Margaret Nicole Blevins Exhibit

Margaret Nicole Blevins is the Leeds Arts Council’s featured artist in August.  The public is invited to the opening reception on August 5, 2018, 1:30-3:30 pm, to view her beautiful paintings.  Admission is free.

Born in the deep south, Margaret Nicole Blevins was raised in a traditional home whose ideals centered around knowledge through inquiry and extensive travel, which cultivated a spirit of empathy and observation. Margaret obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Montevallo and a Master of Fine Arts from the Memphis College of Art.  Exploration of ideas, cultures, and people continue to inform her life, art, and creative process.

Inspired by her travels, Margaret became interested in a single idea and how it fit into her global outlook. This idea was simply, home.  What was it?  Where was it?  Who was it?  As an adult living back in her childhood home, these questions seemed especially relevant.  For a child, home is something tangible:  a pink house nestled by a creek, surrounded by sweet gum trees.  But the word “home” could no longer remain concrete and the adult mind demanded a new definition.  Instead of being the foundation that held days together, “home” became a symbol for shared ambitions.  It still holds a permanence in life, but is altered from a geographical place to a transcendent one.  No longer is it a physical part of life’s chronology, but a liminal moment, a threshold, a portal, through which one can pass when in need of rest or resurgence.

These large paintings serve as illustrations of this new idea of home:  golden archways that carve themselves into the fortresses of the psyche, standing tall, as new beginnings, as well as studies in pink that become compilations of humanity and divinity, existing in transcendent compositions.  The process of painting becomes part of a sacred rite, a journey towards sanctification, carrying home as a talisman and guide.

Ms. Blevins’ art will be on exhibit through September 8, 2018.  You may view examples of her work at:

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.

Trussville Photography Club Reception – July 8, 1:30-3:30

The Trussville Photography Club began in the summer of 2016 when Mike Gardner, an avid photographer and current club president, wanted to have a local club of photographers who could meet together, learn from and encourage each other, and grow in their craft.  He gathered together a handful of like-minded photographers and they held their first meeting in July of that year.  Since then, the club has grown to 168 actual members, as well as many others who attend meetings periodically, and over 1600 Facebook members.

The club currently holds monthly meetings at the Trussville Civic Center, providing training on various photography topics, using both members and outside photographers.  They also hold regular training sessions called Tech Topics at the Trussville Public Library for more specialized, hands-on training for beginning, intermediate and even advanced photographers.  They plan monthly field trips to places like Noccalula Falls, Sloss Furnaces and Huntsville Botanical Gardens to practice their photography together while having fun socializing.

Membership is required for some meetings, field trips, and small instructional classes.  Membership dues are $25 single, $35 family, $15 student/youth.  Included in the membership is a personal SmugMug gallery on our website to display photographs for family, friends, clients, etc.  (A membership form can be obtained from our website at

Participants in this exhibit include:

Laura Brayman:  

A gardener, Laura enjoys taking photos of God’s beauty.

Rebecca Brayman:

Now retired, Rebecca sees the world in light, shapes, colors and patterns.  She tries to capture the ever amazing beauty that God has given us to share with others.

Maura Davies:

Maura grew up in Huntsville, AL, and started taking photos as a teen. She took a few photography classes in college (but slept through the technical parts). Her favorite photo subjects are nature, plants, old things, my dog, and my kids. She is particularly drawn to details and macro images.

Teri Dunlap:

Teri was blessed with her first digital camera 13 years ago, little knowing that her camera would become an irreplaceable extension of herself.  She is from the small town of Oden Ridge, Alabama. Never did she dream of seeing all the places photography has taken her.  Teri’s best influences are her friends. They are her partners in the photography world. They challenge her and lead her in different directions outside her box.  “Without them I wouldn’t be anywhere near the level of photographer or person that I am today.”

Pam Falbo:

Born and raised in Oak Park, Illinois, Pam relocated to Alabama in 2015.  Her favorite genres are street photography, fine art, macro, nature and food.  She works part time at the Odenville Public Library.

Mike Gardner:

Mike Gardner, founder and President of the Trussville Photography Club, has lived in Trussville for 29 years and has been interested in photography since 1972.

