Langley Tolbert’s paintings show at library

Published 4:05 pm Monday, March 18, 2013

Montevallo Arts Council Board members Elizabeth Pellathy and Suzanne Hurst discuss one of Langley Tolbert’s abstracts. (contributed)

Montevallo Arts Council Board members Elizabeth Pellathy and Suzanne Hurst discuss one of Langley Tolbert’s abstracts. (contributed)

By CATHERINE LEGG / Community Columnist

Many Montevallo folks will remember, with fondness, the artist whose work is currently displayed at the Parnell Memorial Library Art Gallery. The southern abstract painter and jewelry designer, Langley Tolbert, spent her junior high and high school years in Montevallo.

The artist’s paintings will be featured by the Montevallo Arts Council the entire months of March and April. On March 24, there will be a reception along with an artist talk in the gallery from 3-5 p.m. The public is invited to that reception.

“Langley’s use of color and texture reflects the energy of her personality,” said Patt Odom, painter and arts instructor. “She approaches the canvas spontaneously, in the moment, reacting to her shapes, colors and textures as she works. Without pre-determining the outcome, the finished painting evolves from the process itself.”

Langley uses a variety of media. She paints on both canvas and wood, using acrylics, house paint, stains, thickening compounds, papers and found objects to achieve the desired effect. As a jewelry designer, she works with gemstones, crystals, precious metals, found objects, colored glass and her own handmade ceramic beads.

To this writer’s untrained eye, her paintings are bright, colorful and most interesting. Discovering their true meaning may be challenging, but that does nothing to tarnish the enjoyment, and one might imagine different meanings at each viewing.

Langley has won many awards in juried competitions, and her work is a part of numerous corporate and private collections. She is also available for custom work.

The daughter of Bruce and Carolyn Tolbert, Langley is the sister of Bart Tolbert, who is the music director at the First United Methodist Church.

The mother of two lives in Dadeville where she paints fulltime in her studio overlooking Lake Martin.

Though she loves her life there, she admits that Montevallo is still her favorite small town.

Our artist gained her education at the University of Alabama and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, along with summer classes at the University of Montevallo (then Alabama College). Her bachelor of arts degree came from UNC.


Catherine Legg can be reached by email at