Vietnamese art on display at Bernie’s on Main

Published 3:59 pm Wednesday, January 9, 2013

By KATIE MCDOWELL/Lifestyles Editor

COLUMBIANA — Bernie’s on Main Street is hosting an exhibit of Vietnamese prints and paintings in early 2013.

Approximately 20 pieces of art, which is on loan from attorney Stephen Humphreys, are on display at the restaurant.

Bernie’s on Main owner Bernard Tamburello said the restaurant first displayed the art of Scott Owen, a Columbiana designer, in an empty room in the restaurant.

“It changed that room into a million dollars,” Tamburello said.

Since that exhibit was a success, Tamburello decided to partner with Humphreys, who he has known for years after meeting at a food and wine radio show.

“We’re trying to get people interested in art,” Tamburello said.

The exhibit includes paintings and prints from a variety of notable Vietnamese artists, including Le Quoc Viet.

“He takes very traditional Vietnamese scenes and does them in this stylized way,” Humphreys said.” They’re beautiful woodblock prints. He’s a very important artist.”

Humphreys, who also owns a wine import and Birmingham Weekly, began collecting art 10 years ago when he worked in Washington D.C. He began collecting art from the countries he visited for business.

“My specialty was dealing with countries with which we had abnormal relations, which includes Cuba, Iraq and Vietnam,” he said. “Everywhere I go I try to meet the local artists and find good artwork.”

Humprheys said the artwork will be on display “at least through March.”

Bernie’s also is offering several cultural activities in 2013. The restaurant has partnered with the Shelby County Arts Council to present “Eat. Drink. Paint.” The monthly workshop includes a painting session, food and wine.

Bernie’s is also offering live music every Saturday night. Todd Simpson and Mojo Child are scheduled for Jan. 19 and a blues band is scheduled for Jan. 26.

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