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The Arts Council Gallery

The Arts Council Gallery

The Arts Council Gallery located in the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is one of two galleries managed by The Arts Council. Meeting the demand for additional exhibit space in Tuscaloosa, the gallery hosts a variety of exhibits by artists from around Alabama and the Southeast as well as artists from our own community. Exhibits in The Arts Council Gallery at the CAC and the Junior League Gallery located in the Bama Theatre, are displayed on a rotating basis and are usually booked several months in advance.

Exhibit openings at both The Arts Council and The University of Alabama Galleries in the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center take place on First Fridays from 5-8 pm and are free and open to the public.

Current Exhibit

"Dancing 'Round the Rabbit Hole" by artist Janet Mego

Exhibit Dates: August 4-25

First Friday Reception: August 4 from 5-8 p.m. during First Friday


Janet Mego has been creating art since the age of six. After earning 1st Place in a juried show and later receiving recognition for her early artistic endeavors in Baltimore, Md., she then chose to pursue the B.F.A in Art at The University of Alabama. Much of what the artist creates has been influenced by the fine art of “learning to see,” implemented masterfully by those professors essential in taking her far beyond the face value of that degree. These influential mentors include Alvin Sella, Richard Zoellner and Arthur Oakes. She has served as Artist in Residence for the Sumter County Fine Arts Council in the 1980s, adjunct art instructor at Livingston University (now The University of West Alabama) and has received commissions due to her unique style and use of color.

"Dancing 'Round the Rabbit Hole" is about the artist’s own series of rabbit holes: places and faces of magic and mystery, tweaked by her imagination and conveyed through acrylics and watercolors. “Lewis Carroll's Alice encounters the things that dreams are made of on her trip, as do I. Some of her experiences evoke wonder, even delight. At times, though, these creatures evoke conflict and concern,” said Mego.

The title piece reflects the love for drama and Shakespeare that the artist’s mother instilled in her as a child; On the other hand, "Rabbit Holes" can represent places of danger, conflict and chaos with “Hiroshima Dream,’” a parallel of this dark element. The relationship between humans and animals, especially birds, fascinates Mego with animals often playing a role in her landscapes. “My grandfather owned a pet crow and he also possessed that magical ability to draw other animals into his space. Alvin Sella, the painting teacher who most inspired me, once wrote to me that “Fences were made for those who can't fly,’” recalled the artist.

Upcoming Exhibit


Portraits of Service Project Exhibit featuring the work of local student artists

Exhibit Dates: September 1-29

First Friday Reception: September 1 from 5-8 p.m. during First Friday; Rock Quarry Middle School Strings will perform in the Black Box Theatre

Background: The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa will host an exhibit of paintings created by students involved in the Portraits of Service project at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center Sept. 1-29, 2017. The display will also include works by Dr. Thomas Rosenstiel.

The Portraits of Service Project was developed as a way to recognize volunteers who have faithfully served the local community, often in relative obscurity. A portrait of the volunteer will be painted and publicly displayed in hopes of acknowledging the volunteer and his or her service to our community. Ultimately, it will hang permanently at the volunteer’s place of service. The program's educational component involves sharing the materials and expertise used in painting a portrait with middle and high school art students. These students are being taught the fundamentals of drawing and painting while being introduced to volunteerism in a very memorable way.

With the assistance of art teacher, Sheila Kopaska-Merkel, and principal, Lynda Ingram, the project's pilot location is Rock Quarry Middle School. Conceived and developed by local artist, Dr. Thomas Rosenstiel, it began in the spring and has continued through the summer. The project was generously funded by the Alabama State Department of Education through the Alabama Arts Education Initiative (AAEI). Board members of the AAEI who played an active role in the funding process included Andy Meadows, Donna Russell, Diana Green and Randy Foster.

The project’s inaugural subject was Janice Barrentine, who has volunteered 19 years at the Good Samaritan Medical Clinic. Her portrait, painted by Dr. Rosenstiel, will be on display during First Friday with the work of all the young artists who participated in the program.  The students were tasked with completing a small self-portrait and a head study of Barrentine. Participants include: Aisia Bell, 8th grade; Mira Cervino, 8th grade; Sylvia Cervino, 11th grade; Christine Dong, 8th grade; Bella Guynes, 9th grade; Harleigh Hubbard; Alejandro Isadora, 8th grade; Audrey Lovoy, 9th grade; Sophia Szulczewski, 8th grade; Channing Vick, 7th grade; Brenay Wahl, 9th grade.

In addition to the paintings associated with The Portraits of Service Project, other works of Dr. Rosenstiel will be on display. These include a sampling of portraiture, figurative pieces, still life and landscape. The artist practiced medicine locally until illness forced him from his profession in 2011. He has painted more regularly since 2013 and has studied with many prominent artists both privately and in workshops. His intent, regardless of subject matter, is for the paint to have a life beyond what it portrays. Rosenstiel is progressively working toward this end.



Gallery Application for Exhibit

Email completed application to Sharron Rudowski 

Gallery Hours:



1:00-4:00 pm

First Friday Hours:

Noon to 8:00 pm