Previous Artists

Carroll Andrews – January 2016

The artist states, “Form, color, and light have fascinated me since childhood.  My primary renderings are done in watercolor, but I also enjoy graphite pencil.”  He has completed commissions in portraiture in watercolor and pencil; however, the main course of his work has centered around interesting subjects (landscapes, still life, animals, birds) of the beautiful American South.  The artist’s work has been displayed at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the State of Alabama in Montgomery, the Prattville Art museum, and other venues in several states.

Susan Baird – November 2013

Susan Baird has been fascinated with art all of her life. As a child she enjoyed drawing the people and objects she observed.  Later, she developed an appreciation for the paintings of the Dutch Masters, French Impressionists and American Tonalists.  Contemplating the way light moves across a face, still life, or landscape, she seeks to convey the beauty that surrounds us.  Susan hopes to be a student of art all her life because she believes insight is gained through practice and experience.

Michael S. Ballew – June 2016

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.  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.  As an artist, his goal is to create pieces that affect and bring enjoyment to others  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.

Guy Barnes – April 2013

Guy Barnes is a Leeds artist who enjoys re-purposing downed trees and old discarded items into pieces of art.  With his outstanding carving skill he turns his “found wood” into crosses, birds, fish, horses, etc.  Much of Guy’s inspiration comes from growing up in a farming community.  Guy uses materials that are mainly from Alabama and Kentucky, including discarded farming items such as tools and old tobacco sticks.  He loves to age the wood to bring out the beautiful grain in it.  He has participated in various art shows around Alabama including The Blue Light Special at Earthborn Pottery in Leeds, The Birmingham Humane Society, UCP, and the Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide.  His work can be found on Facebook at JunkNArt.

Bill Barrow – August 2016

William Franklin Barrow was born with a God given talent which he has considered a hobby his entire life.  He enjoys drawing architectural features, still life, and people – especially his grandchildren.  He has volunteered to teach art classes throughout his career, mainly at local churches.  Bill’s medium of choice has always been pencil, which allows him to use shadowing to create depth and texture with precise measure.  He loves being able to use his talent to bring pleasure to his friends and family.

Margaret Nicole Blevins – August 2018

Born in the deep south, Margaret 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.  Margaret’s 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.

Brian Bohanan – December 2012

Bohanan is a self-taught folk artist.  He explores several different mediums including incorporating recycled and found objects into his artwork such as reclaimed hardwood flooring, tin roofing, old decorative tile pieces and antique cabinetry. In his painting process he utilizes oil, acrylics and house paint.   His subjects vary but often include winter scenes and churches.  Due to his recent success at the Slotin Folk Fest, the artist was written up in the Main Antique Digest as one of the possible masters of the future of folk art.  He has won awards at several shows throughout the southeast including Fayette, Prattville, and Lake Guntersville.

Pamela Bradshaw – October 2015

A native of North Alabama, Pamela Bradshaw is a landscape artist with a love for adding people, especially children, to her paintings. She is predominately self-taught, but has studied with local artist Lynda Jerrolds since 2008.  Ms. Bradshaw has exhibited her art work in the gallery at St. Vincent’s East, however most of her paintings have been given or sold to friends and family.

Wes Carter – March 2017

Wes paints primarily in oil, but he also enjoys watercolor, gouache, and pen and ink.  He  paints landscapes, still lifes, and the occasional abstract.  Recently he has dedicated himself to painting and has focused almost exclusively on landscapes and still lifes.  Many of his paintings are based on his experiences and impressions of places he has been.  As a painter he is largely self-taught, but he strives to improve his skills through participation in workshops and learning from his experienced peers.  He participated in the Birmingham Artwalk from 2013-present; the Magic City Art Connection in 2014; and Art on Ruffner Mountain in 2013.  He is a member of the Alabama Plein Air Artists.  “In my paintings I hope to convey the sense of awe and wonder that the natural world inspires in me.  For me, a painting is successful when it has an implied sense of narrative, when the viewer feels that they are glimpsing only a small part of a larger story that they will never completely comprehend.”

Ann Hill Cohen – February 2018

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 that she began to see and mix colors anew.  She would go on to enjoy painting sporadically for the next 20 years.  Upon moving to Birmingham, she began painting in earnest.  In 2016 she joined the Mountain Brook Art Association and participated in her first art show that spring.  One day Ann woke up with an inspiration to paint a Mondrian influenced bicycle.  That has led to many more bicycle paintings which are among her client favorites.  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 painted in acrylic.

Karla Shackleford Conway – May 2017

Karla is a native of Birmingham who now lives in Lincoln.  After a long career in advertising and public relations Karla took a one-time acrylic painting class.  The next day, she bought a package of canvasses and a starter set of paints and has been painting ever since.  Karla has since taken classes but mostly she has painted on her own, watching videos on specific techniques and studying the works of the painters she most admires.  While she constantly experiments with different subjects and styles, Karla’s favorite subject is birds, which became a fascination of hers when she moved to Lake Logan Martin.  In retirement, Karla regularly leads painting workshops to benefit the Pell City Christian Love Pantry, founded by St. Simon Peter Episcopal Church.

William Darby – January 2015

William 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.  The artist studied art at the University of South Carolina.   He received his bachelor’s degree in art from Georgia College and a Masters of Library and Information Studies from the University of Alabama.

Michael Davis – July 2012

Michael Davis is a watercolor realist inspired by the beauty and timelessness of the southern landscape.  His passion for nature is reflected in his many paintings of the southeast from the mountains of Tennessee and North Georgia to the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Florida. Although he began painting in oils when he was young, he quickly developed a love for the beauty and detail he could capture with watercolor.  In January 2012, his Realism in Watercolor Solo Exhibit was featured at the Hardin Cultural Arts Center in Gadsden.  Recent exhibitions include a solo exhibit in the Fine Arts Gallery at the Levite Jewish Community Center of Birmingham, the Alabama Wildlife Federation Art Competition.  He exhibited at the 54th Annual GAA Juried Art Show at the Gadsden Museum of Art. Among his awards are first place in the 2012 Eufaula Art Show, Hoover Arts Alliance Award at Art in the Gardens (2011), Hanna LeMaster Watercolor Award in Arts Alive 2011, Best of Show in Painting at the 2011 Fountain City Arts Fest, First Place Watercolor in the 2012 Hoover Shelby Art Association Show and Best of Show in the 2009 Vestavia Art Association Show.

Nelda Faulkner – April 2015

Nelda Faulkner, a Leeds resident, is known locally for her beautiful photographs of birds and flowers. Often she can be found out in the Leeds and Moody areas with her husband, Harold Faulkner, presenting to senior organizations and garden clubs. Both Nelda and Harold took photography classes with John McKinney, photographer with National Geographic. Nelda has always loved photographs. She got her first camera while in school. Her interest in photography has continued, and the binoculars and camera are always close at hand. The Faulkner’s sunroom has a view of many bird feeders, birdhouses and a pond and a birdbath inviting the birds to stop in for a visit.

Chip Ghigna – January 2017

Chip is a painter working in oils and acrylics from his studio in Birmingham, Alabama.   He earned a B.A. in Studio Art from Auburn University.  His paintings are exhibited in galleries and collections in the U.S. and France.

Deb Gregory – June 2015

Deb is a resident of Sylacauga, close to her hometown of Sycamore, Alabama.  Her long-time passion for photography began with the family’s Brownie Hawkeye camera.  Technology has progressed and now her camera is a Digital SLR Canon  60D and a Canon 100-400 zoom lens.  The artist’s love of eagles began around 1995 at Yellowstone National Park when she took her first pictures of an adult American Bald Eagle in a nest 40 yards off the main highway. Her first pictures of bald eagles in Alabama were taken at Lake Guntersville. Since she learned about an eagles nest located on Renfro Road about 15 miles from her residence, thousands of pictures have been taken and countless hours spent in admiration of these beautiful creatures.  In the past few years, she has also enjoyed photographing hawks and owls.

Elizabeth Gregory – December 2015

Known as Beth to family and friends and as Elizabeth professionally, the artist claimed Liz when she signed her first painting.  She did not study art in school and never considered art as an option until her Mother started painting at retirement. It started with a book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.  “I do not see myself as a ‘professional artist’.  However, I am an artist.  In 2015, I joined a new group that was started to encourage local artists, The Leeds Area Visual Artists (LAVA). Through classes and learning from others, I started seeing the interplay of color and shadows I once failed to notice. I now see 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.”

Carolyn Hallmark – September 2012

Jonathan Harris – February 2016

Jonathan started drawing at the age of 3 and his love for art has never stopped.  He had his first glimpse into the career of a paid artist at the age of fifteen when the Buffalo River Boy Scout organization in Tennessee commissioned him to design their district patch. Since then he has designed business cards and logos, created several unpublished comic strips, fielded countless commissions and portraits and his work has found its way into a publication or two.  Mainly a self-taught artist, Jonathan did finally make it to one official art class at Jefferson State Community College in the spring of 2009 and earned the “Outstanding Student – Art Studio” award that same year.  He enjoys using a variety of mediums including pencil, pastel, pen & ink, watercolor and acrylic.  Whatever produces the desired outcome is what he enjoys.  His favorite subject matter is portraiture and the human form but also includes animals, pets, and the occasional still life.  He has been featured in both the Birmingham Artwalk and the Moss Rock Festival and has participated in the Energen Art Show Competition. Jonathan continues to keep busy with commissions and is also a regular illustrator for the online fan magazine, IndyMag.

Annette Holland – December 2016

The artist is a wife, mother, and grandmother who paints.  Her sons bought paints for her Christmas gift one year.  She came home from a cross country trip with her husband and decided it was time to try out the paints.  She had no idea where to start, so took a class at Michael’s.  Her family encouraged her after her first painting.  She also took classes from Wesley Dickman.  She was told to not waste time with classes, but to just paint.  Annette was a member of the Odenville Art Club and has painted with students at Odenville and Ashville Elementary Schools, in hopes of encouraging them.  Her advice is, “If you have ever thought about painting, try it!”

Charlotte Holder – June 2013

Charlotte Holder enjoys painting animals, especially dogs.  Her work is often based on Word Play.  She loves to take a word or phrase and turn it around to mean something else and make a painting of it. The artist has degrees in art from William Woods University, Fulton, MO (AFA) and the University of Memphis (BFA) with continuing Art Ed at the Memphis Art Academy, UAH and UAB.  She has had one-woman shows at Southern Research, UAB Hospital, Memphis Athletic Club, Little Rock Museum of Art (AR), Meridian Museum of Art (MS), Park ART, and for four consecutive years at St. Vincent’s Hospital.  Charlotte Holder spent many years as a senior designer for Symbol of Excellence (now Hoffman  Publishing) where she designed needlework patterns primarily for cross-stitch magazines.   For several years, she was Executive Director of PARK ART, an organization that took art and music into the parks and schools in disadvantaged areas in Birmingham.

Mara Jambor – February 2015

Through her work in photography and videography, Mara Jambor has been a student of visual arts for most of her adult life. She loved being creative and telling stories through cuts, zooms, pans, transitions and the right music, and film provided by that venue. Just as with painting, understanding and using light is a crucial part of filmmaking. Jambor loved working with light to alter the imagery. Jambor loves color and composition and leans toward free brush strokes and impressionism. She wants her paintings to appeal not just to one’s eye, but also one’s heart.  The artist has exhibited at the Birmingham Art Association’s Fall Art Show, the Andrea Lucas Studio and the Mountain Brook Art Association’s Holiday Art Show.

Carolynn Thomas Jones – July 2016

Carolynn 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.  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.

Marla Hope Kenney – April 2016

Marla started her first art experience with lessons at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. when she was 5. 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.

“I get inspiration from nature and from artists who allowed color and form to play on their canvas. My art tends to lend itself to organic subject matter. 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.”

James Knowles – May 2016

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.”

Joyce Kraft – December 2013

The artist began working with oils in high school.  She graduated from California State University with a degree in book illustration. She enjoyed a ten-year fashion illustration career in Los Angeles and then taught elementary and middle school students for twenty years.  After retiring and moving to Birmingham in 2008, she returned to her earlier passion of painting in oils. While her representative style highlights strong emphasis on the atmospheric palette and on expressive brush strokes,  her bird paintings whimsically capture the personality of the birds as they relate to their individual habitat.  Her most recent works can be seen at Artists Incorporated Art Gallery in Vestavia Hills.

Jim Langley – August 2017

Mr. Langley, originally from Vernon in Lamar Co., AL, 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, worked for  BellSouth Communications, 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

Rik Lazenby – April 2018

Rik specializes in creating works in both acrylic and mixed media at his studio in Hoover, Alabama.  He studied at the University of Alabama where he earned both Bachelor and Master’s degrees with an emphasis in art education.  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.  His 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 his 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.  “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.”

Leeds Area Visual Artists (LAVA) – November 2015

Participating artists:  Ramey Channell, Nancy Cromwell, William Darby, Frank Dawson, Gary Hamm, Jonathan Harris, Tina Miller, Deborah Klauss Pezzillo, Sam Pezzillo, Tanna Rose, and Grady Sue Saxon.

Leeds Area Visual Artists (LAVA) – November 2016

Participating artists:  William Darby, Joan Dawson, Frank Dawson, Elizabeth Gregory, Jonathan Harris, Tina Miller, Gudrun Rominger, Tanna Rose, Grady Sue Saxon, Sherry Whisenhunt, and Larry Whisenhunt.

Leeds Area Visual Artists (LAVA) – September 2017

Artists participating in the 2017 show:  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.

Leeds Area Visual Artists (LAVA) – September 2018

Participating artists:  Ramey Channell, Nancy Cole, Nelda Faulkner, 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.

Leeds High School Artists – February 2017

Artists who participated in the show include Tania Alvarez, Amanda Boshears, Morgan Cleveland, Clair Gibson, Bailey Gosdin, Kaleigh Graf, Kayla Hayes, Nore Hodge, Julia Jones, Anna LaCruz, Lydia LaCruz, McKenzie Lockridge, Jordan Sherman, and Caleb Smith.  These ninth through twelfth grade artists work in a variety of mediums and styles.  Their works reflect their interest in nature, pop culture, music, humor, and everyday life.  Three of the students are members of the National Art Honor Society and eight are members of the LHS Art Club.

Leeds High School Artists – March 2018

Esther Levy – May 2015

Esther Levy  says she was a late bloomer when it comes to the world of art.  She didn’t start painting until she was in her thirties when she and a friend started a home business personalizing children’s gifts with little drawings on them.  She enjoyed the art work so much that she began taking art classes. Levy is interested in many types of media.  She uses them all and may use a variety in one art piece.  Most of her work contains paintings of women.  She also uses a lot of bright colors which she sees as invigorating and up-lifting.  Over the years, she has participated in many art shows and art competitions.  Some of her work has been chosen as pamphlet covers, illustrations to go with short stories, directory covers, and even certificates of achievement.  In 2012, one of Levy’s paintings was reproduced in a prayer book for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Australia, New Zealand, Peru, East Timor, Ireland and Scotland.  The artist likes for her work to touch people on many levels, but she especially wants to create a feeling of joy.

Alice Lucas – March 2016

Alice Lucas fell in love with photography during a gap year program in Siena, Italy. This class led her to study photography at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) where she received a B.F.A.  At SCAD, Alice was particularly drawn to classes on experimental printing techniques where she created multi-media photographic works on wood blocks covered in gold or silver leaf. Upon graduation, Alice founded her business, Allie Ray Photography, where she continues to explore multi-media printing, both with her own photographs as well as client commissions. In addition to printing, Alice enjoys photographing events such as weddings, engagement parties and baptisms.  Alice specializes in taking photographs of landscapes, houses, children and pets. Alice has participated in the Highlands County Club Art Show in Highlands, North Carolina for the past three years, where a portion of the proceeds benefits the Highlands’ Scholarship Fund.  She has also donated her work to the Gateway ‘Off the Wall’ event for the past two years.

Robin McDonald – October 2016

English by birth, Robin emigrated to America at the age of 12, and has lived in Alabama since 1966.  He received a BA cum laude in art history at Emory University and an MA in art history at Columbia University.  He decided to pursue art and photography as a career, returned to Birmingham, worked as an artist at a small Birmingham ad agency, then a larger agency, and then a photographic studio, finally forming Triad Studios, a graphic design and photography studio, with two other photographers in 1977.  In 1979, he was hired as the art director of Horizon Magazine.  In 1984, Robin started an independent graphic design and photography studio, now in its 32nd year.  In 1991, Robin became the designer and principal photographer for Alabama Heritage Magazine.  His other principal client is Clairmont Press in Atlanta, that publishes state history school textbooks for most of the southeastern states.  He has also designed many books for the University of Alabama Press, including both editions of The Crimson Tide by Winston Groom, Alabama Architecture by Alice Meriwether Bowsher, and Headwaters by Beth Maynor Young and John C. Hall.  Robin received a gold award and a bronze award from the New York Art Directors Club. In 1980, he won Best in Show at the Greater Birmingham Arts Alliance Juried Photography Exhibition.  Robin is the author of two books, Heart of a Small Town: Photographs of Alabama Towns (2003) and Visions of the Black Belt: A Cultural Survey of the Heart of Alabama (2015), co-authored by Valerie Pope Burnes and published by the University of Alabama Press.

Sandy Launius Mann – January 2018

Sandy comes from a family of draftsmen, artisans, musicians, and teachers of art. She received a degree in Interior Design from Southern Institute.  Sandy worked as a commercial interior designer for Henry Coshatt in Birmingham, as a lighting designer for Mayer Lighting, and as a freelance designer through her family’s business, Launius Furniture, in Warrior.  She opened her gallery/studio in Warrior, a working studio where she also offered art, drawing, and pottery classes and workshops.  Her abstract art 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.  Her 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.  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.”

Melinda Mathews – October 2012

The artist works in watercolor, acrylics and clay.  She paints imaginary people, animals and situations, generally focusing on relationship and intent.  She enjoys a touch of whimsy and tries to capture that naive grace that accompanies unselfconsciousness.  She has taken art seminars and workshops from various outstanding instructors, including George James, Milt Kobayashi, Katherine Chang Liu, Glenn Bradshaw, Fran Larsen, Mary Todd Beam, Polly Hammett, Alex Powers, and Carrie Brown. Melinda resides in Birmingham where she practices law with the firm of Sirote & Permutt, PC.  She works in the area of estate planing and estate administration.  The artist is a “Signature-Silver” member and on the Board of the Watercolor Society of Alabama (WSA).   Melinda’s art has been selected for many juried exhibits.

Royal Miree – January 2013

Over the past twenty-five years, the artist has been exploring various techniques.  He has experimented to show texture and movement in uncommon ways.  The artworks of this event are kind of a storyboard…a visual style of  illustration from the very simple early to the modern complex.  Inspiration stretches from the human form to the bold graphic.   He  uses blowtorches and knives to create work that includes materials that range from heavy paper and ink all the way to pure copper.  Some works are quite literally from napkin sketches for ideas while others present in future in metal forms. Traveling the country with his art, Royal has works placed in private and corporate collections in the United States and overseas.  He has many awards from museums and arts organizations from Chicago to Miami.  Closer to home, there are several large art works at  UAB’s North Pavilion and Volker Plaza.  He also has work at the Barber Motorsports Museum and Children’s Hospital.

Barbara Mitchell – August 2012

The artist states that  “working with fabric and fiber in an artistic way allows me to express some of my deepest beliefs – the grace of our Creator God, the beauty of the created world, the intersection of the sacred with the ordinary, and an archetypal connection to ancestors and descendants.”  Barbara Mitchell  expresses herself by creating contemporary art quilts, fiber-wrapped wall hangings, and liturgical pieces.  All of her designs are original.  Some pieces are abstracts driven  by color and movement, while others are representational designs.  Her art reflects her interest in travel, nature archetypes, and world culture. The artist has taken courses in drawing, watercolor, acrylics and quilting; however, most of her techniques with fiber art are those that she has developed through trial and error.  Her stitching methods include applique’, piecework, embroidery, and beadwork.  She works intuitively by building up layers of hand-stitched applique’ and finishing with thread-painting and machine quilting. The artist’s works are in many private and liturgical collections and are shown at juried arts shows in the Alabama area.  She is a juried artist with Alabama Designer Craftsmen.  She has won awards at arts shows in Aldridge Gardens (Birmingham) and Guntersville. She is a member of three local quilt and fiber guilds.  For more information visit her website:

Fred Mobley – May 2013

Fred Mobley has been drawing for as long as  he can remember.  His uncle taught him perspective drawing when he was six.  As a child, he tore open paper grocery bags to get large sheets of paper.  In high school, he majored in art and received several awards from the national magazine Scholastic.  However, after high school, he decided to pursue engineering drafting and design and let his interest in art wane.  He satisfied his creative urges through photography and won several awards for his photographs in the 1980s and 1990s.  His photographs appeared in some regional and national calendars. In retirement, he again became interested in the arts.  Mobley has concentrated on landscapes and has been working in oils, acrylics, watercolor, and watercolor with pen and ink.  While developing his own personal style, he tries to learn techniques from others but not copy their particular styles. His desire is to produce something that caresses the eye and produces a feeling of pleasure or perhaps, nostalgia.   Mobley credits God for his artistic talent and his desire to create, giving Him credit for whatever paintings he is able to create. Mobley is a member of the Watercolor Society of Alabama and of the Fultondale Arts Council.

Moody High School Artists – November 2017

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.

Moody High School Artists – November 2018

Marsha Nelson – July 2017

As a self-taught artist, Marsha has always enjoyed art. In recent years, she has pursued her art with new dedication and passion, taking art courses at Jacksonville State University and studying  in the Birmingham atelier of master oil painter John Lonergan.  Marsha is a representational painter whose favorite mediums are oil and watercolor. In 2016, she achieved Signature Bronze Membership in the Watercolor Society of Alabama. She received recognition for several of her paintings which were juried into WSA exhibits.  “I am so grateful God has blessed me with a measure of artistic talent, as well as the incredible gift of my wonderful husband, who loves sharing my artistic journey.”  Nunnally’s Noble Street Frame and Gallery in Anniston represents her as a member of East Alabama Artists, Inc.   You may view examples of her work at:

Carrie Nenstiel – June 2018

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.  You may view examples of her work at:

Dianne Gibson Newsome – July 2013

Diane Gibson Newsome produces representational art.  She says that her style may best be described as “impressionistic realism”. The paradox of perceived detail produced by abstract brush strokes and subtle elements especially intrigues her. Working primarily in oils with brush and palette knfe, she appreciates the vivid and luminous quality of this medium.  In addtion to being self-taught, Diane has studied with master artist, John Lonergan. An ardent equestrian, gardener and wildlife enthusiast, she focuses on capturing the fabulous and unique essence of wildlife and nature subjects on canvas.  The conveyance of the intangible emotional part of a painting is of paramount importance to her.  With her paintings, she endeavors to communicate to the viewer feelings of a sense of place in the landscape as well as the quality of light on a subject. In addition to participation in art festivals, she is represented by Artist’s Incorportated Gallery in Vestavia Hills, Alabama and the Artist Collective in Thomasville, Georgia.  Diane has received many awards for her beautiful paintings.

Amber Orr – June 2017

Amber Orr, a Birmingham artist, is a graduate of the Alabama School of Fine Arts and The University of Montevallo.  One of her portraits graced the front cover of the fall 2016 issue of the Birmingham Arts Journal.  “My work celebrates the internal and external relationship of self-discovery.  The key to my happiness is positive thinking.  Instead of perfecting my appearance, I have chosen to accept it.  My hair is kinky, my skin is black, I have scars and marks times more.  I want to encourage you to embrace who you are.  We are all beautifully imperfect human beings.  That is worthy to be celebrated.”

Amy R. Peterson – March 2013

Amy’s primary focus is “plein air”, painting landscapes on site.  Like the original Impressionists, she aims to capture the impression of a scene with color and light, often with bold brush strokes and varied textures.  As an outdoor enthusiast and conservationist, she enjoys painting en plein air as a way of documenting a place in time and preserving its memory.  Her favorite hours to paint outdoors are sunrise and sunset. The artist earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame.  In her native Birmingham, she facilitated workshops for nationally recognized artist as the Gallery Director for Portraits, Inc. (formerly Portrait Brokers of America).  In 2012, Amy moved to New Mexico where she is now represented by The Watermelon Gallery and Purple Sage Galeria.  Amy stays active and continually growing as an artist through workshops, annual shows, invitationals, and art associations such as Oil Painters of America; Alabama Plein Air Artists; Mountain Brook Art Association; New Mexico Plein Air Painters, and the Rio Grande Art Association.  An advocate for art therapy, she volunteers at First Light and Very Special Arts. Amy enjoys teaching and has led group and individual painting classes.

Deborah and Sam Pezzillo – April 2017

Since moving to Leeds, Deborah has enjoyed taking photographs of the wildlife, both plants and animals, on her farm. Her photos have been published in the National Wildlife Federation magazine and were recently shown at the Flight and Flutter Fest at Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve. She has also published a book of her nature photos with favorite quotes titled, Ambassadors of Life.

Sam has had a life-long interest in photography and once taught a class at Birmingham-Southern College, from which he retired in 2010. He has not intentionally limited his subject matter, but an additional interest in world-wide travel and the classical world have allowed him to concentrate on architectural and monumental subjects.  Sam says that what he likes about photography is that it makes one look at both the broad view and the details of what is presented to your eyes. That allows for finding surprising items in apparently mundane scenes.

Joe Quezada – August 2013

“In my years of evolvement in the arts the attitude I wanted was to be different and exceptional at what was created.  I’ve tried the traditional forms and it seemed my work was like everyone else and in my mind did not set me apart. I have developed a new art form using conventional drywall mud and would love your input as to what you think, as I am striving to be the best I can be.  I hope you enjoy my leather masks, something new I’ve been working on, but have not had the time to devote to as much as I would like to.”

