Leeds Area Open Circle Poets Meeting!

Escape the heat and come to the Open Circle Poetry Group on Monday, July 25, 6:30 (note time change).

Here are suggestions for writing, if you need a jumpstart:

1) Summer heat – It doesn’t necessarily have to be about the weather; there are all kinds of summer heat. Politics?

2) Continue with the “This Is Where I’m From” template and poem.

3) Bring an award-winning selection to read. We are eager to hear Ramey Channell’s two winners from the 2016 Alabama Writers’ Conclave. Congratulations, Ramey. Well done!

4) Bring something that you’re working on. We’re good sounding boards.

“Other Things” – Consider attending these events:

• Thursday, July 28, 6:30 – Birmingham Arts Journal reading and reception (free) at Mountain Brook Emmet O’Neal Library. This is the Hackney Award edition, and Frank Dawson will read his Hackney Award-winning poem. Congratulations, Frank.

Leeds Area Open Circle Poets
Monday, January 26, 6:30 pm – a little earlier than usual

Leeds Arts Center in Downtown Leeds
8140 Parkway Drive, Leeds 35094

Cool refreshments, of course!

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Updated information – Oklahoma!

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Tonight’s performance of Oklahoma! will start at 7:30 pm instead of 7. Saturday’s performance will begin at 7 pm, and Sunday’s performance will begin at 2 pm. These are our final 3 performances of Oklahoma! and we sure hope to see you all there! Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Reservations aren’t required, but you may call 205-699-1892 to reserve tickets.

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Oklahoma!

OklahomaFlier

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Carolynn Thomas Jones: A Time for Art

Carolynn Thomas Jones

Carolynn Thomas Jones is the Leeds Arts Council’s featured artist in July.  The public is invited to the opening reception on July 3, 2016, 1:30-3:30 pm, to view her beautiful paintings.  Admission is free.

Carolynn Thomas Jones is an oil painter whose visual images range from colorist impressionism to abstract expressionism.  She paints alla prima, using vibrant color and brushstrokes to convey the energy of images, whether they are inspired from landscape, still life, figures or spiritual subject matter.

She studied art at the University of Alabama, Samford University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and ultimately received a degree in art and art education in 1978 from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.  Carolynn taught art for several years then expanded her education to include nursing and clinical research careers. In addition to painting, she has served as an art instructor, mentor, and arts retreat facilitator in a variety of settings.

As a life-long learner, Carolynn’s art has been highly influenced by other abstract impressionist painters; in the oil painting methods of Sergei Bongart; and she has studied under students of Bongart, Guido Frick, and Joanne Williams Walker.  Her paintings reflect her passion for intersecting journeys and energies of nature, people, light, soul and Spirit.  Her paintings have been displayed in several juried exhibits and galleries, including Artists Incorporated Gallery in Birmingham, The Gulf Island Gallery in Orange Beach, and numerous private collections.  She is a member of the Mountain Brook Art Association and was a proud member of The Village Painters, a historic private studio/salon group of painters in Birmingham.  She resides in Birmingham and enjoys time with family, friends and her dedicated canine companion, Lucy.

Her website is carolynnthomasjones.com

Ms. Jones’ work will be on exhibit through July 28, 2016.

The Arts Center is located at 8140 Parkway Drive, in downtown Leeds.
The gallery is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and during events.  In case of inclement weather, call the center at 205-699-1892 to confirm opening hours.

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Oklahoma! sweeps in this July!

OklahomaFlier

The Leeds Arts Council is so proud to present Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! directed by Cliff Keen, Jr. Assistant to the director is Rachel White, musical director is Shane Champion.   We will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Academy Award winning film with this summer production.

Set in the Oklahoma territory in the early 1900’s, this joyous celebration of frontier life is a story of tender romance and dangerous passion.  There’s a box social coming up, and Curly asks Laurey if she’ll be his date.  Trouble is, Laurey thinks he’s waited too long, and in a fit of annoyance accepts an offer from the boorish Jud instead.  Meanwhile, Laurey’s friend Ado Annie is also torn between two men- a cowboy named Will and a foreign peddler, Ali Hakim.  Both women struggle to know their own hearts before it’s too late. This is the first Rodgers and Hammerstein collaboration and the motion picture won the Academy Award for Best Score, featuring the classic songs “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “The Surrey With the Fringe On Top” and “People Will Say We’re In Love.”