Jim Georgeson:

Jim started taking photographs at an early age and became more serious after finishing his schooling in the 70’s.  He had a 35mm camera and shot mostly slide film.  He had his own darkroom and learned to print slides using the direct reversal process taught to him by pro photographer Marvin Wax.  Jim and Marvin took many photographs from the air of salt evaporation ponds in California.  Jim has had several photographs published in R/C Modeler and Model Aviation magazines.  He also photographed a calendar of dolls for a Lenci doll collector. After retirement, Jim and his wife Mary joined both the Shades Valley Camera Club and the Trussville Photography Club and are learning digital camera techniques.  They enjoy traveling, camping, and photography together.

Mary Georgeson:

Mary’s father, a part-time professional photographer, gave Mary her first camera when she was about 9.  Growing up in Maryland, she took several art classes but had no formal photography training.  Mary bought her first 35mm camera in 1978 after meeting Jim, and they went on several photographic outings.  When she retired from nursing, she bought a Nikon 3200 and joined the Shades Valley Camera Club, then the Trussville Photography Club.  Photography has become her creative outlet and she is always learning and making new friends along the way.  Mary’s favorite subjects include nature scenes, birds, flowers, and her 2 cats.

Lara Gowder:

Lara is a wife, mom, and hobbyist photographer.  She loved taking pictures as a kid and has taken classes and studied photography for the past 9-10 years.  Lara is a member of Click Pro and has been published in Me Ra Koh’s “Your Child in Pictures” book (2013) and Click Magazine (July/August 2015 Issue).  She has had her work included in the following gallery exhibits: The Kiernan Gallery: Contemporary Portraits (March 2014), A. Smith Gallery: Animalia (Sept/Oct 2017), and The Black Box Gallery: Black & White 2018 (February 2018).

LaTrelle Grayson:

Photography has always been a hobby and after semi-retirement it has become a passion.  Having grown up in the age of film cameras, LaTrelle found a new interest in the digital format and all the options for editing.  She has taken classes from local photographers and through Samford University, but is for the most part self-taught.  She is really enjoying the learning experiences through Trussville Photography Club.

Deb Hendrick:

A long-time resident of Sylacauga, Deb’s love for photography started with the family Brownie Hawkeye camera, and has progressed to her current digital SLR Canon 60D.  American bald eagles are her favorite subject. Yellowstone National Park in 1995 was the beginning of her love for photographing eagles. It keeps her always searching for that one great shot.

Anna Houser:

Anna started studying photography in high school.  She has taken 2 years of beginning and intermediate photography.  Her photographs have been selected in juried art shows with the Shelby County Arts Council and the Homewood Library.

Tina Houser:

TPC Communications Director, Tina has been studying photography for 2 1/2 years.  Her favorite genre is landscapes, with a focus on boats, waterfalls, and abandoned structures.  She is currently focusing on expanding to portraits.

Art Hummel:

Art took up photography to replace his passion for SCUBA diving when he moved to Alabama from Florida in 2006.  He took classes and eventually earned a Certificate in Digital Photography from the Birmingham School of Photography.   Sports/action, portraits and maritime subjects are his favorite areas of interest.  He is a retired Professional Engineer, manager and self-identified “techie”.  His work can be seen at

Neal Kelsoe:

Neal has had the privilege for more than 11 years now of learning digital photography from some of the most talented people.  When collaborating he has always loved the project that starts with the words “THAT SOUNDS GREAT! … How do we do it?”

Mike McGary:

Mike has been involved with photography for almost 50 years, working as a studio owner and teacher, but always creating images that say something.  When he makes an image that brings a smile to a face, it makes him happy.  Mike’s goal is to show the world’s beauty to others as he sees it.

Pato Nerome:

A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pato is a chemical engineer by profession and a self-taught photographer who enjoys capturing the moment with her camera. Her passion for photography started with her vacations trips around the world, where she wanted to bring home her travel experience in pictures.  Most of her art works are landscapes inspire by nature which reveals her love for adventure.  More of her work can be found on her Instagram account ( or the Trussville Photography Club members Gallery.

Laura Parker:

Laura has an appreciation for nature and sharing it through the art of photography. She is from Bessemer, AL, and is recently retired.  She is now pursuing her dream of photography as more than a hobby.

