Call out to portrait artists for Patti Malone project

By  | February 14, 2018 | Filed under: News
ATHENS-Athens Arts League is honoring Patti Malone, the “First Lady of Music in Limestone County,” by commissioning an oil portrait of her that will be on permanent display at Scout Music House.
Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area is funding the project with a $4,500 grant.
Athens Arts League is issuing a call out to artists to submit applications for review. The selected artist will receive $4,000 for the portrait and for Athens Arts League to retain all rights to the portrait and image.

Patti Malone’s Story

  • Patti Malone was born a slave on Cedars Plantation in Athens, Alabama, circa 1855.
  • Following the Civil War, Patti Malone attended Trinity School in Athens, started in 1865 by Mary Wells, a Registered Nurse during the War who was drawn to teach the children of slaves to read. The school was sponsored by the American Missionary Association and was a preparatory school for the Nashville based, Fisk University.
  • Fisk University was the birth place of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, a group initially formed to travel the world and assist the college in obtaining funds for the school. The group performed successfully throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and across the United States.
  • Patti became part of the group when another member grew ill, and she made her debut as a mezzo soprano, on January 14, 1878, in Hamburg, Germany. She traveled with the group which was later known as the Loudin Jubilee Singers, for 20 years, until her death, in 1897 in Omaha, Nebraska.
  • There are few images of Patti Malone and the goal of this portrait commission is to capture as closely as possible her likeness with the images we have, but more than that, to capture her spirit, talent, and historical significance to our community’s musical legacy.                                                                                                                                                                                                 Project  Information
  • Athens Arts League has selected Patti Malone as our “First Lady of Music of Limestone County.” Her portrait will grace the walls of Athens’ renovated Scout Music House, which was built by the WPA in 1938. The historic structure will serve as a cultural center that will provide hands-on learning for students in an educational music lab. The establishment will also offer house concerts, music-related exhibits, and a museum store.
  • Patti Malone’s portrait and story will be the initial exhibit of Limestone County’s’ musical legacy, and will lead the way for many other musician stories to be displayed in the center.

       Additional Information: 

  • Athens Arts League will provide a high quality canvas for the project and will offer to assist in providing a portion of monetary compensation for oil paints for the portrait.
  • The selected artist will be paid $4,000 pending final inspection, approval and receipt of the portrait on October 1, 2018.
  • The artist photo, name, and the submission and submission images will be used for Athens Arts League educational and cultural presentations and events. Athens Arts League will hold exclusive rights to the portrait and image.
  • Follow all instructions on the Call to Artists! section in order to have the best opportunity to win the commission.
  • Athens Arts League is appreciative to the many talented volunteers working to make this project a reality; and to Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area for selecting us to receive the grant that is making this opportunity possible.

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