Archived Story

Art of Kevin Whitman on display at Gallery 128

Published 6:54pm Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kevin Whitman’s opening reception for his Escape series at Gallery 128 was an enticing display of modern art. Splashy and vibrant, the geometric shapes challenged the viewers visually and intellectually. The bold, thick lines of caulk leapt off the canvas, and it was hard to believe it is the same stuff that lines your bathtub.

The paintings themselves were incredibly strong willed and set an overall dramatic tone. According to Whitman’s brochure, he works with “tempura paint for its drying capabilities, acrylic, oils, and non-traditional mediums such as caulk, silicone, plasters, and glues.”

The most striking piece of work hung from the ceiling; it twirled like an angry red tornado and was composed of melted down red plastic plates from Wal-Mart. It was completely unique, and I could not believe how light it was.  I commented that if hung horizontally-it might even resemble a large mouth bass.

Whitman’s work intends to evoke strong emotion and feeling, and I would say that it is successful in its endeavors.
He was one of 20 Alabama artists selected to be a part of the Alabama Psychological Foundation’s “Heads up Alabama,” and has also been featured in Atlanta at the Castleberry Inn and the Plastic Surgery Institute of Atlanta.

Spotted:  Dottie Holdren, Barbara Looney, Brittany Looney, Bill & Pam Whitman, Jenna Whitman, Willa Alford, Virginia Bradshaw, Carolyn Farrow, Wonnie Foy, Casey Lowe, Alan & Amber West, Karen Jennings, Elinor Roberts, & John Howell.

Whitman’s work will be on display through July 28 and it is all available to purchase.  Check it out and stay open minded. Many people are intimidated by modern art, but I think it is even more surprising when it is placed in a traditionally decorated home. It is unexpected in a good way. While perusing the gallery, purchase some wine from Henry Foy.  At the moment, I am loving the Oregon rose he sells.

I was first introduced to rose by my good friend, Emily McDaniel, this past spring. I was initially hesitant, as the pink color made me worry it would taste like white zif.  No offense to you white zif lovers, but it is too sweet for my taste. Surprisingly, the rose is like pinot grigio and pinot noir’s love child. It is perfect for a hot summer afternoon and best served slightly chilled.

Speaking of wine and hot summer afternoons, my sister in law, Hadley Howell, is marrying her high school sweetheart, Kris Gilliland, this Saturday at Church in the Pines. It will be an affair to remember, no pun intended, although much of the early days of their courtship took place in the Big Apple. I’ll have to make sure a golf cart does not take her out.

Take note that The 33rd Annual Turtleneck Turtle Race for Alzheimer’s will be tonight at the airport. Registration begins at 5 p.m. and the race will be at 7 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Fischer Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation. Find a turtle and take your kids – Kenny Dean sure knows how to entertain.

Have a great weekend and let your hair down y’all!

Howell works as an advertising representative for Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., in addition to writing this column. Contact Howell at to keep her In the Loop of events.