Henri’s Notions at the Leeds Arts Center August 24th!

From soft fingerpicked ballads to hard-driving jigs and reels, Henri’s Notions creates a musical mix of traditional Celtic and American music as well as their own compositions that have a rhythm and voice reflective of their Southern heritage, which lends a pleasing familiarity to the music. The Notions draw from a broad palette of melodious sounds: the ardent sounds of fiddle, lilting flute, keen tin whistles, all played over the resonant tones and drive of the rhythm section, consisting of acoustic guitars, percussion, and bass. 

Lead voices dance through the intricate embellishments that bring to life the old ballads and songs and all members lend voices frequently creating close, rich, well-balanced harmonies. The group makes a point to provide backgrounds on the songs and instruments used during their performance and this has allowed Henri’s Notions to connect with, educate and inspire audiences for over twenty years!

Henri’s Notions has toured extensively in the Southern and Eastern United Stated from West Palm Beach, Florida and Dallas, Texas to New York City. The group has worked countless festivals and concerts and has appeared with such folk icons as Bob Dylan, Richie Havens, The Kingston Trio, David Grisman Quintet and top celtic acts such as The Tannahill Weavers, Patrick Street, Paddy O’Brien, Brian McNeill and others. 

Henris Notions performs year-round in concerts, festivals, special events, and school programs. As a touring member of the Alabama State Council on the Arts and Southern Arts Federation, grants are often available to eligible presenters.

Check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Henris-Notions-156575596748/

Leeds Area Visual Artists Exhibit

The Arts Council will honor the Leeds Area Visual Artists with an opening reception on Sunday, September 8, 2019, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm at the Leeds Arts Center in downtown Leeds.  You are cordially invited to meet our talented local artists and enjoy their beautiful and varied works.  Additional art work, prints, cards, and books will be on display and available for purchase in the theater during the reception.  Admission is free.

Ramey Channell, a Leeds native, began her love of painting and drawing early in life, studied art in high school, majored in journalism at Bellarmine College in Louisville, Ky, and majored in art at UAB.  She is a member of the Portrait Society of America, and Leeds Area Visual Artists (LAVA).  Her artwork exhibit includes oil portraits, multi-media illustrations, still life acrylic paintings, Native American art, wildlife portraits, and whimsical drawings.

Nancy Cole lives in Leeds with her husband Steve and their cats Maxine, Mickey, and Andy. After a career in education and nineteen years as a United Methodist Clergywoman, she has found the time to pursue her passion for art. She paints with oils, watercolor, pastels, and some acrylics.  She attends artists workshops throughout the South led by renowned artists such as Bob Nulf, Greg Barnes, Pam Padgett, Gina Brown, Paulette Parks, and Alisa Koch. These workshops and lessons have become invaluable since she is mainly self-taught.

William H. Darby began drawing at an early age.  Growing up in New Mexico, he developed a love for space exploration, nature, and the singular beauty of the southwest.  His initial artistic endeavors centered on dogs, horned toads, and rockets.  Painting primarily in acrylics, William uses color and brush strokes to illuminate that which is sometimes unseen.  He studied art at the University of South Carolina, received a B.A. in art from Georgia College, and MLIS from the University of Alabama.  His paintings have been exhibited at Leeds Arts Center, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, St. Vincent’s East, and Art on the Lake in Guntersville.

Maura Davies, a Leeds resident originally from Huntsville, has enjoyed photography as a hobby for many years, beginning as a teen and taking photography courses in college. Her photography often highlights her other interests, such as plants and gardening, nature, and history. Documenting her children’s activities has led to photographing the band programs at Leeds High School and Leeds Middle School, and Leeds High School Soccer.  She has exhibited at Leeds Arts Center, St. Vincent’s East, the Genesis Gallery of the Cahaba Springs Church, and the Trussville Public Library.

Joan Dawson is a teacher, musician, and writer.  She explored art with her fourth-grade students and helps teachers discover their own artistic abilities.  Joan’s association with the Leeds Area Visual Artists (LAVA) encouraged her to contribute to this exhibit.

Elizabeth Gregory never considered art as an option until her Mother started painting at retirement. She has taken classes in watercolor from Becky Wallace of Murphy, North Carolina and Gayle Jones in Birmingham, AL.  “Through classes and learning from others, I started seeing the interplay of color and shadows I once failed to notice and beauty that escaped me before.  Learning how to make art is a growth process of becoming more aware…of life. Creativity is really about setting your inner self free.”

Jonathan Harris is a local, self-taught artist whose interest in art started at the age of three and has yet to reach an end.  He enjoys drawing and painting people and trying to capture life, emotion, and narrative that hopefully finds a relatable connection with the viewer.

Scott Harvey, a Leeds resident originally from Florida, has always enjoyed the outdoors and enjoys illustrating wildlife and nature. His education includes a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art & Graphic Design from Stetson University; studies in Film & Literature at Trent University, England; and a Master of Business Administration & Marketing from UAB.  Scott works in acrylics, watercolors, ink, and graphite to create animal illustrations, pastoral scenes, and layered abstracts. 

