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. 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.

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.

Maura Davies and Kevin Wheeler Exhibit

Maura Davies and Kevin Wheeler are the Leeds Arts Council’s featured artists in May.  The public is invited to the opening reception on Sunday, May 5, 2019, 5:00-7:00 pm to view their beautiful photography.  Admission is free.

Maura Davies is a Leeds resident, originally from Huntsville, Alabama.  She 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 opportunity for photographing for others.  Maura has enjoyed taking photos for the band programs at Leeds High School and Leeds Middle School, and for Leeds High School Soccer. 

Upon moving to Leeds about 10 years ago, Maura began to explore local history, eventually joining the Leeds Historical Society.  Photographing old places has sparked curiosity about the stories and people behind these places.  As a member of the Trussville Photography Club, she has exhibited at Leeds Arts Council, St. Vincent’s East, and the Genesis Gallery of the Cahaba Springs Church. Her photographs are also displayed at the Trussville Public Library and have appeared in print in the Leeds Tribune.

Originally from Connecticut, Kevin Wheeler is an avid photographer living in Odenville, AL.  He retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1995 after serving over 21 years and from pastoral ministry in 2016, when he and his wife, Roxanne, moved to Alabama.  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 website entitled Glimpses of Glory to indicate his desire to capture and share glimpses of God’s glory as revealed in nature.  

Kevin has photographed such glimpses of glory 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.  Some of his work, including two murals, is permanently displayed at The Chateaus at Montclaire, an assisted living facility in Shreveport, LA, and in the Trussville Public Library, as well as in the homes of family and friends.  As a member of the Trussville Photography Club, he has displayed at the Trussville Public Library, the Leeds Arts Center, the gallery at St Vincent’s East Hospital, and the Genesis Gallery of Cahaba Springs Church in Trussville. 

Their photography will be on exhibit through June 1, 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.

Joella Connell Exhibit

Joella (JoJo) Connell is the Leeds Arts Council’s featured artist in April.   The public is invited to the opening reception on Sunday, April 7, 2019, 1:30pm – 3:30pm to view her beautiful paintings.  Admission is free.

Joella was born and raised in Walnut Grove, Alabama.  She attended Jacksonville State University, where she majored in English, minored in physical education, marched with the Southerners as a ballerina, and met her husband-to-be.  She later earned her master’s degree with a concentration in physical education.  Joella lives in Saks, Alabama with her husband, W.E. (Duck) Connell, Jr., where they attend First Baptist Church of Saks.  Their son Scott and his wife Cannon have two girls, Sara and Emma. The Grands are the sunshine in their lives. 

Joella taught physical Education at Saks High School for 25 years, sponsoring cheerleaders for 16 of those years. Retiring at the young age of 45, Joella was ready for the next phase in her life.  She joined a hiking club and has backpacked many times in the Smokies, but her first big adventure was backpacking from the North rim of the Grand Canyon, down into the canyon, and back up the south rim.  She backpacked up to base camp on Mt. Rainier, spending the night on the snow at 10,000 feet.  Joella has also ridden in the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (400 miles in 7 days) twice and has ridden the Cheaha Challenge once.  Besides sports, her hobbies include gardening, reading, traveling, and camping with her husband.  Joella has traveled with her church on mission to Honduras.  She and W.E. have traveled to New Zealand, Alaska, and have taken many shorter trips with the entire family.  Their latest trip was to Lake Tahoe, where the grand girls learned to snow ski. 

At the age of 60, on a whim, Joella decided to join a painting class taught by Carolyn Morris, in which everyone painted the same thing. She had always declared that she could hardly draw a stick figure, much less paint, but she LIKED it!  Later she joined a class with Paulette Parks, and learned to sketch from her own photographs and then paint them. She works mostly in watercolor but has done a few oils.  Many of her subjects are from her travels, a favorite place being New Orleans. Joella likes to tell a story with her paintings.  You will find people or animals in most of her paintings

Joella has entered pieces in ARTS ALIVE!, a juried show held in Florence, Alabama.  She enters the juried show at the Gadsden Art Museum most every year, where she has won two honorable mentions, one 2nd place, and one 1st place.

