FROM FORT TO PORT & BEYOND: An Architectural History of Mobile

Posted on: August 28th, 2019

FROM FORT TO PORT & BEYOND: An Architectural History of Mobile

October 11, 2019 – March 29, 2020

Architecture is generally defined as the art and science of designing structures (buildings) and urban spaces. Such design, of necessity, reflects the social and cultural values of people and their collective sense of place and community.

This exhibition, organized by the Mobile Museum of Art with guest curator and architectural historian, Cart Blackwell, explores the architectural history of this extraordinary community—one of the twenty oldest continuously inhabited cities in the United States. Presented through a selective timeline of photographs, models, architectural plans, maps, elevations, building materials, videotaped interviews and tours, and publications—the exhibition documents the changing social and cultural story of its places and people over a period of centuries, spanning Mobile’s unique and long history.

The exhibition’s development is guided by architectural historian, Cartledge Blackwell III, with several consulting historians and curators, including Joycelyn Finley, Paige Largue, Tom McGehee, Stephen McNair, Philip Carr and John Sledge. Additional support is provided by Mobile area architects Douglas Kearley and Nick Holmes III.

SOUTHERN MASTERS: Casey Downing Jr., Bruce Larsen, and Nall

Posted on: February 18th, 2019


Casey Downing Jr.   |   Bruce Larsen   |   Nall

July 12, 2019 – January 5, 2020

We invited three unique and larger-than-life artists from Alabama to step outside the box and create major installations that represent the history of their work, as well as their creative processes.

This exhibition is a rare glimpse into their worlds, their distinct perspectives and unique styles. All three of these artists have worked tirelessly over the years and with great passion. Each is a true master.

Included in this exhibition are works by three emerging Alabama artists selected by our SOUTHERN MASTERS as promising future masters.

Brock Larsen | William Legg | Jennifer White

This exhibition is generously underwritten by:
Susan Houston
The HOUSTONVEGAS Charitable Fund



Posted on: February 3rd, 2019


July 12, 2019 – January 5, 2020

Lee Hoffman exhibited nationally and was a beloved painter and art personality of the Mobile area along with his wife and fellow artist, Kaye Wall Hoffman. This exhibition shows the diverse and ever changing talents of Hoffman’s career from 1960 until his passing in 2010.

Many might think Lee Hoffman was a native Mobilian, but he grew up in Colorado, where he earned a BFA in art education at the University of Colorado. He later moved to Seattle and earned an MFA in painting from the University of Washington. He moved to Mobile and began teaching at Spring Hill College in 1963. Five years later, Hoffman began teaching at the University of South Alabama (USA), where he remained for 31 years.

His teaching duties at USA included painting and portraiture – and occasionally summer watercolor classes in Paris.

“I would take students all over Paris. We got to experience different ways of life, diverse architecture and great paintings.”

He loved teaching and strongly expressed to his students the need to see art in person:

“Not only the size, but the paint quality is different. For example, a lot of the roughness that is in Matisse’s paintings does not show up in pictures. Look at the actual painting, and his paint is very thin. Sometimes it has been scraped over several times. Picasso, on the other hand, used a lot of the impasto and built-up paint, like in the ‘Girl Before the Mirror’. That thing is a jewel. The paint glows, it’s so rich. But, you do not see that in slides or pictures. So you have a completely different sensation from the painting.”

In the mid-1970s, Hoffman traded his oil paints for watercolors. After a few years of experimentation, he settled in comfortably as an on-location (or plein aire) painter of outdoor scenes. Later, in the early 2000’s he returned to his studio for inspiration.

Lee M. Hoffman’s contribution to the Mobile arts community is undeniable. He was a great teacher and consummate artist who worked lovingly, methodically and with perfect mastery of whatever medium he approached.

This exhibition is generously underwritten by:

Louise and Henry P. Cate, Jr.
(Lee Hoffman’s extended family)

Dr. and Mrs. Charles Rodning
in Honor of the families of Christopher Bernard, Soren Piers and Kai Johannes Rodning

Exhibition Organized by: Stan Hackney

Quotes Published: Mobile Bay Monthly, October 2008, by Adrian Hoff


Posted on: February 3rd, 2019


July 12, 2019 – November 17, 2019

Fred Marchman (1941-2016) was a Mobile and Southern original. Everyone who knew him said he was born an artist – obsessed, determined, prolific and creative. He called himself a Southern Pop artist and said he was influenced by ancient art, modern painting and sculpture, folk art, esoteric writings, visionary and spiritual themes. He was a painter, printmaker, sculptor, and illustrator who reveled in using paint, wood, canvas, ink, metal, charcoal, crayons, and even concrete, to make his art. As for subject matter, he found inspiration in televisions, machines, the Confederacy, belles, flowers, kudzu, 50’s automobiles, duck decoys, and the female nude. He admired the work of artists H.C. Westermann, Paul Klee, Arshile Gorky and David Smith.

