Art Colony Members on exhibit

Published 2:57 pm Friday, July 2, 2010

When asked to put together a show at the Parnell Memorial Art Gallery, Laurie Orr Binion decided to include the works of fellow members of the Alabama Art Colony.

“This show is a sample of art work done by participants in the annual week-long colony meeting on Lake Martin,” said Binion. “I picked out art by artists with connections to Montevallo and then some art that I just liked.”

The Montevallo showing, entitled The Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Colony Exhibit, opened on May 19 and will close Aug. 6.

The public is invited to a reception on Sunday, July 11, at 2 p.m. at the gallery.

The exhibit boasts a wide variety of extremely interesting creations by Binion, Sarah Carlisle Towery, Cecily Orr Hulett, Langley Tolbert and others.

Hulett, Tolbert and Binion all grew up in Montevallo; went to elementary and high school in the community and then off to universities.

Towery, on the other hand, came to the town as an adult in the 1940s;, began her professional career at the University of Montevallo (then Alabama College) and taught at the high school. Many remember her with great fondness and respect.

Towery was the founder of the Alabama Art Colony.

On her 80th birthday, her children, Carlisle, Sarah Wade, and Misha Sampson, wanted to do something very special for her.

According to the information on the website of the Art Colony, “They invited a few of Sarah’s artist friends to come to Lake Martin and paint.

They provided them with a place to stay and before the week was through, they knew that this magic of friendship and creativity must continue.

Thus, the Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Colony on Lake Martin, was born.

This year the organization, renamed the Alabama Art Colony, is celebrating its 17th year and has grown from seven to more than 50 members from all over the U.S. in addition to those from Canada and France.

The artists come together once a year for five days of painting and instruction.

Towery (deceased 1907) had an illustrious background. She studied in the U.S., Europe, and Mexico, was a charter member of the World Art Workshop, and was awarded the Alabama Governors Award for the Arts.

She had one-woman shows in New York, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Wilmington, N.C.

The exhibit at Parnell Memorial Library Gallery and the reception are sponsored by the Montevallo Arts Council and were coordinated by board member Binion.

The gallery is open during regular library hours.

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