The Montgomery Advertiser has an article right now about Nall at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa (it’s one of the RSA’s hotels) picking out art by local artists for display there. He’s also decorated the spaces of other RSA properties with Alabama artists. He says:
“When RSA was doing the Grand Hotel down in Fairhope, they planned to fill it with works by New York artists and prints of works of the better known,” said Nall. “I said that would be disgraceful. Alabama has so much talent that hasn’t been explored or exploited, why not put their work on display?
Works by Hoerr, Morris and about 40 other artists will be featured in the hotel’s collection. They will join other well-known Alabama artists, such as folk artists Mose T and Jimmy Lee Sudduth and sculptor Charlie Lucas, to name a few.
Nall said he hopes that beyond getting exposure for Alabama artists, he hoped also to change the opinion of the state in the eyes of the rest of the nation, even the world.
“Alabama is still associated with racism and violence,” he said. “When people think of that horrible past, they still associate it with places like Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma. You don’t hear that anymore about Harlem or Watts or Brooklyn. Those same things happened there, too, but they moved past that, remaking themselves as centers of art and culture. I want to see that happen here, too.”
Nall is also contributing a piece to the Renaissance Hotel collection, a specially designed three-dimensional mural that features state heritage — good and bad — and, of course, golf.
That reminds me (about how Alabama can still be associated with negative stereotypes) – one of the clubs that we belong to – The Summit Club – is part of ClubCorp, and their magazine is called Private Clubs. In the December issue, they had a small article about Liza and Rick Looser who own the Cirlot Agency (a marketing, pr, corporate communications firm) and are members of the University Club in Jackson. In 2005, Rick was on a plane and was asked about his accent by a young fellow passenger, and then was asked if he hated other races since he was from Mississippi (!!). Can you imagine!? This made Rick come up with a campaign called “Mississippi Believe It” which is a series of pr messages about what Mississippi is like today.
This is one of the ads: