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.