Cheryl Horncastle has been interested in all forms of art her entire life.  She took art classes in high school and college.  As a teacher of visually impaired children, she helped them with art projects and was pleased when they received awards for their work.  Since retirement she has worked in several mediums including pottery, watercolor, pastels, and mixed media.  Her work is in private collections.

Tina Miller, a Leeds resident originally from Nashville, earned a BFA from Savannah College of Art & Design and a Master’s in Art Education from the University of Montevallo.  She completed an apprenticeship in sculpture from La Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna, Italy.   She built a visual arts program for grades PK-5 for Leeds City Schools and is now building a Theatre Arts program for grades 6-12.  Her paintings, textiles, and sculptures have been exhibited in Nashville, San Francisco, Savannah, Atlanta, Tahlequah, Oklahoma; and Citta di Castello and Bologna, Italy.

Gudrun Rominger is a native of Heidelberg, Germany.  She received her B.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University, studied at the University of Louisville, Louisville School of Art, the Europaische Kurist Akademie, and completed a Masters at Georgia Southern.  Both artist and art educator, she has taught at colleges and high schools in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Brazil, and England.  Her work is in private collections throughout the southeast, west coast, Europe, South Africa, Brazil, and Japan.  She works in numerous media, with a focus on painting.

Tanna Rose has been drawing as long as she can remember. She took art classes in high school, was in the art club, and won awards. She received her BFA from Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida.  She has worked for Southern Living Magazine; Luckie & Company advertising agency; and is presently at WMU.  Her work has been exhibited at First Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Leeds Arts Center, St. Vincent’s East; and the juried art show at the Warrior Arts Center, where she was awarded honorable mention.

Cynthia Schmidt is a retired teacher from Leeds Elementary School and Banks Christian Academy. Her favorite art medium is watercolor. She has taken classes with Wayne Spradley. Cindy loves for her paintings to glow with color and have light from the creator of all. Her desire is to learn more about other forms of art. She lives in Moody and has three grandchildren.   

Kevin Wheeler, an Odenville resident originally from Connecticut, is an avid photographer living He retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1995 after serving over 21 years and from pastoral ministry in 2016.  In his youth, Kevin’s passion was drawing and oil painting, copying the masters and doing nature and landscape scenes.  In recent years, he’s taken up photography as an art form, still passionate about nature and landscapes.  His desire is to capture and share glimpses of God’s glory as revealed in nature.  He has photographed in various locations around the world, including England, Ireland, Guatemala, Tanzania, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Louisiana, New England, New York, Tennessee, the Smokies, and more.  

Beverly Wilson is a resident of Moody.  After retiring from UAB, she became interested in painting.  After all, if President George Bush could suddenly begin painting portraits, she thought she might try painting a landscape or a still life. Self-taught, she discovered several educational and fun tutorials on the internet. Each new painting is a learning experience for her, mostly in perseverance and patience, but the rewards are greater than the frustrations. Inspiration for her paintings comes from photos taken while traveling and suggestions from friends.   She finds painting to be an enjoyable pastime and looks forward to continuing.

John Henry Play Auditions

As part of the Alabama Bicentennial celebration, the city of Leeds is hosting a John Henry festival on Saturday September 21. There will be two public performances of a one-act play based on the legend of John Henry, a steel-driving man. No one knows where (or if) this story took place, but Leeds, Alabama lays claim to the possibility that it could have happened here. 

Marie Cromer wrote the play, and we need YOU to come audition for this show! Suellen Wilkins is the director; two free public performances on Saturday September 21, at 11 am and 2 pm, in the Leeds Theater and Arts Center in downtown Leeds. The cast includes 15 African-Americans and 10 Caucasians, all ages, both male and female. There is a young John Henry, as well as an adult John Henry. 

Auditions are Monday and Tuesday night, July 29 and 30, 7 pm each evening at the Leeds Theater and Arts Center, 8140 Parkway Drive. You only need to come one night, not both. Come prepared to read from the script.

Sea of Names

Lee Banks and Sea of Names will play a mix of covers at the Leeds Theater & Arts Center on August 3, 2019. The show starts at 7:00 with a $5.00 cover charge.

Scott Harvey Exhibit

Scott Harvey is the Leeds Arts Council’s featured artist in August.  The public is invited to the opening reception on Sunday, August 4, 2019, 1:30-3:30 pm to view his beautiful artwork.  Admission is free.

Scott works in acrylics, watercolors, ink, and graphite to create animal illustrations, pastoral scenes, and layered abstracts.  In 1994, 1995, and 1996, he was awarded 1st Place in the Junior Duck Stamp Art Competition sponsored by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission.  His education includes a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art & Graphic Design from Stetson University; studies in Film & Literature at Trent University, England; and a Master of Business Administration & Marketing from UAB.  He is a member of the Florida Art Honors Society and serves on the board of the Leeds Arts Council.