On April 6, Joella will reach the young age of 75 and she’s still going strong.  When she’s not painting, gardening, or traveling, she’s doing Zumba and Yoga and hiking whenever she gets the opportunity. 

Ms. Connell’s paintings will be on exhibit through May 3, 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.

Emma Carter Brooks Exhibit

Emma Carter Brooks is the Leeds Arts Council’s featured artist in March.  The public is invited to the opening reception on Sunday, March 3, 2019, 1:30pm – 3:30pm to view her beautiful photographs of still life and Alabama landscapes.  Admission is free.

Emma is a lifelong resident of Leeds.  Photography became her passion after an early retirement from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama.  In her pursuit for peace in the midst of pain, Emma found it behind the lens of a camera in 2007. 

“I believe everything was created by God and given to us to enjoy and respect.  “Art by I AM” is my signature name because He is the author and creator of all the images that I capture. He’s the master of the piece and therefore, I give him all the glory,” says Emma. 

Emma is the author of Southern Quotes.   She is a member of the Alabama Wildflower Society, Leeds Arts Council, Friends of the Leeds Library, Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, and the Sierra Club. She has dedicated many volunteer hours to helping keep the city of Leeds clean.  She also organized the Leeds and Moody Police appreciation in 2016. Emma continues to travel throughout the southeast to capture the beauty of God’s glory.

Ms. Brooks’ photography will be on exhibit through April 5, 2019.  You may view examples of her work at https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtbyiamStudio

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.

Jonathan Williams Exhibit

Jonathan Williams is the Leeds Arts Council’s featured artist in December.  The public is invited to the opening reception on December 2, 2018, 1:30-3:30 pm, to view his beautiful paintings.  Admission is free.

“A good painting has meaning behind every brushstroke.” Jonathan started with art when he was a young child, always drawing and being creative.  When he was about 14, he developed a true passion for art and wanted to paint portraits of himself and family members to hang around the house.  He started to dabble in oil paint and charcoal, learning from free lessons on YouTube.  These ideas helped him to expand his technical skills.  Being only 19 now, he can see how his artwork has progressed over the few years that he has painted.  Jonathan loves to render wonderful realism in oil paint and charcoal that represents a person, feeling, and meaning.  That is what he strives to achieve in every piece of artwork from allegorical figurative art and still life.

Jonathan won 1st place in district and county for the Young American Patriotic Art Competition.  He also won 1st place in the Southern Museum of Flight’s art competition.  He exhibited his work in Cahaba Springs Lutheran Church’s Art Show of Forgiveness.  He was also glad to participate in the National Art Honor Society.  Having achieved these accomplishments at such a young age leaves Jonathan thankful to God for His kindness in gifting him with this talent.  Mr. Williams’ paintings will be on exhibit through December 29, 2018.

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.

Reception – Moody High School Artists

The Leeds Arts Council will honor the Moody High School Artists with an opening reception on Sunday, November 4, 2018, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm at the Leeds Theatre & Arts Center in downtown Leeds. The public is invited to meet the artists and enjoy their beautiful and varied works. Admission is free.

These talented artists work in a variety of mediums and styles. Their works reflect their interest in nature, pop culture, music, humor, and everyday life.

Their art will be on display through December 1. For more information regarding the reception, exhibit, and other Leeds Arts Council events, visit http://www.leedsartscouncil.org

In case of inclement weather, call the arts center at 205-699-1892 to confirm opening hours.

Leeds Area Visual Artists Exhibit

The Leeds Arts Council will honor the Leeds Area Visual Artists with an opening reception on Sunday, September 9, 2018, 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.

Participating artists include Ramey Channell, Nancy Cole, Nelda Faulkner, John Gregory, Jonathan Harris, Scott Harvey, Tina Miller, Grady Sue Saxon, and Sherry Whisenhunt of Leeds and William Darby, Tanna Rose, and Cindy Schmidt of Moody. These local artists work in a variety of mediums and styles. The exhibit comprises oil, acrylic, watercolor, and mixed media paintings; graphite and pastel drawings; and photographs.

LAVA’s art will be on display through November 3. For more information regarding the reception, exhibit, and other Leeds Arts Council events, visit http://www.leedsartscouncil.org In case of inclement weather, call the arts center at 205-699-1892 to confirm opening hours.