The Alabama State Council on the Arts honored Nall and six other outstanding Alabamians Wednesday night in Montgomery during the “Celebration of the Arts” awards ceremony. The event was held at Troy University's Davis Theatre for the Performing …
The Alabama State Council on the Arts honored Nall and six other outstanding Alabamians Wednesday night in Montgomery during the “Celebration of the Arts” awards ceremony. The event was held at Troy University's Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts.
The awards recognize Alabama artists and special individuals for their achievements and contributions to the arts in Alabama, and beyond. In offering his congratulations to this year’s recipients, Gov. Bob Riley noted, “These talented Alabamians have demonstrated substantial creative energy and personal commitment to improving the quality of life for all Alabama citizens.”
Nall, who lives in Fairhope, Troy, Ala. and Vence, France, is thrilled.
“It was quite a surprise,” he said. “Every year they have them, but I’m never here. They asked me if I was going to be here in May, and I said I didn’t know. They said, ‘you have to be here to receive it.’”
Nall recently had a show in Washington, D.C. and also had a one-man art installation and multimedia exhibition, called “Violata Pax,” in four locations throughout Europe. “Violata Pax,” which translates literally as “wounded peace” or “Wounds of Humanity,” included large-scale paintings, bronze sculptures and silk screens that represent universal plights of humanity. The featured installation was at the sacred Basilica at Assisi by invitation of the Franciscan Order of the Catholic Church.
Nall might be known worldwide, but it’s the accolades from those close to home that mean so much.
“I’m always pleased to be recognized in my home state – better so than any other part of the world,” he said. “Alabama is not only my home, it’s a fabulous place.”
He noted that of his many friends living around the world, some have a negative image of Alabama based solely on past events such as the civil rights strife in Birmingham and Selma. One, he said, visited and was “bowled over by how nice everything is, how nice the people are.”
Nall said being named Alabama’s Distinguished Artist will certainly help the foundation he established, as well as “facilitate future projects.”
According to council officials, this year’s recipients include noted artists, arts patrons, arts administrators and arts educators. Their collective contributions over a sustained period have greatly enhanced the cultural landscape in Alabama.
In a press release, Al Head, executive director, commented, “The 2007 list of awardees reflects the great diversity of individuals contributing to Alabama’s vibrant arts scene. In this, the ‘Year of Alabama Arts,’ we could have no better ambassadors for the richness of the arts we are all so proud of in our state.”
This year's other recipients include Roberta Gamble, Greenville – Jonnie Dee Riley Little Lifetime Achievement Award; Kathy Chan, Huntsville – Governor's Arts Award; Thomas Hinds, Montgomery – Governor's Arts Award; Paul Looney, Tuscaloosa – Governor's Arts Award; Jerry McCain, Gadsden – Alabama Folk Heritage Award; Quilters of Gee’s Bend, Boykin – Alabama Living Legacy Award.
Prior to the awards program, a private reception was held at the Governor’s Mansion for the award recipients and their special guests. Gov. Bob Riley and First Lady Patsy Riley were joined by state senators, state representatives and other VIPs, to congratulate the awardees
Nall was accompanied by his wife, Tuscia, and Avery Glize-Kane, the American Consul for the South of France. Also joining Nall was his mother, Mary Hollis and Michael Dow, former mayor of Mobile.
Other guests celebrating Nall’s award were Marcia and Vince Kilbourne of Montrose; former Ala. Sen. Ann Bedsole of Mobile; Dan Corte of Fairhope; Mike McDonald of Mobile; Carlos Parkman of Fairhope; Paul Rickelson, (Mobile Museum of Art); Bubba Trotman and Dora Haas of Montgomery.