Wiregrass Museum of Art

Dothan, Alabama



Beyond Moonlight and Magnolias:

Contemporary Women Artists of Alabama


through December 31, 1997


Dale Kennington, River Arno, 3PM, 1993


Accomplished, eclectic, expressive - these are the adjectives that describe the artwork being produced by Alabama women artists. Achieving national and international reputations, these artists have mastered a variety of media and styles, producing works which range from the jubilant to the contemplative, from the hyper-realistic to the musically abstract. Rejecting stale subject matter, they deliver global perspectives through sophisticated techniques and deft manipulation of composition and materials. Celebrating our past and revealing our present, these women are creating a rich legacy of the state of Alabama and its future generations.

Dale Kennington's painting of two boaters (above) on the River Arno in Florence, Italy is somewhat of a departure from her standard body of artwork. Her usually close, intimate interiors have given way here to a sunny outdorr water scene in which the viewer's perspective is that of looking down on the action. Typical of Kennington's work, however, are the people, who never appear rushed or hurried but display a natural, relaxed sense of calm.

An adept handling of pastel is one aspect which distinguishes Helen J. Vaughn's work (below) from that of her contemporaries. Exploiting the medium's capability to produce rich colors and velvety-smooth textures, Vaughn combines an astute perseption of people with excellent draftsmanship.


Helen Johnston Vaughn, Dancers at the Barre, 1991


To most viewers, the paintings of Jeannie Maddox resemble photographs. Says Maddox, "As an artist, my journey is through small abstract areas of shape, color, and contrast that when completed and taken as a whole constantly surprise me by becoming hyper-real."


Jeannie Maddox, Swimmer from Above, 1992


Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

This page was originally published in 1997 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

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