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The Black And Blue Period Art Exhibition

Exhibit: February 2002

Ronald McDowell: The Black And Blue Period Art Exhibition is sponsored by the University of Alabama at Birmingham African American Studies Program. Six area colleges and universities will co-host the exhibit during Black History Month.

Samford University will host ten paintings by the artist. The paintings are showcased in Samford University Library on the main entry level around the grand staircase.

thumbnail of MdDowell painting

McDowell's works are also on display at University of Alabama at Birmingham, Lawson State Community College, Miles College, Jefferson State Community College and the University of Montevallo. In addition, McDowell will present a series of six lectures about art and its impact on American and African-American culture. The public can see McDowell’s art and attend his lectures at the following locations:

February 5, 2002 6:00 p.m.
Samford University Library
Conference Room 235
Contact: Jean Thomason, Director
(205) 726-2846

February 5, 2002 1:00 pm
Lawson State Community College
Thelma Catlin Auditorium
Contact: Ms. Sandra Henderson
(205) 929-6333

February 6, 2002 11:00 a.m.
Miles College
Brown Hall Auditorium
Contact: Dr. Geraldine Bell
(205) 929-1715
February 14, 2002 1:00 p.m.
Jefferson State Community College
Allen Library
Contact: Prof. Clarence Ray
(205) 856-8592

February 18, 2002 Noon
UAB Mervyn Sterne Library
Henley Room
Contact: Heather Martin
(205) 934-6364

February 19, 2002 2:00 p.m.
University of Montevallo
Mass Communication Building, Room 104
Contact: Dr. Elaine Hughes
(205) 665-6501

Ronald McDowell

Photo of Artist: Ronald McDowell

Ronald McDowell has been hailed as one of today's most versatile artists. His creativity is demonstrated in his use of a variety of mediums, including oils, acrylics, charcoals and pastels. He has been credited for having a natural perception of design, which enables him to go from the visual concept to the final, three-dimensional product.

The California native began his artistic career as a child. While in grammar school, he was appointed as the art director of projects for El Pueblo Elementary School. The self-taught artist says his talents are a "God-given gift:' He also credits the artistic influence of his father and two older brothers.

McDowell has created commissioned works for individuals, institutions, and corporations, including the cities of Pittsburgh and Memphis, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the National AIDS Task Force and Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. His paintings have been shown at the Ebony Museum in Oakland, California, The Frankel Galleries International in Palm Beach, Florida, the North American Rockwell Space Division in Los Angeles and the National Exhibition-Commonwealth Edison in Chicago, Illinois. He has 50 portraits housed in the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, including portraits of the country band, Alabama and Lionel Ritchie.

He has painted the portrait of other famous individuals, including Rosa Parks, Angela Basset, Orson Wells, Bill Cosby, Lou Rawls, Martha Reeves, Governor Fob James and Booker T. Washington.

His sculptures have been featured in television and feature films, including Spike Lee's film "Four Little Girls." His sculpture, "A Salute to the Foot Soldiers" of the civil rights movement and his statue of Eddie Kendrick are on display in Birmingham at Kelly Ingram Park and at the Eddie Kendrick Memorial Park. Currently, McDowell's Foot Soldier Monument can be viewed Sunday nights on the Lifetime Television Network's show, Any Day Now.

Artist Biography courtesy of the UAB African American Studies Program

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