Alabama Artist has Painting Accepted into College Football Hall of Fame

 BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Just three years after becoming an officially licensed artist of the University of Alabama, artist Richard Russell has created a collegiate football artwork collection of more than 50 original paintings. A Birmingham native, Russell has sold thousands of prints of his Alabama Crimson Tide-themed artwork, has several pieces in the Paul W. Bryant Museum and in spring of 2010, even landed one painting in the College Football Hall of Fame's permanent collection.

His acrylic painting, “Championship Season - Having a Ball,” will remain on display through January 2011 at The College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind. Alabama fans who want a memorabilia painting of the 2010 Crimson Tide victory can purchase canvas prints of “Having a Ball,” as well as Russell's six other National Championship pieces.

Russell's championship collection includes the portrayal of famous plays from the championship game, a tongue-in-cheek rivalry painting as well as a graphic-design oriented piece. He uses vibrant colors to convey action, evoke emotion and depict the adrenalin of the game, connecting fans back to the moments of victory and the positive memories that the sport and team brings to them personally.

 Russell began painting as a teenager when his grandmother, an artist herself, gave him art supplies for his 14th birthday. He attended the University of Alabama between 1978 and 1982, at which point his graphic arts professor, who specialized in watercolors, motivated him to pursue his dream of becoming a full-time artist.

Working from his Birmingham-based studio throughout the 1980s, Russell often made season-long trips to New York City to market his work. He opened his first gallery in 1988 in Crestline and then moved to New Orleans in 1989, where he owned a gallery in the French Quarter for 12 years.

It wasn't until Hurricane Katrina landed him back in his hometown of Birmingham that he found his true niche. Russell was struggling to keep his full-time career as artist afloat when he reconnected with a fraternity brother from his college days who worked at the Collegiate Licensing Company. His friend strongly encouraged him to send in samples and try to get a position as a licensed artist of the University of Alabama.

Coming on board in fall of 2007, just as Saban came on and The Tide began to embark on a winning streak, Russell was soon enjoying major success as a full-time artist.

Russell's past credentials include being an official artist for the Alabama Symphony, City Stages and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. He also has had work in exhibitions at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Rockefeller Center in New York and other art institutions around the country.

In 2008, this lifelong Bama fan was able to separate himself from his personal football allegiance in order to expand his market and become a licensed artist for Auburn University as well. Though he admits he will now root for Auburn when they aren't playing Alabama, there is no doubt he still bleeds crimson and white.

To see additional samples of Russell's work, for more information on ordering prints and a list of the 30-plus locations his work can be found throughout the state, check out www.allthingsgallery.biz.

Admin Note: Richard Russell has been a supporter of TideFans through advertising on the site. I have 3 of his paintings and will be acquiring some more very soon. I encourage all TideFans members & visitors to check out his work if you're interested in 'Bama art!

About All Things Gallery: Richard Russell's online company All Things Gallery was established in 2007 when he started doing collegiate art. The online gallery is home to all of Russell's work of nearly three decades, including his collection of New Orleans jazz scene paintings, ballet, city and nautical scenes and his variety of commission work and his current university art.

Last edited by BamaNation; July 19th, 2010 at 11:37 AM.



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