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

Kentuck Art Night connects artists to the community


Once a month, Kentuck studio artist Lorrie Lane goes through her studio. She takes down some old paintings, puts up new ones and gets it ready for the crowd of people who are about to come by to meet her and her work. She’s one of the eight studio artists at the Kentuck Arts Center, all of whom display their art during the center’s monthly Art Night event. 

Art Night is a free event that takes place the first Thursday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Kentuck Art Center at 503 Main Ave. in Northport. 

“It’s just a great opportunity for people to come see what I do,” Lane said. “And since it’s in the studio itself they can see the methods and paint that I use and everything like that.”

Lane was one of the artists who helped start Art Night back in 1994. The event encourages people to interact with local artists, she said, and gives those local artists some public exposure as well. 

“There’s always new things, new art and new exhibits, so if you can come every month then you’ll see something different,” she said. 

Another Kentuck studio artist, Sydney Gruber, described the center as a “fixed backbone” of the art community in Northport and Tuscaloosa and echoed Lane’s belief that Art Night allows the artists to be accessible to the community. 

“Creative expression is like holding up a mirror to the world and encouraging a feeling, a thought or just some echo or sense of nostalgia,” Gruber said. “A lot of my work this past year is simply meant to encourage joy, maybe even a little wonder, so having those interested in creatives and the arts come out and see what everyone’s been working on… it’s just extremely positive. You can feel it in the air.” 

Exa Skinner, the program manager for Kentuck Art Center, described Art Night as a “celebration of culture.” She said she sees people from all over the community at Art Night every month, from those looking to purchase high-end art, to families who have brought their kids for a night out together. 

“Art Night was driven originally by the artists,” Skinner said. “They’ve come up with some really interesting ideas over the years and there’s been a lot of neat things that have happened at Art Night. So we hope to continue that and get as much input from them as we can.” 

The monthly event also features gallery exhibitions, live music and pop-up shops featuring local businesses like Left Hand Soap Company, HipPies and Altered Perceptions Apparel & Art.

“It’s just kind of a once-a-month party for people who enjoy art and music and being around other people who enjoy those things as well,” Skinner said. 

This month’s gallery exhibit will feature artist Bernard Wright. Wright studied under late Alabama artist, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, who was a featured artist at the Kentuck Festival of the Arts in 1971.

“Bernard actually stopped painting when Jimmy Lee got sick in the late 90s, and hasn’t painted again until the last year or two, so we’re really excited to have him,” Skinner said. “This is his first show since he’s been painting again and it’s been 15 years since he’s painted and had a show. We’re really lucky to have that.”

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