By: Rebekah Davis

If you’re looking for that sweet spot where the vision meets the story, you can findit this month at the Limestone County Archives.

Now through March 7, the Limestone County Archives is hosting “Alabama Then & Now,” a commemorative and educational art exhibition of 30 original paintings of historic sites all over Alabama in honor of Alabama’s Bicentennial. The exhibit, which is on display in the Limestone County Archives’ exhibit space, features a painting of the Scout Music House in Athens, so both the Archives and the Athens Arts League have delved into their collections to complement the art exhibition with a display of historic photos of the building and artifacts from Limestone County’s music history. Many of these items will find their permanent home at the Scout Music House when the Athens Arts League re-opens the building as a local music museum.

All 30 paintings in the exhibition were created by members of the Alabama Plein Air Artists (APAA) who gather monthly around the state to paint en plein air (in the “open air”) outdoors, from life. The paintings depict landmarks and regions of Alabama where these artists live or have traveled and painted from life. Subjects include bridges and barns; gins and mills; the natural beauty of Alabama; industry; architecture; sports; government; and popular culture. Each painting includes a history of the site depicted.

“It is amazing to see how each artist brings his or her unique talent and perspective to breathe life into these historic subjects,” said Limestone County Archivist Rebekah Davis. “It is an honor to be able to give people the opportunity to enjoy the images and the stories by hosting this exhibition at the Limestone County Archives.”

After leaving Athens, this juried exhibition, which is officially endorsed by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, will tour through Tuscaloosa, the State Capitol in Montgomery, Pike Road, Auburn, Mobile, Hamilton, and Huntsville, with most venues hosting opening receptions. The full tour schedule may be found at www.alabamapleinairartists. com. Many paint ings are for sale, and entry is free and open to the public.

The exhibit is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Limestone County Archives, 102 W. Washington St., Athens. For more information, call 256-233-6404 or e-mail archives@ limestonecounty-al. gov.
By: Rebekah Davis, Limestone County Community Relations Coordinator

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