The artist says, “I never thought of myself as an artist until I was told I was one by an art teacher in the 5th grade.  She was watching over my shoulder as I drew a desert sunset with pastels and stopped me with a question.  “Have you ever been to Arizona?”  No, I replied.  “Well I used to live in Arizona, and that looks just like an Arizona sunset…you, sir, are an artist!”  I was later told I had great talent by my 8th grade art teacher.  Her greatest lesson was teaching me to shut off my brain and just let the image flow onto the canvas without thinking.

“Art in the sense of illustration and painting came easy to me.  I could see something in my mind, or in a photo, and recreate it on paper or canvas.  It made people happy, so I continued down the path of making people happy by drawing birds, animals, or anything that piqued my interest.  I always created art for myself, no one else.  I said to myself at a young age, if people like my art, that’s great!  I’m happy they like it, but I’ve always done what I wanted.  I never fit into that stereotypical artist mold where I created art out of wild passion, or tried to push some political agenda, or emotion…I simply made art for my own enjoyment.

“When I’m illustrating or painting, it’s relaxing and more a pastime.  I simply have an image in my mind that I find appealing and put it to paper or canvas.  It’s as simple as that.  I often felt, while in studio art school, that I had to have some driving force behind my artwork, but again I never fit into that mold.  Yes, art is passionate, but for me it’s an extension of myself–it’s a part of me.”

Scott Harvey’s art will be on exhibit through September 6, 2019.  The Arts Center is located at 8140 Parkway Drive, in downtown Leeds.  The gallery is open during events.  In case of inclement weather, call the center at 205-699-1892 to confirm opening hours.

Tina Miller Exhibit

Tina Miller is the Leeds Arts Council’s featured artist in July.  The public is invited to the opening reception on Sunday, July 7, 2019, 1:30-3:30 pm to view her delightful creations.  Admission is free.

Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Tina Miller has lived in Leeds for the past eight years.  Her educational background includes the distinction of Class Salutatorian while receiving a BFA in Fibers from Savannah College of Art & Design, an Apprenticeship in Sculpture from La Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna, Italy, and a Master’s in Education, Art PK-12, from the University of Montevallo.

During the past five years, Tina built a Visual Arts program for grades PK-5 for Leeds City Schools. This past school year she was asked to take on the theatre department and is currently building a comprehensive Theatre Arts program for grades 6-12, which also includes serving as the Theatre Director for Oak & Ivy Theatre at LHS.  The 2018-19 productions included Seussical the Musical and Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

A few of Tina’s artistic adventures include carving marble in Italy and wood in the West Indies; weaving large public art paper weavings through the treetops in Savannah; singing in small venues across the US and Europe; painting public murals from California to Alabama; assisting with costuming for The San Francisco Opera Company; acting in numerous community theatre productions; making ceramics with 9-year-olds here in Leeds; and creating set, sound and lights for theatrical high school productions. This solo show reveals her crochet creations, Belly Button Buddies.  She hopes you enjoy this whimsical exhibition.

Ms. Miller’s Belly Button Buddies will be on exhibit through August 2, 2019.  The Arts Center is located at 8140 Parkway Drive, in downtown Leeds.  The gallery is open during events.  In case of inclement weather, call the center at 205-699-1892 to confirm opening hours.

Ramey Channell Exhibit

Ramey Channell is the Leeds Arts Council’s featured artist in June.  The public is invited to the opening reception on Sunday, June 2, 2019, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm to view her beautiful artwork.  Admission is free.

Ramey Channell began her love of painting and drawing early in life, studied art in high school, majored in journalism at Bellarmine College in Louisville, Ky, and majored in art at UAB.  She is a member of the Portrait Society of America, and Leeds Area Visual Artists (LAVA).  Her artwork exhibit includes oil portraits, multi-media illustrations, still life acrylic paintings, Native American art, wildlife portraits, and whimsical drawings.

Ramey became interested in poetry and creative writing in elementary and high school, and has had poetry, short stories, and children’s stories published.  Her two published novels are Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge, and The Witches of Moonlight Ridge, works of fiction based on her rural Alabama childhood.  She is currently working on illustrations for two of her original children’s books.

Ms. Channell’s paintings will be on exhibit through July 4, 2019.  The Arts Center is located at 8140 Parkway Drive, in downtown Leeds.  The gallery is open during events.  In case of inclement weather, call the center at 205-699-1892 to confirm opening hours.

Debbie Childers

Appearing at the Leeds Theater and Arts Center, June 1, 2019 

$10 Tickets on sale for 5:00 show. 7:00 show is SOLD OUT

HOMETOWN HUMOR FROM A HOMETOWN GIRL!

Debbie Street Childers grew up in Leeds, Alabama, the daughter of Earl and Pauline Street and a 1973 graduate of LHS.   She’s always loved to make people laugh.  In school, she used to get in trouble for talking and now people invite her to do it!

Her comedy style is clean and fit for your grandkids or your Granny.  She recently won the national Comedy with Class Comedy Contest sponsored by popular humorist Jeanne Robertson and judged by Jeanne with a group of nationally known comics.

Call 205-699-1892 for reservations.  Reservations are suggested but not required.