Tanna Rose – September 2016

From her earliest memory, Tanna Rose loved to draw. In elementary school, she discovered new art techniques from her art teachers and often won ribbons for her work. In high school, she was fortunate to attend a school that had a good art department and a very good teacher. Again, she often won awards for her work. She was awarded her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Ringling School of Art and Design.   Professionally, Tanna Rose has worked over 25 years in the graphics industry, including five years at Ebsco Media; nine and a half years at Southern Progress Corporation, working with both Southern Living and Cooking Light Magazines; a local advertising agency, and is presently at WMU.  From 2004 to 2008, she executed numerous portrait commissions. Her favorite painting medium is oils and her favorite drawing mediums include pencil, pastel, and conte, though she has worked with a variety of other mediums. Raising a family, working, and a busy life style have limited the time she has been able to devote to her love of fine arts. She hopes that she will soon be able to express her passion for art more in her paintings and drawings.

Grady Sue Saxon – August 2015

Grady Sue, who was raised in Auburn, did not become formally involved with the visual arts until the 1960s when she moved to the Huffman area of Birmingham and joined PACE, an organization of artists who encouraged each other and offered workshops and demonstrations in various media.  While in Huffman, she participated in workshops conducted by Janet Tillery, Helen Adams, and Ron Lewis.   Before that she doodled on scraps of paper, made posters for her classrooms, and wrote poetry.  Grady Sue’s mother was a watercolor artist who painted only one year of her life.  Her two sisters were artists who specialized in pencil drawings.  Her mother-in-law, Beatrice Saxon, an elementary school art teacher, instructed her in sculpturing in clay.  The artist says she enjoys the challenge of different media and has tried just about all of them that are readily available.   She likes variety and enjoys the challenge of learning something new.  The artist is a dual member of the Birmingham branch of the National League of American Pen Women as a poet and as a visual artist.  She has served on the Board of Directors of the Leeds Arts Council since 1986 and has been Chairman of the Visual Arts Committee since 2000.  In that capacity, she was responsible for scheduling and hanging over 175 artists’ exhibits in the Leeds Arts Council gallery.   For 12 years she served as chairman of LAC’s art show at the Leeds Creek Bank Festival.  As president of the Leeds Arts Council, she founded the Leeds Community Chorus and still sings with the group.  She is an award-winning member of the Alabama State Poetry Society, a past state president of the National League of American Pen Women, and an active member of the Leeds Area Open Circle Poets which is sponsored by LAC.  Her photographs have been exhibited at St. Vincent’s East, at the Leeds Jane Culbreth Library, and in NLAPW’s annual exhibits.  Her photo of dogwood blossoms was included in Birds and Blooms Magazine’s 2011 yearly planner.  Her poetry was recently accepted into the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International’s juried online Arts and Humanities Gallery.

Joyce Schilling – September 2013

The artist  has enjoyed creative activities  throughout  her life. As a child  growing up in Alabama,  she dug up red clay to make sculptures. A set of oil paints she  received from her mother  started her on her artistic journey.   Joyce always enjoyed doing art projects with her daughters  and when her neighbors  began buying her paintings,  this encouraged Joyce to take workshops and enter art shows.  She has taken classes from Bill Hill, Ron Lewis and other area artists.    She also enjoys creating art with  her granddaughters. Joyce works in watercolors, acrylics and oils. She also designs vintage jewelry for a variety of boutiques and has been featured in Victoria Bliss Magazine. The artist has been an exhibiting artist  at Artists Incorporated since 2003 and has received a Best of Show award at Aldridge Gardens. She is a member of the Hoover Art Alliance.

Charles L. Smith – July 2015

The artist, a Leeds resident, is a retired infantry officer, master parachutist, Vietnam veteran, cancer survivor and occasional Santa.  In 1984, while stationed at Fort Benning, Charlie took his daughter to a workshop at the Columbus Museum of Arts and Science and picked up a paintbrush for the first time.  Working from books and television, Charlie taught himself how to paint with some award winning success.  In 1986, he took his first formal art class with Donnie Bitner in Cocoa Beach, Florida.  He entered graduate school and the University of Central Florida in 1996 and earned his Florida teaching certification in Art Education.  Charlie taught painting in Satellite Beach from 1991-2009.  He has been featured in both local and national publications.

