First lady emcees arts luncheon

By KATIE MCDOWELL/Lifestyles Editor

COLUMBIANA – Fashion and art met again Feb. 2 with “A Celebration of the Arts” at the First Baptist Church.

The annual luncheon, which was renamed this year, was sponsored by the Alabama Federation of Women’s Clubs of Shelby County: the Columbiana Culture Club, Novella Club of Columbiana and Vignette Club. Alabama First Lady Dianne Bentley emceed the luncheon.

“An event like this would not happen without a lot of hard work and creativity,” she said.

Bentley said her husband, Gov. Robert Bentley, is originally from Columbiana and his sister was a watercolor artist and a member of the Culture Club.

“After being married to Robert for over 47 years, each time I come to Columbiana I feel like I’m coming home,” she said.

Proceeds from the event benefited the Shelby County Arts Council, a non-profit organization that offers arts education and programs throughout the county.

During the luncheon, SCAC Executive Director Terri Sullivan announced the official launch of a capital campaign to raise money to fund the creation of a 26,000-square-foot performing arts and education center in Columbiana.

“The performing arts and education center in Columbiana will not only serve as an economic engine bringing new life to Main Street, but it will also enrich lives,” Bentley said.

Several artists from the Shelby County Arts Council donated art that was sold at the luncheon with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the organization. Pottery made by SCAC members also decorated the tables and was available for sale.

The fashion show, presented by Belk, featured women and children’s spring fashion trends, which were modeled by local residents and pageant winners, including Miss Shelby County Jamie Brooks, Miss Shelby County Outstanding Teen Sydney Slaughter and Ms. Senior Alabama Niva Dorough.

Nancy Drakos of the Fish Market catered the luncheon.