Marchman was well trained. He was still a child when he was enrolled at John and Jane Shaw Art Studio in Mobile. He later earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Alabama and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Tulane University.

After his university years, Marchman volunteered for the Peace Corps in South America and taught at the Universidad Central in Quito, Ecuador. Upon returning to Mobile, he taught at the Alabama School of Math and Science and the University of South Alabama and, later in life, at Faulkner State Community College.

Casey Downing Jr., a fellow artist, said of his good friend, “Marchman’s do-it-all, multimedia approach to art is more prevalent among aspiring artists today than in years past, because the art world has been forced to adapt to an ever more diverse, complex and techno-centric world. Fred was ahead of his time.”

Marchman’s work has been exhibited both regionally and nationally. His work can be found in the collections of the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Huntsville Museum of Art, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art and the Mobile Museum of Art. His work is also in numerous private and public collections.

Exhibition sponsored by:
Dr. Douglas Hungerford

URBAN WILD: Folk and Street Art in the South

Posted on: February 3rd, 2019

URBAN WILD: Folk and Street Art in the South

May 10, 2019 – October 26, 2019

This exhibition of three site-specific murals are presented as a satellite installation of URBAN WILD: Folk and Street Art in the South, an exhibition at Alabama Contemporary Art Center, curated by Elizabet Elliott. That exhibition may be seen at ACAC located at 301 Conti Street in downtown Mobile.

This satellite, site-specific installation is coordinated for MMofA by Stan Hackney, Curator of Regional Contemporary Art at the Mobile Museum of Art.

MMofA site-specific artists:

Brandon Barnhart  |  Gabriel Smith  |  Jeremy Strength  |  Tanner Wilson

“This exhibition looks at the range of creativity that is practiced throughout the streets, highways, and dirt roads of the South. We went looking for the intersection between folk art and street art below the Mason-Dixon line, taking engagement with public space as the only cue. What we found were visionaries and vandals, taking old categories and remaking/unmaking them in a Southern dialect. These artists draw from graffiti, tattoo flash, skate culture, hip-hop culture, as well as comic book illustration, pop art, and even old-fashioned sign painting to make objects, images, and environments. The traditional dividing lines between high and low art forms no longer apply. In this exhibition, we have only a snapshot of the breadth and diversity in Southern art that makes public place its forum, where Southern streets become a stage and canvas all their own.”

elizabet elliott
director of programs and exhibitions
Alabama Contemporary Art Center

Christopher Nitsche: Liminal Ship II

Posted on: January 17th, 2019

Christopher Nitsche: Liminal Ship II

December 15, 2018 – December 15, 2021

Christopher Nitsche creates sculptures, drawings and temporary installations that evoke the visual and metaphorical attributes of ships; a pursuit he started in 1995. This installation continues a series of site works exploring the ship as a carrier of memory objects. The hull-side is composed of re-purposed lumber, which has an extant history of previous use. Most of the wood comes from debris after Hurricanes Mathew and Irma.

Nitsche has had over 70 solo and group shows, throughout America, Montenegro and Japan.  The State Art Councils of New Hampshire and Colorado recognized his work with Fellowship Grants for Artistic Merit.  Recent solo exhibitions include the 621 Gallery in Tallahassee, Florida and the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum in Savannah, Georgia, the Spartanburg Art Museum, the Indigo Sky Community Gallery, and Waterworks Visual Arts Center Museum.  He participated as a Visiting Artist creating installations at the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art, the University of Wyoming Art Museum, Bridgewater State University, and Texas Woman’s University. Nitsche is currently a Professor of Foundation Studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design teaching classes in design and sculpture.


