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"Handcrafted Holiday" by Kentuck's Studio Artists: Exhibition Recap

It's the most wonderful time of the year--Kentuck's annual Studio Artist Exhibition! Each December, our Studio Artists fill our Museum Gallery with their work from the year. These local, full-time artists rent space from Kentuck Art Center for below market value to help them make a living doing what they love. Kentuck’s Studio Artist Program fulfills all facets of our mission statement: perpetuate the arts, engage the community, and empower the artist.

This year, we have five artists participating in our Studio Artist Program--Neel Alexander, Silver Francis, Kerry Kennedy, Scott McQueen, and Melanie O'Keefe. We would love for you to see this show in-person, but if you're unable to visit the Museum Gallery right now, take a look at the work on display below!

Neel Alexander

"I believe my art performs best when it subtly blends many styles, influences, and media into something unique for that moment. A lot of my work uses themes of nature and historical popular culture references. The mediums I have been using most are acrylics, paint markers, and spray paint. I also enjoy making sculpture. I usually make those out of sculpey or foam and sometimes adhere them to found objects. My main process starts by writing down ideas throughout the day and later revising them into drawings. Depending on the idea in the drawing, I then choose a medium to start working with. When it all goes well, I finish with a fully realized illustration, painting, or sculpture."

Silver Francis

"I am a full-time impressionism painter based out of Tuscaloosa, AL and Tampa, FL. I studied fine art throughout my childhood, exploring its various themes and mediums through years of independent art education. Since entering the professional art scene in 2019, I have displayed my work in galleries and shows throughout the eastern United States and am now an internationally selling artist working out of my home studio in Tuscaloosa. Nature, in all of its serene beauty and bewitching severity, has become my lifelong muse. Its depths are full of both wisdom and innocence, creation and decay, peace and endless mystery - a perfect contradiction. With oil, pigment, and paintbrush, I seek to express my own impression of the natural environment, while exploring its many themes. I hope that my life’s work draws you into nature’s perfect contradiction, and I hope that you feel something when you get there."

Kerry Kennedy

Kerry Kennedy’s first love is pottery and sculptural ceramics. She has thrown pottery for over ten years. As a student, Kennedy was deeply interested in sculptural works that fused thrown forms with organic aesthetics. These ideas are always influencing even the most functional shapes of mugs and bowls. Her passion for creative anachronism of the renaissance period takes her to several festivals throughout the nation each year.

Scott McQueen

Scott is an accomplished folk artist who was raised in Fayette, Alabama. He fondly recollects times during his childhood when he observed folk artist Jimmy Lee Sudduth create his now-famous mud paintings. Scott is a graduate of Samford University (B.A.), New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div) and Luther Rice Seminary (D.Min). Scott is an ordained minister who lives in Nothport, Alabama. He has exhibited in Kentuck's Hotel Indigo Gallery and the Teer Gallery and has been a Kentuck Artist in the Schools for three years. He attends over 20 festivals every calendar year. He is a minister, and author of Reasonable Doubt — A Case for LGBTQ Inclusion in the Institutions of Marriage and Church.

Melanie O'Keefe

Melanie O'Keefe is a full time artist who paints landscapes and nature because, in her words, "it never occurred to me to paint anything else. There is nothing more beautiful than Mother Nature." She works primarily with oil paints and has been constantly working 7 days a week since 2013 to grow as an artist. O'Keefe is a member of the National Oil and Painter's Society (NOAPS) and the Oil Painters of America. She has been published in the nationally distributed Southwest Art Magazine twice, and was one of the winners of the NOAPS "Best of America Exhibit" award. O'Keefe travels the country teaching art classes, attending juried art shows, and working on commissions.

Our Annual Studio Artist Exhibition is in Kentuck Art Center’s Museum Gallery until January 27, 2022. We encourage you to visit to see this work in person! See something you're interested in purchasing? Give us a call at 205-758-1257 or email us at We'd be happy to help! We are currently open regular hours—Monday-Friday, 9:30-5:30 and Saturday-Sunday, 12-4. Facial coverings and social distancing preferred.



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