Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Mellow Mushroom to show Lightboxes

An art exhibit of chilled expression will take place at the Mellow Mushroom on Thursday night at 9 p.m., as Elliott McPherson showcases his “Lightboxes” for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Art Show.

Rabid Tuscaloosa music fans might better know McPherson as the singer/guitarist for the beloved Dexateens, but his friends have seen the other artistic talents he brings to the table.

“He does this type of art called lightboxes,” said Shane Lollar, the house engineer and booking agent for the Mellow Mushroom. “And when I saw him [create the lightboxes], I was blown away.”

It may be difficult to describe what exactly lightboxes are, but McPherson is up to the task of explaining his work.

“I guess it’s sort of a play on words,” said McPherson. “These things are like shadowboxes. It’s just a word I’ve used to play on that name. They’re just found objects.”

A description is elusive because of the varying sizes and appearances of the pieces of art.

“Each piece is handmade, and it could be as small as a bottle cap or as big as a traffic cone,” Lollar said.

The show will feature the art, and vinyl records from the ’60s will be played by a group of guest deejays, which a skeptic might deem overly nostalgic. McPherson feels that label is not true at all, though.

“I wouldn’t say that [it is just nostalgia] at all,” he said. “I think the event itself is not anything like nostalgic times. This is just a get-together with old friends. A lot of times you have an art show and it’s real stuffy, real wine-and-cheese. I thought it would be way cooler to just bring some friends. I thought it would be a good twist on art shows.”

McPherson’s own history is as varied as his inspirations for art. Other than his Dexateens work, he has worked on art in some capacity over the past decade ranging back to when he attended the University of Alabama.

“I think the artwork may be looking back,” he said. “A lot of the stuff belongs to my family and older.”

The show costs $5, and proceeds are going to Gulf Aid to help with the oil spill crisis.

“They’re the biggest presence online doing gulf relief efforts,” said McPherson. “They hosted an event in May that had Lenny Kravitz and Dr. John, and it was a huge deal. They raised a bunch of money and their efforts are ongoing.”

McPherson and his bandmates seem more impacted than ever by the crisis.

“The Dexateens are actually planning a relief group similar to Gulf Aid,” McPherson said. “I don’t think [college students and Tuscaloosa residents] realize what is happening on the coast down there. I don’t think they realized what happened to our neighbors. We’re calling our effort ‘The Cleansing Tide.’ We plan on doing events very similar to Gulf Aid, just on a smaller scale.”

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