Rob Stamm

Rob started his photography adventure in the mid 50’s or so with his Brownie box camera and helping his father develop film from his old Busch-Pressman large format. He progressed to a range finder 35mm camera and continued from there to newer 35mm cameras: Exacta, Nikon F3, and others.  He received a lot of help from his father.  He reluctantly entered the digital age with a Nikon D300 several years ago, though still enjoys using a Bronica medium format film camera.  Most of his images are nature-oriented and are minimally processed, if at all.

Kevin Wheeler:

Kevin sees photography as an expression of his artist’s heart and love of beauty.  His goal is to capture glimpses of God’s glory in nature and share it with others.  Originally from Connecticut, Kevin spent over 21 years in the Air Force and another 19 years in pastoral ministry before resettling in Alabama two years ago.  He currently works part-time at the Trussville Public Library.  Some of his work can be seen at

Barbie Williams:

Barbie loves to take pictures of unusual things and places, but her grandbabies are currently her favorite subject, along with the beach.  She thinks photos are a great way to show others what she loves and to have memories to share.

Roger Williams

Carrie Nenstiel Exhibit

Carrie Nenstiel is the featured artist in June.  The public is invited to the opening reception on June 10, 2018, 1:30-3:30 pm, to view her beautiful paintings.  Admission is free.

Carrie Nenstiel is a Birmingham area artist who works in oil and watercolor. Carrie began painting as a teenager and went on to receive her BA in Art from Auburn University in 2009. Her work is on display in various galleries in Alabama and at The Market at Pepperplace.

Carrie incorporates thick texture and thin layers within the same work to accomplish an ascetic that helps her paintings feel accessible yet unique. She is known for both abstract works in oil and watercolor paintings that reflect her southern surroundings through the use of flora and landmarks. Carrie also enjoys incorporating elements found in nature into various small works such as wood or oyster shells.

Ms. Nenstiel’s art will be on exhibit through July 7, 2018.  You may view examples of her work at:

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.

Bruce Watford Exhibit

Bruce Watford is the featured artist in May.  The public is invited to the opening reception on May 6, 2018, 1:30-3:30 pm, to view his incredible artwork.  Admission is free.

Bruce Watford has always been an artist.  At 12, he began private art lessons and continued with them until he left for college, primarily focusing on creating photorealistic renderings. From the first time he saw a painting by Ed Paschke at the Birmingham Museum of Art he wanted to paint like Paschke.   During college, he discovered other artists, including Robert Longo.  After graduation, he worked in two different but related styles that were influenced by these two artists.  His art featured areas that were photo-realistically rendered.  Over time, Bruce began to experiment in several completely different styles, each influenced by a different artist or group of artists, none of which required rendering.   Around 2012, he created several pieces in a style he calls “Symbols of Power,” a throwback to the pieces he created immediately after college. They are a combination of photorealistically-rendered Robert Longo-inspired businessmen and primitive petroglyph symbols.

Recently he began using Photoshop to digitally create pieces similar to the paintings of Ed Paschke, layering glitch textures onto photos of faces, adjusting layer styles and adding and subtracting textures. Using Photoshop, he can quickly try different effects which permits a lot of experimentation.  He calls this style “Cyber.”  He also created a related style called “Glitchmen,” where he combines the glitch patterns with the businessmen like those in Longo’s “Men in the Cities” drawings.  In both styles, he represents the isolation, loneliness, and loss of identity of people disappearing into the contemporary cyberspace culture.

From 1988 to 2000, Bruce belonged to the New Age Art Alliance in Gadsden and exhibited in their annual shows at the Gadsden Museum of Art.  He exhibited in the Magic City Art Connection show in 2010 and Artwalk in 2010 and 2017. In 2013, he exhibited in the Birmingham Art Association show where his piece “Symbols of Power 6” won first place in the drawing category.

Mr. Watford’s art will be on exhibit through June 1, 2018.  You may view examples of his work at:

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.

Rik Lazenby Exhibit

Rik Lazenby is the Leeds Arts Council’s featured artist in April.  The public is invited to the opening reception on April 8, 2018, 1:30-3:30 pm, to view his inspiring paintings.  Admission is free.

Rik Lazenby specializes in creating works in both acrylic and mixed media at his studio in Hoover, Alabama.  Rik studied at the University of Alabama where he earned both Bachelor and Master’s degrees with an emphasis in art education.  His mentors were Alvin Sella, Frank Engle, Angelo Granata, Howard Goodson and Richard Zeollner.   Rik has participated in group and solo shows at Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church, the Mountain Brook Art Association Shows, Cahaba Brewery, Artists on the Bluff, the Shelby County Arts Council, and the Hoover Gallery.

