Carnegie Center exhibit

From left, Sandra Charles standing in front of her paintings. The Carnegie Center’s new exhibit will also feature artwork by Lucille Allen and Barbara Mosley.

NEW ALBANY — The Carnegie Center for Art and History presents The Art of Elmer Lucille Allen, Sandra Charles, and Barbara Tyson Mosley, an exhibition of work by three prominent local artists. The exhibition opens Friday, Feb. 22, with a special curator’s talk with the artists at 5:30 p.m. for Carnegie Center members, and a reception open to the public from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibition continues through April 20.

Elmer Lucille Allen, Sandra Charles, and Barbara Tyson Mosley are Louisville-based artists who have formed strong bonds of friendship through their art. While they each have a distinctive creative expression, they are unified in their view of art as a way to communicate and share everyday experiences in creative form.

Elmer Lucille Allen creates richly colored cotton and silk shibori wall hangings that reflect her scientific background both in style and process. She is able to translate geometric patterns of triangles, squares, diamonds, and circles masterfully, using the serendipitous — and sometimes fickle — Nui, Iajime, and Arashi shibori methods.

Charles is an interpretive portrait painter using facial expression and bodily gesture to celebrate the strength of African-American women. Her paintings capture the self-confidence of individual, everyday people, while simultaneously tying their personal journeys to the larger historical context of African-American experience.

Barbara Tyson Mosley uses the canvas to express the beauty of landscapes and seascapes in abstract form. Her work vividly reveals changes in light and color as dawn breaks into day and the subtle shifts as dusk slips into night. United by the use of color and texture, this exhibition brings together the unique, contemporary, and traditional styles of these artist friends.


Allen was born in Louisville, and earned an undergraduate degree from Nazareth College (now Spalding University) in 1953 majoring in chemistry and minoring in mathematics.

In 1966, she became the first African-American chemist at the Brown-Forman Company, rising to senior analytical chemist before retiring in 1997. A champion of continuing education, she received a Masters of Art from the University of Louisville in 2002 at the age of 71, beginning a second career in art. In addition to exhibiting her own work, she was also the volunteer curator/director of the Wayside Christian Mission’s Wayside Expression Gallery from 2005 to 2017.

Charles began her arts career exhibiting batik fiber artwork. She shifted her focus to working on canvas after going back to school and earning a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in painting from the University of Louisville in 2015. In 2016 she retired from her day-to-day job to work full time as an artist.

Mosley has been an abstract painter and fiber artist for over 40 years. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Arts/Painting from the University of the District of Columbia and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies/Humanities (20th Century Art History) from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Her work has been shown throughout the U.S. and Canada and is housed in permanent collections at the San Bernardino Museum of Fine Arts, Redlands, California; the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Evans-Tibbs Collection of African-American Artists) in Washington, D.C.; and the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, Va.

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