Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Artisan Edition: Alabama Art Colony

by c.a. Marks

Well, today's Artisan Edition was going to be all about supporting your local art museum. I had planned to go to my local art museum, Huntsville Museum of Art, during lunch today and blog about my experience, but when I arrived at their doors today, I found them to be closed. I had no idea they were closed on Mondays. Which tells you that I am not a frequent visitor of the museum, which also should tell you that I had not been supporting MY local art community, not at that level anyway.

However, last week I purchased a family membership for the Huntsville Museum of Art and today was going to be my first visit as a member. I felt proud when I pulled up and parked right out front and deposited my fifty cents into the parking meter. I had high hopes of having a swell time in the museum. Ah, but it wasn't meant to be, not today anyway. I guess you can take a gander at what I will be doing tomorrow at lunch though. :-) At any rate, this brings me to another post I was going to do in the near future but I may as well do it now.

While surfing the internet for Alabama art events and whatnot I found this little gem; Alabama Art Colony. Now, I have done my fair share of art Googling before but I had never run across the art colony website, until now. This sounds absolutely amazing. I immediately emailed the point of contact and received a generous response - which I have posted below.
Dear Carol,

I am thrilled you would like to write about the Alabama Art Colony. I will be glad to assist you in any way I can. Our website www.alartcolony.org has all our information about our organization. We host the Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Colony the first week of October every year. The art Colony has been going on for about 17 years. It was started by the Carlisle Family in honor of Miss Sarah Carlisle Towery's birthday. All of her painting buddies from around the country gathered to paint every year. She was a fine lady and graduated from Black Mountain College. We miss Miss Sarah.

The Colony is a great week! It is a retreat for working artists to get to together to share ideas and grow. I learn as much from the other artists participating as I do from the instructors. We have 1-3 instructors every year. This year we have two instructors and an independent study class. We have 47 signed up so far. Harry's class has a waiting list. There are only a few spots left. The facilities are beautiful.

Children's Harbor is a very relaxing setting on Lake Martin. They have brand new facilities that we are very grateful that we get to use. We have a cook, Carolyn. She is wonderful and feeds us way too much! Night time socials are hosted by galleries. Stonehenge and Red Hill from Montgomery and Mac David's from Alexander City. We have informal group discussions lead by the instructors. We also have a very large permanent collection that we house at the Board of Education. The instructors choose the permanent collection pieces and the awards on the first night before they meet the artist participating. Each person is allowed to enter three.

I love the Art Colony and look forward to it every year! I can't wait to catch up with all my art friends and make new ones. It is very rejuvenating and we all encourage one another. It is not very often you get to be around so many people who share the same passion. There is so much positive energy.

Every year we have celebrated Miss Sarah's birthday, but last year was the first year she was not with us. We carried on the tradition and celebrated Hugh Williams birthday. He has been a huge influence and mentor to our colony for years. He was the first instructor when it started. He was awarded this year for the Governor's Alabama Arts Award. We are lucky to have him.

I hope this helps a little. I will be glad to answer any questions. I will also forward this to our president, Margaret George. She is incredible, it takes a ton of work to get this together each year. I will ask her to email you something also. Thank you so much for doing this. I would love for more people to know about the Alabama Art Colony.

Thank you, Catie Radney
WOW! Now is that not incredible or what? I LOVE art people! They are all so nice and kind and generous. And oh how I wish I could do art. I would go to this retreat in a second. I wonder if they would take people who couldn't paint a lick anyway? They all sound like so much fun to be around. Well, if you know of any artists then please feel free to pass this on to them. Alabama Art Colony's Mission Statement:
Alabama's Art Colony is committed to producing an enjoyable environment to educate, nurture and inspire artists through workshops. We will enhance the quality of life for the greater community by educating and providing opportunities to experience, appreciate and support the arts. We will contribute to the cultural enrichment of the city and its local communities through our on-going collection and exhibition of art and through partnerships with diverse community organizations that celebrate life and art. Alabama's Art Colony is a nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code & incorporated in the State of Alabama.. Founded from one event by a handful of dedicated local artists, the Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Colony has became more than just a meeting for artist once a year.
Go check out their website for more information at Alabama Art Colony. ------------------------------------------

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How funny that you posted this. The Art Colony is right here in my town. And Catie who wrote the letter is a friend of mine. I actually have 3 of her paintings in my home. The Art Colony is an amazing retreat for artists each year. We love that we live in a town that encourages such artistic endeavors.

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