Rik’s works are spiritually complex, but the messages are focused and simple: “Let your heart guide you to where the soul resides but always let the Spirit lead.”  This artistic compass is ever present in Rik’s work. He works with no road map or predetermined destination but is never lost.  Rik relies on encounters that take place along the way.  He does not believe in coincidences.  Each work is determined before he lifts his brush.  Each color is decided before the journey begins.

Rik states, “My art is constantly evolving with the development of new materials.  I have little control over where my next project will take me. There is excitement in not being in control, in moving forward without a road map, without knowing the end before it arrives.  I constantly look behind me to see the markers that have been left behind.  These markers are all the evidence I need that I am moving in the right direction for my life.  I believe there are no coincidences in my life, only successes and failures in my reactions to the things that I encounter.”

Mr. Lazenby’s paintings will be on exhibit through May 4, 2018.  You may view examples of his work at:  and on Facebook @ or

The Arts Center is located at 8140 Parkway Drive, in downtown Leeds.  The gallery is open on Fridays, 12:00-2:00 pm, and during events.  In case of inclement weather, call the center at 205-699-1892 to confirm opening hours.

Ann Hill Cohen Exhibit

Ann Hill Cohen is the Leeds Arts Council’s featured artist in February.  The public is invited to the opening reception on February 4, 2018, 1:30-3:30 pm, to view her delightful paintings.  Admission is free.

With an undergraduate degree in Communication Arts from Birmingham-Southern College, Ann has always enjoyed drawing, but it wasn’t until she took a color theory class at Alabama A & M University under Bill Nance that she began to see and mix colors anew.  She would go on to enjoy painting sporadically for the next 20 years as she raised her daughter and pursued a career in Real Estate.

It was through a move from Huntsville to Birmingham, Alabama in 2015 that she took a necessary break from her real estate business and began painting in earnest.  In 2016 she joined the Mountain Brook Art Association and participated in her first art show that spring.

Two days before a trip to Portland, Oregon in 2016 Ann woke up with an inspiration to paint a Mondrian influenced bicycle.  She just HAD to get it finished before she and her husband left town, lest she forget her dream image.  That has led to many more bicycle paintings which are among her client favorites.

Ann and her husband, Dale live in a wonderful 100-year-old house in Birmingham’s Highland Park community.  They have two indoor cats, Percy and Lily, and two outdoor strays–Callie and Sylvester.  Painting her own cats has led to a love of painting birds, animals, and beloved pets of others.

Ann paints in oil and acrylics, with a preference toward oil for still life and animal portraits. Her whimsical bicycles are done in acrylic.

Ms. Cohen’s paintings will be on exhibit through March 2, 2018.  You may view examples of her work at: and on Facebook @ anncohenartist

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.

Sandy Launius Mann Exhibit

Sandy Launius Mann

Sandy Launius Mann is the Leeds Arts Council’s featured artist in January.  The public is invited to the opening reception on January 7, 2018, 1:30-3:30 pm, to view her delightful paintings.  Admission is free.

Sandy Launius Mann comes from a family of draftsmen, artisans, musicians, and teachers of art. She received a degree in Interior Design from Southern Institute and worked for 25 years with an extensive list of clients from Huntsville to Panama City.   Sandy worked as a commercial interior designer for Henry Coshatt in Birmingham, working on such projects as St. Jude Hospital. She then became a lighting designer, working for Mayer Lighting and during that time worked with Mother Angelica on the Shrine of the Most Blessed located in Hanceville, AL.  In the 90s Sandy became a freelance designer working through her family’s 80-year-old business, Launius Furniture, in Warrior.  In 2013, she opened her gallery/studio in Warrior, a working studio where she also offers art, drawing, and pottery classes and workshops.

Sandy Launius Mann is an award winning abstract artist.  Her work was accepted to the Energen art show in 2015; she won the Marshal County Fine Arts Award in 2016; and she has had solo exhibits at Artists on the Bluff, the Lowe Mill Arts in Huntsville, the Guntersville Museum and Cultural Art Center, and Mountain Valley Art Gallery.  In 2017 Sandy won first and second place in the National Pen Women’s Art Exhibit in Birmingham for her acrylic paintings “Obscured Souls” and “Separations Mist”.  In December 2017 she exhibited with DHGallery of International Artists at Spectrum Miami.

Sandy’s art is best described as non-reference abstract. She enjoys creating art that is completely out of her head spurred by emotions with hidden meaning and images. The latest collection by Sandy is “Mind Games” which uses a scraping technique while keeping the paint wet for hours, letting it dry and then creating objects that are hidden in the paint. In a sense Sandy lets the paint determine a lot of how the piece of work turns. Becoming totally immersed in the canvas finding her emotions take over and the piece when finished reads like a daily.  “At the studio I’m an avid believer in zero stress to produce the best possible art.  I have no contracts, no set rules and we just go with the flow. Everything is about the art and I’ve found that works best for me, you, and the studio.”

Ms. Mann’s paintings will be on exhibit through February 2, 2018.  You may view more of her work at:

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.

Moody High School Artists Reception

The Leeds Arts Council will honor the Moody High School Artists with an opening reception on Sunday, November 5, 2017, 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 high school 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  In case of inclement weather, call the arts center at 205-699-1892 to confirm opening hours.

Leeds Area Visual Artists – Receptions

The Leeds Arts Council will honor the Leeds Area Visual Artists (LAVA) with opening receptions on Saturday, September 9 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm and Sunday, September 10 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm at the Leeds Arts Center in downtown Leeds.

The public is invited to meet the artists and enjoy their beautiful and varied works.  Additional art work, prints, cards, and books will be on display in the theater during the receptions. Refreshments will be served.  Admission is free.

Artists participating in the 2017 LAVA show include: Ramey Channell, William Darby, Frank Dawson, Joan Dawson, Cheryl Horncastle, Tina Miller, Gudrun Rominger, Tanna Rose, Grady Sue Saxon, and Linda Stephan.  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, 2017.

For more information regarding the reception, exhibit, and other Leeds Arts Council events, visit or call the Leeds Theatre & Arts Center at 205-699-1892.  Gallery hours are Fridays from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm and during events.

Jim Langley Exhibit

Jim Langley is the Leeds Arts Council’s featured artist in August.  The public is invited to his opening reception and one-man show on Sunday, August 6 at 1:30-3:30.  Admission is free.

The reception/show will feature the art and storytelling of former Leeds resident, Jim Langley.  Many of his paintings depict scenes and personalities from the Leeds and Birmingham area including the Alabama Theater; area churches, businesses, historic buildings and houses; and personalities such as Charles Barkley and Harry the Hat.  Proceeds from sales and donations will benefit the Leeds Art Council as well as Day Camp Scholarships for disadvantaged children at YMCA Camp Hargis.

The Delmont Show is a 30-minute “pure-dee Alabama” performance based on Langley’s book, Delmont’s Slang Blade, 1000 of the Best Sayings in the State of Alabama. Jim’s interest in Southern sayings started many years ago and the book contains a portion of his collection. Langley contends that everyone needs to have a favorite Southern Saying in their back pocket to pull out and use at the proper occasion. Quips include such as “The more people I meet, the more I like my dog,” or “Smiling like a dead pig in sunshine.” Come let Delmont tell you what that one means!

Mr. Langley, originally from Vernon in Lamar Co., AL, is now a resident of the Ross Bridge section of Hoover. He is married to the former Ann Whitehead of Nashville, TN. Jim graduated from Jacksonville State University with a degree in Political Science and from the University of Oklahoma with a Master’s in Public Administration. He was a Distinguished Military Graduate receiving an Army commission in 1971, and served active duty tours in Alaska, Fort Sill OK, and Korea, before retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserves.

During his civilian career, Mr. Langley spent 15 years with BellSouth Communications and had shorter professional associations with Dowzer Electric, SITEL, DES and AIDS Alabama. In retirement, Langley has become a prolific writer, artist and storyteller. He is well known for his book on Oak Hill, the oldest cemetery in Birmingham, and walking tours of the cemetery. He has also led many trips and tours for Hoover Seniors the last few years including local history tours in Birmingham and Hoover, tours of important places in our local Civil Rights history, and tours of Red Mountain Park. For more information, visit www.Langley.Rocks

Mr. Langley’s paintings will be on exhibit through September 8, 2017.

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.