"The Boys," by Frank Thompson.

Local artist to have cows in one-man show

Published 2:14pm Saturday, July 28, 2012

Alabama artist and former director of the Escambia County Industrial Development Authority Frank Thompson will have a chance to show off some of his unique artwork next month on the Eastern Shore.

Alabama artist and former director of the Escambia County Industrial Development Authority Frank Thompson will have a chance to show off some of his unique artwork next month on the Eastern Shore.

Thompson said his latest exhibition is all about cows and will feature more than 40 paintings of the bovines. His show “Bovine Point of View” will be hanging Saturday, Aug. 3 and will remain on display until Thursday, Sept. 20 at the Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope.

Thompson is likely most well known in Escambia County as the executive director of the Escambia County Industrial Development Authority from 1989 to 1996. He has participated as an exhibiting artist in Atmore’s Williams Station Day and Brewton’s Blueberry Festival.

“This exhibit has taken more than a year of preparation,” Thompson said. “My wife and I have ridden through pastures, down side roads and stopped along the highways taking photographs in search of the right cows. Each cow has a unique personality and the paintings aim to capture that individuality.”

Thompson said, while previously he mostly painted Charolaise, this exhibition includes several new breeds including a longhorn from Texas.

“In expanding the number of breeds, the variety of paintings has broadened,” he said.

Thompson is known for his use of color and he said his latest paintings follow that tradition. The cows are exhibited in many colors, including red, green, yellow, blue and even purple. This exhibit also includes a variety of sizes, from the 6 x 6 inch “Peanut” to the 5 ft. x 4 ft. “Ezekiel.”

“The gallery space in Fairhope lends itself for the opportunity to expand the range of sizes,” he said. “What we can guarantee those visiting the exhibit are a full herd and lots of color. This is my first time to exhibit in Fairhope and I am excited about being at the Eastern Shore Art Center. This facility is such an asset to the community and the area. I thank them for their invitation and support.”

Thompson trained in Mississippi under artists Randy Shoults, Eloise McLellan and Brice Speed. He holds a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Southern Mississippi where he was an exhibiting artist in the university’s 2010 show “100 Alumni.” Frank has been the featured artist in one- man shows in Alabama and Mississippi. He and his wife Trina live in Enterprise.

Thompson will also be present during the Eastern Shore Art Center’s First Friday Art Walks on Aug. 3 and Friday, Sept. 7, from 6 until 8 p.m. The Eastern Shore Art Center is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

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