Full cast is as follows: Cliff Keen, Jr. as Curly; Ashley Richardson as Laurey; Todd Ponder as Jud; Debbie Rakes as Aunt Eller (understudy Dale Baldwin); Kaylee Ramey as Ado Annie (understudy Mary Page Wilson Lyons); Jordan Graham as Will Parker; Steve Halsey as Carnes; Clark French as Ali Hakim; Mary Page Wilson Lyons as Gertie (understudy Kelly French); Robert Permenter as Ike; Buddy Permenter as Fred; Cody Slusher as Slim; Steve Christain as Cord Elam; Hannah Culpepper as Kate and Katherine Murphree as the child.

Rehearsals are well underway as the show dates draw closer.  Performances will be on July 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, and 23rd at 7 pm, and July 10th, 17th, and 24th at 2 pm.  Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for ages 12 and under.  The Leeds Theatre and Arts Center is handicapped-accessible with free parking on the street.  Reservations are recommended so please call 205.699.1892; leave your name, phone number, date you’d like to attend and number of tickets you need and someone will return your call as soon as possible.  You may also reserve tickets via email at leedsartscouncil@windstream.net, or via Leeds Arts Council on Facebook.  Leeds Theatre and Arts Center is located at 8140 Parkway Drive, Leeds, Alabama, 35094.

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Michael S. Ballew: Spirits and Colors

Opening Reception – Sunday, June 5, 2016 – 1:30-3:30 pm

Michael Ballew

Michael S. Ballew is the featured artist in June.  The public is invited to the opening reception on June 5, 2016, 1:30-3:30 pm, to view his beautiful paintings.  Admission is free.

Michael is a self-taught, contemporary folk artist whose main medium of expression is mixed media. His work incorporates the use of various discarded materials (wood, glass, vintage books, rusted tin, etc.) and paint. Influences of his religious upbringing, spiritual nature, and his Native American heritage are evident in much of his work. The result is a unique piece of art that reaches out to the viewer with the “spirits and colors” of the subject.

Michael was raised on a farm in North Alabama. He was exposed to all aspects of nature and was taught an appreciation for what it can offer. Following in the footsteps and teachings of his elders, he learned to appreciate nature, listen to it, and seek guidance from his surroundings. These life lessons and messages are incorporated into his work and are often seen as whimsical and surreal with a visionary art quality.

With an appreciation of life and all it has to offer, he finds it important to share with others through his art. The influence of old southern churches, angels, animal spirits, and nature – as true life forces – continuously add dimension to his work.  Michael views all of these things as carefully placed gifts from God, to be appreciated and cared for.

As an artist, his goal is to create pieces that affect others. In describing this desire and deep-seated purpose in his work, Michael states that it is his sincere wish to bring enjoyment to others through his work. Along the way, however, he wants to take them into a deeper appreciation of the simple things – the things that we often take for granted.  Specifically, the “spirits and colors” around us.

As you view his work, he encourages you to look first for enjoyment… then allow the piece to provoke your imagination… stir emotions… and in the end, experience its true “SPIRITS AND COLORS.

Mr. Ballew’s work will be on exhibit through June 30, 2016.

Michael S. Ballew

The Arts Center is located at 8140 Parkway Drive, in downtown Leeds.
The gallery is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and during events.  In case of inclement weather, call the center at 205-699-1892 to confirm opening hours.

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Leeds Community Chorus presents their Spring concert!

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Leeds Arts Council- in cooperation with Leeds Community Chorus- is proud to present A Legacy of Country & Western Music.  Performances will be on May 14th at 7 pm and May 15th at 2 pm at the Leeds Theatre and Arts Center, 8140 Parkway Drive, Leeds.  All tickets are $10.  For questions or reservations please call 205.699.1892 or email us at leedsartscouncil@windstream.net.
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James Knowles Opening Reception – Sunday, May 1, 2016 – 1:30-3:30 pm

James Knowles is the Leeds Arts Council’s featured artist in May.  The public is invited to the opening reception on May 1, 2016, 1:30-3:30 pm, to view his beautiful paintings.  Admission is free.

James is an artist and art educator from Trussville, Alabama.  Art has always been an important part of his life. His parents say that as soon as he could walk he began drawing on the walls.  James has been making and exhibiting art ever since and has been an art educator for over 30 years.

“Teaching art to high school students has been a wonderful experience.  As I have taught them, I have also learned.  I think it has helped me be more creative and has kept me curious, always looking to learn something new. I think that being an art teacher has kept me from confining myself to one particular style or subject, which some may see as a negative thing.  But I see it as akin to learning another language, and then writing your own poetry with it. When I paint a Cubist style picture I’m not just imitating Picasso. I’ve learned to use the artistic vocabulary of Cubism, and to make my own personal statements with it.”