Buddy Spradley – November 2012

Spradley received a degree in Art from Jacksonville University and in Art Education from the University of Alabama.  He is an educator in the Pell City School System.  He has had many opportunities to teach art on various grade levels and feels that teaching children in school and in Sunday school has been a calling from God. Art has been an important aspect of Spradley’s life for as long as he can remember.  Having a father who is an internationally known artist was a difficult act to follow, but he was determined to do his own thing and experiment with as many kinds of media as possible.  Going to art exhibitions and museums exposed him to many different types of art and artists and helped him develop his own sense of creativity.  He is a very emotional artist and can feel what he is painting and sense the moment he is trying to capture.  Like his father, Wayne Spradley, he physically and emotionally feels color and mood in a painting.  He paints mainly realism but occasionally ventures into the abstract. The artist refers to his father as “a great teacher and advisor” and says that he was the biggest influence on his work. He designed the city seal for the City of Pell City; illustrated many projects for church; and has painted murals in locations ranging from churches, schools, nursing facilities, and peoples’ homes.  He has also taught many workshops and summer art programs, mainly for children.

Alice Tillery – March 2015

Trussville Photography Club – July 2018

The Trussville Photography Club began in the summer of 2016.  Participants in this show are: Laura Brayman, Rebecca Brayman, Maura Davies, Teri Dunlap, Pam Falbo, Mike Gardner, Jim Georgeson, Mary Georgeson, Lara Gowder, LaTrelle Grayson, Deb Hendrick, Anna Houser, Tina Houser, Art Hummel, Neal Kelsoe, Mike McGary, Patricia Nerome, Laura Parker, Rob Stamm, Kevin Wheeler, Barbie Williams, and Roger Williams.

Lowell Vann – September 2015

Dr. Vann earned degrees at Howard College (now Samford University), the University of Alabama, and Florida State University.  He taught in the Cullman County schools, at the University of Alabama, and at Samford University, where he was chair of the Art Department from 1970 to 2006.  As an ordained minister since 1956, he has served at several churches and has done over 1600 chalk-drawing presentations for worship services throughout the southeastern United States.  Since 1999, he has served on the board of directors for Artists Incorporated, a local cooperative gallery in Vestavia Hills, where his work in painting and pottery is currently exhibited.  “When viewers contemplate my work in painting, they see quite a variety of subject matter, painting techniques, and handling of the media of expression.  My subject matter runs the gamut from quite realistic through abstraction to completely non-objective.  Yet even in realism, I look for abstract principles, concepts or composition.  In abstraction, I look for pattern and distinct composition of objects and form.  In non-objective works, I like to experiment with color, textures, surfaces, and with combinations of objects and three-dimensional effects.  I began in realism, but in undergraduate and graduate studies I moved heavily (almost exclusively) into abstract expressionism.  After that, while teaching, I found the freedom to experiment and explore.  I have found that I tire rather easily of doing the same type work on the long term, so I change often and pursue new ventures until I feel comfortable with some mastery of the adventure (sometimes feeling that I have gone far enough for that time), and leave it for a later return with a new perspective.  Then there is something intriguing enough to begin searching anew.  In other words, I enjoy what I do, finding challenge in new adventure and experimentation.  I hope you enjoy viewing my attempts to find what art means to me.”

Bruce Watford – May 2018

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.  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.  Recently he began using Photoshop to digitally create pieces, 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 photos of businessmen.  In both styles, he represents the isolation, loneliness, and loss of identity of people disappearing into the contemporary cyberspace culture.  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.

Lynne Whittington – October 2013

The artist paints to express herself and for the peace and emotional release it provides.  She says that she sketched and dabbled in paints from the time she was a child but considers herself to be a “late bloomer” as an artist. It wasn’t until twelve years ago, following a career as a Nurse Practitioner and raising a family, that she began to focus on her art.  She states that her creativity and appreciation of the beauty around her comes from God.  She has learned much of her technique from studying with Ron Lewis. The artist’s time is divided between oil and watercolor.  She loves the creamy rich texture  of oils but is equally enthralled by the vibrancy  and clearness of watercolor. Lynne’s paintings tend to reflect the beauty she sees in the world around her.  The beauty  may be in the nature of her surroundings, simple objects that catch her eye, or in the people she sees.  Her hope is that when her paintings are viewed, the beauty or uniqueness that inspired her is seen.

Jonathan Williams – December 2018

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.  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 also participated in the National Art Honor Society.

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