Works from the TVAA’s Permanent Collection are displayed on a periodic basis. Typically in art storage, the organization’s extensive art collection includes purchase awards from various TVAA juried exhibitions and gifts from private collectors. Two and three dimensional works by national and Southeastern United States artists are featured.

Clifton Pearson
Collection History

The Tennessee Valley Art Association (TVAA) was founded fifty years ago. Its stated mission was to provide an art center for the people of northwest Alabama. Today the TVAA is the largest multi-disciplinary arts organization in the tri-state region. In addition to its exhibitions, workshops, classes, educational outreach and theatre arts programs, the organization has accumulated a significant collection of art that includes two and three-dimensional works by reputable regional artists as well as works by world renowned artists.

The collection, housed in the Museum’s climate controlled storage facility, has been acquired through purchase, gift and donation. It is the policy of the Art Association to compensate artists for their work; thus the majority of works in the organization’s collection have been purchased.In 1972, the Tennessee Valley Art Association opened the Tennessee Valley Art Center (now the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art) as a resource for local and regional artists to display their work and expand community understanding of art.

The emphasis on collecting art began in 1982 when the Association initiated the purchase of work from artists who were accepted into the annual juried Helen Keller Festival Fine Art and Craft Show that was then sponsored by the Association. Reynolds Metals Company and Bank Independent provided the initial purchase funds and thus established a model for continued community and corporate support for the arts and for artists. The Association purchased works from the Art and Craft show for 29 years. According to a statement by Georgine Clarke, former Visual Arts Program Manager for Alabama State Council the Arts, TVAA’s HKF collection is significant. It documents the Southern art and craft movement from 1982 – 2011 and is the only such collection in the state of Alabama. Other works were purchased from TVAA’s fine art juried competition Exhibition South from 1986-2005. The Museum received three prints in recognition of its participation as a venue for the state tour of the University of Montevallo exhibition, Alabama Big Prints. The year long tour featured the work of Alabama printmakers who were invited to create large prints on the University’s 44 x 84 inch Takach etching press that is suitable for intaglio, relief, plate lithography and monoprinting techniques. A number of private collectors have made significant donations to the Association’s holdings. These are works that foster understanding, enjoyment, and appreciation for culture and the visual arts by artists who are recognized throughout the United States and worldwide. The Association’s impressive collection is made possible by decades of strong leadership by the Tennessee Valley Art Association board and staff that have overseen the integrity of the collection. The Museum’s acquisition policy is committed to developing and maintaining a visual art collection of regional significance and repute that reflects the cultural aspirations of the Museum and its expressed goals and objectives. TVAA’s success in building its collection of art is a reflection of the artistic dedication within the community that could not have been accomplished without private donations and corporate sponsorship.

The Tennessee Valley Museum of Art Acquisitions Committee will continue to recommend collectible works to the Board of Directors: works of demonstrable excellence by artists of significance or prospect consistent with the perceived development of historical and local, state, regional, national, or international origin; works that will enhance the buildings and grounds of the Museum and which foster an understanding, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts among members of the general public; works that support the Museum’s commitment to the study and preservation of visual arts and/or works which have an important connection to the community, state, or nation.

Ethel Davis, Women Picking Cotton