Mr. Knowles’ work will be on exhibit through June 2, 2016.

The gallery is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and during events.  In case of inclement weather, call the center at 205-699-1892 to confirm opening hours.

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Private Lives, a spring event at the Leeds Theatre and Arts Center.

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The Leeds Arts Council presents their Spring comedy PRIVATE LIVES by Noel Coward, directed by Cliff Keen, Jr. The play is about betrayal, love and marriage.PRIVATE LIVES will be performed on April 8,9,15 & 16 at 7 PM, and April 10 & 17 at 2 PM. All tickets are $10. For reservations call 205-699-1892 and leave your name, phone number, date you want to attend and the number of tickets you need. Someone will return your call to confirm you reservations. If you require special seating please let us know.
 
Elyot Chase, played by Todd Ponder, and Amanda Prynne, played by Ashley Richardson, once married and now honeymooning with new spouses at the same hotel, meet by chance and reignite the old spark.They leave together but after days of being reunited they again find their romance alternating between passions of love and anger. Caught in their path are the current spouses, a bubbly young bride Sibyl Chase, played by Mary Page Wilson and a husband Victor Prynne, played by Cliff Keen, Jr., who intends to make Amanda a suitable wife. The French-speaking maid, Louise, is played by Dale Baldwin.
 
Come and join us for a comedy that explores love in all its chaotic, irrational unpredictability and manages to make sense out of something senseless.
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Marla Hope Kenney: The Colors of Life

Opening Reception – Sunday, April 3, 2016 – 1:30-3:30 pm

Kenney, Marla

Marla Hope Kenney is the featured artist in April.  The public is invited to the opening reception on April 3 to view her beautiful art work.  Admission is free.

Marla started her first art experience with lessons at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. when she was 5. The teacher said she was naturally gifted and her parents needed to channel her energy; she was a bit hyperactive. So she has been making art all her life. Her focus is on creating layered paintings with acrylic ink and paint that expose an organic energy with color and line.  She uses a glazing type of technique to create depth with the layers then push the dimensional effect with other media paints. She likes to stretch the boundaries of positive and negative space.

Marla has a B.F.A and M.Ed in Art Education and has been teaching 20 years in the public sector. She spent several years in the commercial art arena which allowed her to further develop a sense use of design and composition but she did not allow that structured style to entrap her.

“I get inspiration from nature and from artists who allowed color and form to play on their canvas. Marc Chagall, Kandinsky, and Matisse are a few that guide my soul. My art tends to lend itself to organic subject matter. I liken it to enjoying the Hidden Pictures page in the Highlights Magazine. I never know, when I lay down the under-painting in inks, what it will be. I can plan with colors and have an idea of its general direction but the finished product evolves as I paint.

“I begin my paintings with acrylic inks and then use decalcamania application with plastic wrap on a heavy but smooth rag paper, canvas, or board. I love rich color, big and bold, so I inject the colors under the wrap to make them bolder.  Many of my paintings turn out to be landscapes or organic in nature. The jungles are best when they appear because they remind me of Panama and connect me with my family and heritage.  Animals like birds and fish have been appearing most often lately on the canvases. The mixing of smooth/dull and textural and shiny effects excites me. And I will layer many glazes to build positive and negative space. I actually love landscapes but hate painting them unless in this style.  After the painting is done I gently approach the shapes and voids that I see with pens, markers, colored pencils and graphite or a brush and acrylics and begin to play back and forth with the depth and surface areas.  I keep building until the scene or image appears.  Almost always, the scene is organic or figurative–not a real place, but a place in my mind that could possibly exist.

“I still enjoy just putting paint to canvas when an idea strikes me and because I teach, I am constantly inspired by new and different mediums. Teaching has been the best inspiration and the best way to make a lazy artist keep on working! I make art almost everyday in some form or fashion and I enjoy all of it. I am very lucky to be doing something I love.

“When people see my paintings, I hope they feel the interest and excitement I feel trying to see everything that is there. I hope they come away with an urge to go back and look again! I exhibit in local galleries and shows, but I have my work in homes all over the world and I find that very gratifying.”

Ms. Kenney’s work will be on exhibit through April 28, 2016.

Marla Hope Kenney Art

The Arts Center is located at 8140 Parkway Drive, in downtown Leeds.
The gallery is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and during events.  In case of inclement weather, call the center at 205-699-1892 to confirm opening hours.

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