia Cervino, 11th grade; Christine Dong, 8th grade; Bella Guynes, 9th grade; Harleigh Hubbard; Alejandro Isadora, 8th grade; Audrey Lovoy, 9th grade; Sophia Szulczewski, 8th grade; Channing Vick, 7th grade; Brenay Wahl, 9th grade.

In addition to the paintings associated with The Portraits of Service Project, other works of Dr. Rosenstiel will be on display. These include a sampling of portraiture, figurative pieces, still life and landscape. The artist practiced medicine locally until illness forced him from his profession in 2011. He has painted more regularly since 2013 and has studied with many prominent artists both privately and in workshops. His intent, regardless of subject matter, is for the paint to have a life beyond what it portrays. Rosenstiel is progressively working toward this end.

The Arts Council Gallery is open weekdays 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. with free admission.

The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is located at 620 Greensboro Avenue 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.



For press inquiries and other public relations matters please contact:

Kevin Ledgewood