The Wiregrass Museum Offers a Limited Collection of Works by Alabama Artists | Local News


The Wiregrass Museum of Art does not normally sell artwork, but the museum wanted to do its part to support artists in Alabama, especially with so many artists struggling since 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. -19.

Thus, the museum has chosen to support a program called CARE Packages created by the president of the Alabama Visual Arts Network, Paul Barrett. CARE Packages are collections of commissioned artwork by Alabama artists.

The goal is to provide creative and financial support to artists, said Melissa Rea, the museum’s director of advancement.

“It’s definitely an area that has become more crucial over the last couple of years,” Rea said. “For our region, I would say we also wanted to be able to offer it to our audience because it gives people a chance to collect art, and it does so in a way that exposes them to many artists across the Alabama.”

Twelve artists were invited to create 10 editions of an original work of art. These pieces are part of a collection which is then sold. Because the pieces were commissioned, the artist received his money upfront rather than waiting for a piece to sell or trying to sell artwork on his own.

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The collections represent artists of diverse backgrounds from across the state and work in different media, from photography to sculpture, printmaking and painting. The Wiregrass Museum’s CARE Package collections include relief printed photolithography, folk art created from painted mixed media, as well as zinc etching and alcohol ink prints.

“We know there are a lot of people who are interested in art collecting but who may not know where to start or don’t know what interests them yet,” Rea said. “It’s a great opportunity to really explore what Alabama artists are creating right now.”

This is a limited opportunity as there are only 10 sets sold. A set of 12 works of art costs $1,800. Individuals can enter together to purchase a set and then divide the artworks in the collection, Rea said.

Artists whose works are included in Wiregrass Museum of Art CARE packages include: John Demotte, Sarah Ellis, Jenny Fine, Winfred Hawkins, Betty Sue Matthews, Helga Mendoza, Robin Metz, Andrew McCall, John Oles, Tres Taylor, Chris Wade and Joi West.

Art images are available on the museum’s website, Click on the “Shop” tab at the top of the site’s home page, then click on the CARE Packages link. The images on the website are representative of the art of the sets, but each set is slightly different because the pieces are handmade, Rea said.

“It really is a great opportunity to get to know artists who are here in our state and collect their work,” Rea said. “…Each artist brings something different to the CARE package, and it’s good to know that because people can collect a full CARE package, they were able to do their part to support 12 artists in the state.”

Peggy Ussery is a staff writer for Dothan Eagle and can be reached at [email protected] or 334-712-7963. Support his work and that of other Eagle journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today at


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