5 unique art galleries you have to visit in Tuscaloosa

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Be sure to check out Tony Sturgis’s Pulse and Color collection. (Morgan Byerley/ The Bama Buzz)

In a town known for its football team and iconic barbeque restaurants, there’s a side to Tuscaloosa many fail to recognize: the arts. From the Dinah Washington Center to the Paul R. Jones Museum, Tuscaloosa is more than just a college town, it has an exciting art scene as well. Keep reading to learn more about five unique art galleries located around Tuscaloosa.

1. The Arts Council Gallery

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This gallery features pottery, mixed-media paintings and unique sculptures. (Morgan Byerley/ The Bama Buzz)

Walking into the Arts Council Gallery’s 700-square-foot space is an immersive experience. The large floor-to-ceiling windows brighten the room, illuminating the curated artwork.

This summer from June 2nd to July 27th, “Recent Works: A Collection by Michael Hand” will be displayed in the gallery.  This collection features unique canvas paintings, ceramics and three-dimensional sculptures. Don’t forget to look up and notice Michael Hand’s ceramic birds suspended in midair.

Next month’s collection will officially open during the First Friday Art Walk on August 4th at 5pm. Stop by to see Joe Macgown’s “Explorations of Alternate Realities” and explore the other galleries located in the Dinah Washington Center.

2. UA Gallery at Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center

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Sturgis’ colorful and textured paintings are sure to catch your eye. (Morgan Byerley/ The Bama Buzz)

Expect to take some time wandering through Tony Sturgis’ Pulse and Color collection at the UA gallery. These multilayered paintings feature bold colors, geometric shapes and intricate details hidden under thick layers of paint.

On the Cultural Art Center Website, gallery director Daniel White described Sturgis’ unique style of painting: “Abstract forms and symbols emanate joyfulness, even as the artist asks larger visual questions such as “What is our place in the past, present and future?”

Sturgis works full-time as a Lieutenant Firefighter Paramedic in Tuscaloosa and spends his free time working on his artwork. Be sure to stop by the UA gallery this summer to see his stunning collection.

3. Kentuck Museum Art Gallery

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Scott McQueen is a folk artist whose studio is located in the Red Dog building at Kentuck. (Morgan Byerley/ The Bama Buzz)

Of course, no art gallery list would be complete without the Kentuck Art Center. Although the center is located across the river in Northport, it’s just a quick drive from Tuscaloosa. With weekly art events and classes, Kentuck is a flourishing art center for the area.

Kentuck’s main building functions as a store and art gallery with rotating exhibits every month. From unique ceramics to handmade jewelry, there’s artwork everyone can enjoy. If you’re lucky, one of the studio artists may be in their studios for you to watch them at their craft.

If you want to see all of Kentuck’s galleries and studios, come by during their monthly Art Night. The next one will take place on August 3rd at 5PM and feature the Red Dog Potter’s annual ice cream bowl sale. Don’t miss this opportunity to see all the artists and eat ice cream in a homemade bowl.

4. Gallery at Indigo Hotel

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Check out this unique art gallery located in the lobby of Hotel Indigo. (Morgan Byerley/ The Bama Buzz)

Some may be surprised to learn that the lobby of Hotel Indigo features an art gallery. This month, the gallery features Aaron Sander Head’s Firewalker Exhibition which showcases his distinct textile artwork. From patchwork quilts to unique fabric pieces, Sander’s artwork is both modern and nostalgic.

According to Kentuck’s website, “Aaron’s work is a modern interpretation of a traditional art form; combining his love for rural Alabama and its native foliage with fiber arts.” Be sure to stop by Hotel Indigo to learn more about Sander’s Firewalker art exhibit.

5. Paul R. Jones Museum

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This beautiful gallery features oil paintings, charcoal drawings and more. (Morgan Byerley/ The Bama Buzz)

The Paul R Jones Museum is a gallery that shouldn’t be missed in Tuscaloosa. Ideally located downtown, the museum is home to one of the largest collections of 20th-century African American art in the world. The collection has over 2,000 pieces coming from over 600 different artists, making this an incredible art gallery to visit.

According to the Paul R. Jones Museum website, the artwork was collected by Paul Raymond Jones who started collecting art in 1960 after noticing a lack of African American art in museums. During his career with the federal government, Jones played an active role in civil rights and even worked as the deputy director of the Peace Corps in Thailand. The gallery is designed to share the works of American artists with Tuscaloosa locals and visitors alike.

Which art galleries have you visited in Tuscaloosa? Let us know on Instagram and Facebook.

Morgan Byerley
Morgan Byerley
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