Across Boundaries: The Art of Thornton Dial

December 1, 2012 to March 23, 2013
Thornton Dial  ©LCVA

Across Boundaries: The Art of Thornton Dial includes nineteen works on paper and three mixed-media paintings, part of a recent gift to the LCVA from Barbara and James Sellman. Six additional mixed-media paintings and a sculpture assemblage are on loan to the show from Culture & Beyond, LLC, a Sellman Family Collection. Created from the early 1990s to 2004, the works allow viewers the opportunity to experience the full range of the artist’s impressive body of work.

Born in 1928, Dial worked in and around Bessemer, Alabama, as a bricklayer and carpenter and later as a welder at the Pullman Company, a railway-carriage factory located in Bessemer. He also made steel furniture in a family-owned business in the Southern, African American tradition of homemade yard art. In 1981, Dial began to dedicate himself full-time to his art. Today, he is internationally known for his highly charged and complex mixed-media constructions.


North Main Street

The LCVA is a 20,000-square-foot exhibition center featuring two rotating galleries that have shown works of worldwide importance, including the award-winning Reflecting Centuries of Beauty: The Rowe Collection of Chinese Art, the nationally traveled Pre-Columbian Art from the Mississippi Museum of Art, and a steady stream of solo and group exhibitions for nationally known artists such as Faith Ringgold, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Lesley Dill, David Macaulay, and Kojo Griffin.

The LCVA also dedicates one gallery to a permanent exhibition of stunning African art, part of the Ziegler and Brumfield Collections of African Art. In 1997 Robert Ziegler, a longtime resident of Africa, established this collection with twenty-six important pieces. In 1999, Thomas and Donna Brumfield donated an additional eighty-eight works of African art. The collection includes an impressive array of statues, masks, drums, baskets, and garments, covering four geographical areas, twelve countries, and twenty-seven cultures. A catalog of this collection, Telling Objects: African Art from the Permanent Collection of the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, is available.