June 12, 2009

Fine Arts Friday

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art in Auburn, Alabama opened the "Dale Kennington: Subjective Mythologies" exhibit today. It officially opens tomorrow, June 13, but we stopped by the museum today and were able to buy tickets.

Auburn University's Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art

Hydrangeas blooming in the museum's gardens

The featured artist, Dale Kennington, hails from Dothan, Alabama. What amazing talent!!! This is the exhibition essay written by Ms. Kennington taken from the museum's catalog.

"I tend to paint things that are ambivalent, that are meant to be completed by the viewer's interpretation, whether that viewer is the artist or another observer. What I see when I paint is unique to me; what the viewer sees in the same painting is also unique. We are each influenced by the intimate personal mythologies we bring to the work. In this series of screens I have used the formats of brokenness, duality and concealment to enhance the exploration of real and imaginary influences on our lives."

This series of Ms Kennington's Subjective Mythologies consists of a group of five, six-panel painted screens. Both sides of the screens are painted in oils, providing their dual or flip-sided nature. Kennington has cleverly woven the two compositions together, back-to-back, necessitating a playful cat-and-mouse game by the viewer to chase the meaning of the entire work. Her compositions are mysterious and thought provoking. Adding to their mystery, Kennington has hidden little doors in each screen. These small doors are camouflaged in the painting. Behind these skeleton key locked doors, she had placed a handwritten note on paper with comments relevant to each painting.

Below is a scanned image of my personal favorite screen.

One side of a six-panel folding screen titled "Magic Circles"

The flip-side of "Magic Circles"

A close up of the locked hidden panel on side one of "Magic Circles" It reads: A circle both leaves and returns- And makes no distinction between the two-Perhaps returning is easier or harder than leaving-A circle does not say

I bet Al and I spent 10 minutes at each panel. The subject matter somehow gives you a deja-vu feeling. Parts of each painting slowly fade to shadows, allowing the viewer to finish or make their own story. I had so much fun. I would love to go back again and spend even more time admiring this great Alabama artist's work.



  1. Hello, Rhonda. Many thanks to you and Al for the delightful post on the Jule Collins Smith Museum. I appreciated your comments much.

    Dale Kennington

  2. You are so welcome Ms. Kennington - and thank you for sharing your incredible work. Rhon


So happy you are here - I love your comments!