Helen Keller Art Show comes to Columbiana

Published 12:45 pm Friday, February 2, 2024

By EMILY REED | Special to the Reporter

COLUMBIANA – Singer Dave Crenshaw has learned to use his musical talents to help encourage others around him, despite losing his eyesight in 2020.

Crenshaw was a performer at the Shelby County Arts Council’s opening reception of the annual Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama. The opening reception was held Jan. 21 from 3-5 p.m.

“I started losing my sight due to issues with Glaucoma,” Crenshaw said to the crowd before performing one of his original songs. “I went all over the world and they said there was nothing they could do for me, but I didn’t let that stop me. I was down, and I wanted to give up, but I said no, this is my purpose and I am going to use this to motivate other people. You can still do what you need to do and your dreams can come true.”

Crenshaw said music is something that brings people together.

“Even if I can’t speak a different language, I can communicate with music,” Crenshaw told the crowd.

The Helen Keller Art Show is a traveling juried art exhibit displayed throughout the state and is open to Alabama students who have visual impairments, blindness and or deaf blindness, according to information provided by the Shelby County Arts Council.

The artists are of various ages attending public, private, residential and home schools. This year’s art show began at the Arts Council, located at 105 West College St. in Columbiana. Children who participate in the show use various mediums to create one-of-a-kind masterpieces.

“The arts are included in the children’s academic curriculum to assist in the development of communication skills utilizing both visual and tactical media,” read an official release by the Shelby County Arts Council. “Art is also included as part of their math, science, reading and leisure time activities. The artwork is unique with an emphasis on creativity, color and tactile media.”

Students’ artwork is exhibited in an open reception ceremony at the beginning of the year. After which the artwork is exhibited in various museums and venues throughout the state. The work in the show will be displayed at the Shelby County Arts Council’s  Grande Corridor Gallery until Saturday, Feb. 24. Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The show is sponsored in part by the Shelby County Arts Council, the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry Vision Science Research Center, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, the Susan F. Schmitt Trust, Purchase Award Individuals and agencies and private donations.

For more information about the Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama, or to purchase a piece of artwork, contact Shirley J. Wilson at sjwilson@uab.edu or by calling (205) 482-5201.