Parnell Memorial Gallery displays work of plein air artist

Published 4:07 pm Friday, July 1, 2011

Artist Donna Chieves paints in the open air. (Contributed/Hank Siegel)

By CATHERINE LEGG / Community Columnist

Folks in Montevallo and the surrounding area are very fortunate to have the opportunity to view the works of Donna Chieves currently exhibited in the Parnell Memorial Library Art Gallery. The reception honoring the artist is July 10 at 2 p.m. in the gallery, and her paintings will be on display from July 5 until Aug. 26.

Donna Chieves is an extremely fine artist who paints en plein air (in the open air) and is commonly known as an impressionist. As was described in the April 20 issue of the Gadsden Times, “A plein air artist captures dancing sunlight with a flick of the wrist, a spring garden in a swirl of color and historic architecture with a few brushstrokes. While it seems like magic, painting the landscape on location requires a mixture of talent, years of observation, study and practice.”

That beautifully describes Donna Chieves.

The artist’s favorite mediums are oil and watercolor, and in addition to outdoor scenes, she loves painting portraits of people and animals

She holds a bachelor degree from the University of Montevallo in addition to a B.S. from Oglethorpe University. She also studied painting in Paris, India, the Atlanta College of Art and Georgia State University, and she has participated in frequent workshops and received many honors and awards

Chieves spoke of her art studies in Montevallo, “Young people of college age cannot understand the burning desire for further education that can flame up in the later years of life. I wanted so badly to have a college diploma that would validate all my years of varied art study, and UM let me in! Looking back, I must have been a total dork to the younger students because I had so much fun that I literally skipped to class. Every single word uttered by the professors was a joy to my ears. I graduated with a major in art in December of 2001 at the age of 59.5.”

Donna Chieves lives in Hoover, and her work can be seen at the Arceneaux Art Gallery in Birmingham, the Hi Cotton Gallery in Alexander City and the Stonehenge Art Gallery in Montgomery.

The art gallery is a project of the Montevallo Arts Council. You will find exhibits of fine art there throughout the year. The gallery is free and open to the public during regular library hours. For more information, go to

Catherine Legg can be reached at