Dozens turn out for SCAC exhibit

2Blu and the Lucky Stiffs perform March 8 at the Shelby County Arts Council's Regional Folk Art Exhibit.


By KATIE MCDOWELL/Lifestyles Editor

COLUMBIANA–Dozens of people packed into the Shelby County Arts Council in Columbiana March 9 for the opening reception of the Regional Folk Art Exhibit.

Guests examined brightly colored paintings hung on the walls, and listened to blues music played by 2Blu and the Lucky Stiffs, led by guest curator Bruce Andrews. The exhibit featured the works of three Southern folk artists: Lennie Jones, She-She Vaughn and Elnora Spencer.

Jones, the featured artist, also was scheduled to participate in a student outreach program sponsored by the SCAC at the Shelby County Detention Center. Jones, a self-taught artist, said he felt a personal connection to the program.

“I turned 18 in jail,” he said. “I want (the kids) to realize they don’t have to stay where they are now.”

An alcoholic, Jones quit drinking and managed to turn his life around after he was released from prison.

“Seven years later, I got hired as a federal agent in the Everglades,” he said to laughs and applause in the crowd.

SCAC Executive Director Terri Sullivan said she was pleased with the turnout and credited Susan Dennis Gordon, director of arts and education, with the event.

“Susan had the great idea,” she said.

Sullivan said Andrews also did a great job as guest curator.

The SCAC is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting arts and culture in Shelby County.

The Regional Folk Art Exhibit will be on display March 8-April 26 at the SCAC, 104 Mildred Street, Columbiana. For more information, visit Shelbycountyartscouncil.com.