(Tuscaloosa, Ala.) “Dark Patriot,” an exhibit featuring the work of Matt Daugherty, will be displayed in The Arts Council Gallery at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center July 7-28, 2017. An opening reception will be held on July 7, 2017 from 5-8 p.m. during First Friday. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public. “'Dark Patriot' is a body of paintings that explores American political extremisms and the connection between religion, the entertainment industry and political influences,” said Daugherty. The exhibit of acrylic paintings takes the viewer through the divided American political landscape and the seeming lack of moderate politics by way of the artist’s exploration of conspiracy theories and propaganda from both the political left and right. As Daugherty dove into non-traditional media outlets via the internet, he found himself fascinated by stories making claims with the intent of swaying public opinion. “These conspiracy theories appear to me to be fantastic science fiction. In all honesty, I do have moments where I think ‘maybe.’ ” That "maybe" state of mind is where the artist begins. He views these paintings as less of a personal visual diatribe of his own beliefs and more of an exploration of fantastic stories presented as truth and how that trickles down to an individual’s vote. Matt Daugherty received his BFA from The University of Alabama in 2000. He has exhibited his work at the Gadsden Center of Cultural Arts, the Sella-Granata Art Gallery and at Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy. He is a life-long resident of Alabama and resides in Tuscaloosa with his daughter Olivia. The Arts Council Gallery is open weekdays 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. with free admission. The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is located at 620 Greensboro Avenue in Downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information about the CAC, The Arts Council or Bama Theatre, patrons should LIKE the Facebook page “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” and follow tuscarts on Twitter. Call 205-758-5195 or visit tuscarts.org for further information. For more information about the programs of the UA Department of Art and Art History, visit this link: https://art.ua.edu/.