Press Release - Detail
For immediate release Wednesday, May 6, 2015
CONTACT: Angela Fisher Hall                                             
Interim Director                                   
Birmingham Public Library System                                   
Phone: 205-226-3614                                         
Three Birmingham Artists Offer Unique Perspectives in Exhibit The Amazing Art of Local Curiosities Exhibition Showcases Work by Cory Casella,
Melissa Shultz-Jones, and Paul Cordes Wilm


Birmingham, Alabama—A maze-like betta fish drawing produced with a single continuous line that never crosses itself. An illustration of a homeless man fashioned with an elephant-god head. An abstract painting of Alabama constructed entirely from recycled materials. Art enthusiasts will find all of this and more in the newest exhibition at the Central location of the Birmingham Public Library (BPL). Cory Casella, Melissa Shultz-Jones, and Paul Cordes Wilm are Birmingham artists with very unique perspectives, and their work will be showcased in the exhibit The Amazing Art of Local Curiosities. The exhibit is on view from May 7 to June 26, 2015 in the Fourth Floor. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, May 16, 2015, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Boardroom located on the same floor.
Casella will share his technique of drawing in pen with one continuous line on Saturday, June 6. The event will be held in the Story Castle on Second Floor from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Registration is requested by calling 205-226-3670.
Shultz-Jones will lead a “Hero Art” session for children and accompanying adult family members on Wednesday, June 16.  This event will be held in the Story Castle from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Registration is requested by calling 205-226-3655.
All programs are free and open to the public.  Registration is required for the two art demonstrations. The exhibit is on view during normal library hours of operation:  Monday and Tuesday, 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m, Wednesday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., and on Sunday, 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.
One Liner Artwork: Cory Casella:
Cory Casella’s “one-liners” are a labyrinth of ink; he draws with one continuous line that never crosses over itself, forming intricate landscapes and animals. Perhaps one can truly say his work is amaze-ing…
On his website, Casella explained why he restricted his drawing to a one-line act. “I have found for me that my creativity is born from constraint. Having the constraint of only having one line allows me to focus on making shapes and shadows in interesting ways.”
Casella is a User Experience designer for a local software company, Alden Systems. He graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2005 and lives in Birmingham.
The Common Bizarre: Melissa Shultz-Jones
Melissa Shultz-Jones is a Birmingham painter and illustrator. She has given the title “The Common Bizarre” to her work in this exhibit. Her current work is largely inspired by the Magic City. Her art experience also includes comic art, portraits, murals, and storyboards. Her primary media are watercolor, gouache, and India ink.
Shultz-Jones said she layers “striking silhouettes, textures, and intricate patterns to celebrate the singular Birmingham.” It is not the lofty in Birmingham she often focuses on, but the low.
“These works illustrate my love for narratives, especially those storied realms of gods and their milieu,” she said about her art. “Birmingham's homeless population is of particular interest to me. They are monuments on their own corners, and they deserve equal portrait alongside any structure. Isolation, misconception, and alienation unify us all in this ever changing narrative we call Birmingham…
ALabstractions: Paul Cordes Wilm  
Paul Cordes Wilm calls his artwork in the current exhibit “ALabstractions”. It is a series of paintings that plays with the shape of the state of Alabama.
Wilm is a Southern painter, born and raised in Alabama who currently lives in Birmingham. His work has been dubbed “Folk-Pop”, and for better or for worse, he decided to continue using these two words to describe his paintings, although he thinks that most of the pieces lean more to the “Pop” side of things. His works are noticeably colorful, perhaps because he is red-green colorblind. There is a bit of humor and sarcasm in most of his paintings, mainly because he has a slight aversion to capitalism and consumerism. 
Something else that inspires him is the concept of recycling. He is an adamant recycler, and all of his work is created using 90-100% recycled materials, from found wood to used house paint to junk mail. When he sells his art, he lets people know these facts to make them aware that so many items we blindly throw away can actually be reused in another way.
MEDIA:  Media coverage of this exhibition and opening reception (scheduled for Saturday, May 16, 2015) is appreciated. To schedule interviews with the artists, please contact Gallery Manager Haruyo Miyagawa at 205-226-3671.  Attached are two images for use by the media for this exhibition.  For additional information, please call Angela Fisher Hall at 205-226-3614. 
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