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Nall holds exhibit at High Horse Gallery

Alabama artist Nall Hollis held an exhibit Friday night at the High Horse Gallery.  Along with etchings and paintings by Hollis, the book Celebrations from the Heart: Giving From our Families for Art, ALS and All the Children of the World, which contains art by Hollis as well as the famous Sister Schubert recipes, could be purchased.  Pictured, left to right, Nall Hollis and Betty Sims. (Advocate Staff/Beth Hyatt)

Alabama artist Nall Hollis held an exhibit Friday night at the High Horse Gallery. Along with etchings and paintings by Hollis, the book Celebrations from the Heart: Giving From our Families for Art, ALS and All the Children of the World, which contains art by Hollis as well as the famous Sister Schubert recipes, could be purchased. Pictured, left to right, Nall Hollis and Betty Sims. (Advocate Staff/Beth Hyatt)

A Southern artist that has attracted an international following, Nall has a unique style that has captivated art lovers around the globe.

On Friday, his work was on display at High Horse Gallery in Greenville.

A native of Troy, Nall Hollis is no stranger to small towns; Friday night, he was excited to be back around longtime friends and fellow lovers of art.

“I was extremely proud of the turnout,” said Mary McKinley, owner of the High Horse Gallery. “I was delighted that we had people that cared enough about art to come from some of the places they came from.”

Guests from all over Alabama flocked to the gallery to see works by Hollis, and Hollis himself was “thrilled” to see so many attendees at the gallery.

“The gallery was professional — top quality — and you could see the same thing in New York,” said Hollis. “I was glad to see so many local painters as well.”

The exhibit gave guests the chance to see pieces from Hollis’ collection, as well as a joint project in which he collaborated with Sister Schubert Barnes and Betty Sims. The book Celebrations from the Heart: Giving From our Families for Art, ALS and All the Children of the World, which contains art by Hollis as well as the famous Sister Schubert recipes, could be purchased alongside pieces by Hollis. A portion of the proceeds from the books went to three different organizations: the Nature Art and Life League (N.A.L.L.) Foundation, Sasha’s Home and the Sims Family Foundation, which donates to ALS research.

Now that Hollis will be back in Alabama, he plans to continue working with young local artists. His goal is to mentor these up-and-coming artists and to instill state pride in them. Hollis believes that an artist should always be proud of where he or she comes from, and he hopes to be able to help fellow artists realize this.

“Coming back to Alabama is a choice. I’m very close to my state,” said Hollis. “I’m very interested in helping with the arts and creating an artistic tradition in Alabama.”

Hollis hopes to communicate to Alabama artists that it is possible to make a successful living by being an artist, and it can be done without sacrificing physical and mental health by using alcohol and drugs. While the road may not be easy, Hollis is ready to begin working with these artists in order to help them along their journey.

“If everyone puts in a little bit of effort, it can soon turn into a tsunami,” said Hollis. “Don’t forget where you came from. We are pioneering in the arts in Alabama, and that’s an exciting time.”