Posted on: December 11th, 2018


December 15, 2018 — July 26, 2020

Bob H. Miller has always had an intense interest in science and technology and their application in image making. The office copy machine, the instant Polaroid camera, photograms, holograms and the pinhole camera have all played a part in his development as an artist. Miller incorporates theories and tools of science into his residencies and work, using fundamental drawing and painting instruction, basic animation, collage and batik. His reflective collages are tediously made of hand-cut pieces of “Scotchlite” reflective sheeting applied to panels. Scotchlite was designed to reflect light from automobile headlights and is commercially used for street signs and on emergency vehicles for night visibility and safety. Miller has repurposed this industrial product to create a unique visual and aesthetic viewing experience.

Highly respected and widely exhibited, this diverse and prolific artist has worked with students of all ages in his native state of South Dakota for over thirty years through the Artists In Schools & Communities program. Miller holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Science in Fine Arts from South Dakota State University. The artist was recently included in the “American Perspectives” exhibit, which debuted at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. His more recent solo exhibitions, GloPop Art (South Dakota State University, 2014) and The Sum of All Color exhibition (Black Hills State University, 2018), highlight Miller’s abstract explorations with 3M Reflective Scotchlite vinyl. Both exhibitions equipped visitors with flashlights to view the art in darkened galleries.

Miller’s “REFLECTORAMA” installation at the Mobile Museum of Art surrounds viewers with the artist’s reflective artworks, viewable only with a flashlight, demonstrating the work’s powerful and creative use of light, optics, color and design.

Jane Cassidy: The Undersea Well

Posted on: June 28th, 2018

Jane Cassidy: The Undersea Well

October 5, 2018 – April 7, 2019

Jane Cassidy creates site-specific audio-visual installations. By manipulating various technologies such as speakers and projectors, Cassidy fuses light and sound to form meditative environments filled with visual music. At the Mobile Museum of Art, she will exhibit a contemplative installation melding sound and illumination, a fully immersive environment of projected light and music that resonates in the body and mind of the viewer.

An Irish artist currently living and working in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Cassidy trained in music composition and animation. She earned a Masters in Music and Media Technologies from Trinity College Dublin in 2008 and a Masters of Fine Arts in Digital Art from Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana in 2014. Since that time, national and international film festivals, galleries, and museums have featured her work.

Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama

Monica J. Beasley: Feminism and Magical Thinking

Posted on: June 28th, 2018

Monica J. Beasley:

Feminism and Magical Thinking

October 5, 2018 – July 14, 2019

Throughout her career as an artist, Mobile, AL, native Monica Beasley has explored concepts of feminism, femininity, home, marriage, family, race, and Southern culture. Monica works in many mediums from photography and conceptual work to painting and collage. At first glance, the viewer is attracted to the tactile materials and use of bright colors, yet each piece is deeply rooted with serious subject matter.

Monica attributes much of her influence to her strong and loving mother and her many cherished aunts. Three of the works in this exhibition are titled and dedicated to three of these aunts. She is also influenced by the nkisi of Central Africa, the Hopi Native American tribe, and Haitian spiritual art. Teacher, friend, and well-known painter Ed Paschke, as well as artists Ellen Gallagher and Kerry James Marshall have also had tremendous influence on her life and work. In speaking about Paschke’s impact in particular, Monica notes, “He opened my eyes to everything already in the universe. You just have to go look for it, to rethink it, repurpose it, and let it shine in a different way.”

This exhibition is organized by the Mobile Museum of Art.

Stephen Althouse: Metanoia

Posted on: June 28th, 2018

Stephen Althouse: Metanoia

October 5, 2018 – June 2, 2019

metanoia [met-uh-noi-uh]
noun: a profound, possibly spiritual, transformation.

Inspired by his love of tools and farming equipment, Stephen Althouse started as a sculptor of wood, leather, and forged metal, but later transitioned to photography, using the tools and artifacts themselves to create large scale photographs with a unique pictorial dialect. The relics that Althouse chooses remind him of the “paradoxes of our species, and some imply the valor of individuals facing lives of relentless uncertainty.”

Raised on a farm in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Althouse grew up close to farmers and their work with earth and animals. He made Miami, Florida his home base for thirty years where he worked as an artist as well as Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts at Barry University, and he regularly taught courses and lectured on his art in France, England, Spain, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. In 2003-2004, Althouse lived in Belgium as an artist-in-residence at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Liège through a Fulbright Research Fellowship and concurrent German grants from Hahnemühle papers and Epson printers. Since leaving academia, he now resides in central Pennsylvania where he is reconnecting with his georgic roots and finding new artistic inspiration from the surrounding Amish community.

This exhibition is organized by the Mobile Museum of Art.