An artistic feast for your eyes

Published 1:54 pm Monday, April 12, 2010

An artistic spirit captured artists and art lovers in Orr Park during the Montevallo Arts Festival April 10.

Sixty booths filled with artists, many of Shelby County, greeted park visitors enthusiastically.

“It’s exciting to be out here and meet so many other talented artists that practically live right down the road from me,” said Teresa Wamble of Calera.

Wamble proudly proclaims herself the Gourd Woman.

Filling her booth at the arts festival were gourds of all sizes, shapes and designs.

“I really don’t like painting them because it covers up the gourd,” Wamble said. “Instead, I try to use ink dies and shoe polish to let the gourd’s texture show through.”

Wamble’s gourds emulate Native American artwork, funky bugs and birds and exotically beautiful flora and fauna.

Gourds with naturally unique lines excite Wamble. She especially loves swan gourds and egg gourds.

Many of the gourds play practical as well as decorative rolls. They can be used as candleholders, potpourri canisters and even breadbaskets.

Wamble also creates necklaces out of dyed gourd seeds and glass beads, and rings from the stems of the gourds.

Further down the path stood artist Tym Davis’ booth.

Davis was asked to teach a sculpting course almost a decade ago as an art teacher at Hoover High. Preparing to do so sent him head first into the medium.

“I always loved to make things as a kid. For me sculpture is very tactile,” he said. “It’s more of an all over experience than painting.”

Davis began his artistic life as a painter. He earned a bachelor’s degree in studio art from the University of Montevallo.

He always found himself focused on figures and does so with his clay art even now. Davis starts out with wet clay meaning he must use a series of props to support the figures as he works.

Those figures he finds most challenging are those he tends to relish in the most.

“I like to work with a lot of movement,” Davis said. “So, I get inspiration from dancers and gymnasts, but also your every day person.”

One particular piece, the Leap Frog, involves two figures, one of which is supported on the back of another by its thin arms alone.

Davis’ favorite piece however portrays a seated figure with its arms wrapped around one knee. The image evokes a feeling of hopefulness, Davis said.

“Whenever I finish the figure I feel like they have expressions even though they don’t have faces,” Davis said. “I try to conceptualize that with the tilt of the head and the position of the body.”

He said many of the figures portray something within him.

“I honestly (sculpt) more for me than anything else,” he said. “I just have to do it – I don’t know why, it’s just a part of who I am.”

Visit to view more photos from the Montevallo Arts Festival.