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

Tuscaloosa tornado relief benefits from creativity of local, national artists

Kerry Kennedy, tornado-shaped ceramic mugs

Kentuck artist-in-residence Kerry Kennedy, a potter and owner of FireHorse Pottery Studios, created what she calls “twister tumblers” to raise money for tornado relief through nonprofit organizations like United Way and the Red Cross. These tornado-shaped ceramic mugs, which Kennedy glazed in different colors, sold like wildfire; 54 sold on the first day alone. Kennedy, a full-time artist, donated 100 percent of the sales from the first 100 tumblers to charity and 50 percent of the proceeds from the rest. She sold more than 140 tumblers.


Miller and Jana Mobley, Relief Portraits

UA alumnus and photographer Miller Mobley and his wife Jana took family photographs of tornado victims free of charge during the month of May. Aptly named “Relief Portraits,” Mobley hoped to help families replace lost photographs by providing new ones.


Various artists, Kentuck’s “Turmoil and Transcendence” art show

Downtown Northport’s Kentuck Art Center hosted the work of local artists during the month of July for an exhibit called “April 2011: Turmoil and Transcendence.” Artists were given the opportunity to submit works related to the tornado, with the understanding that the proceeds from any works sold would be divided 80/20, with 80 percent going to United Way of West Alabama for tornado relief and 20 percent to Kentuck to cover the costs of the show.


Various artists, Beauty Amid Destruction banner hangings

Long-time Tuscaloosa County resident Jean Mils began coordinating artists this summer to submit uplifting art to be displayed on banners in Tuscaloosa’s damaged neighborhoods. So far, nearly 30 banners hang in damaged neighborhoods all around Tuscaloosa, displaying images of flowers, hot air balloons, butterflies and other “beauties amid destruction.”


Various artists, Monster Makeover II charity art show

On Oct. 6, The Tuscaloosa News sponsored a live auction of art made by 42 artists from the surrounding community, including artists from Tuscaloosa, Northport and Gordo. The artists were asked to recreate first-graders’ drawings of monsters using any medium they wished. Paintings, sculptures, photographs and more were auctioned, and nearly $4000 was donated to local schools through the Tuscaloosa Forward fund.



May 25, 2011 – Kenny Chesney, Tuscaloosa Amphitheater

Instead of canceling the Tuscaloosa stop on his “Goin’ Costal Tour,” country star Kenny Chesney decided to donate all of the money from the show to tornado relief.


June 14, 2011 – Bama Rising, BJCC

Country music superstars such as Alabama, Dierks Bentley and Martina McBride came together on June 14 to raise an estimated $2.2 million for tornado relief. The sold-out show raised money through ticket prices, merchandise and an online auction of donated items.


Jul. 11, 2011 – Rihanna, BJCC

In the wake of the tornado, Rihanna decided to add a stop at Birmingham’s BJCC on her summer tour. Her show, which included a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” raised $250,000.


Sept. 2, 2011 – Alabama, Tuscaloosa Amphitheater

Following the success of the Bama Rising show, the band Alabama came out of a seven-year retirement to play their first full show since their farewell tour. All proceeds from the concert went to tornado relief.


Oct. 13, 2011 – Pretty Lights, Tuscaloosa Amphitheater

Pretty Lights came to Tuscaloosa to support two causes: $5 from every concert ticket sold went to tornado relief and attendees who brought more than 10 cans for the West Alabama Food Bank were given a limited edition poster.

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