Thursday, April 26, 2012


Wyatt Waters captures a fast flowing stream in vibrant colors.
With 15 professional plein air painters in town, the walls of the Gadsden Museum of Art soon fill with amazing art!  For locals the Southeastern Plein Air Invitational offers a chance to see sights we see everyday in a new, exciting, and provocative light--light very literally.  The plein air artists seek to capture not just the subject but also the fleeting light effects of a spring day in the south.  For everyone the collection offers the chance to share the experience of being there with the artist, seeing what the artist sees, and appreciating the beauty of nature.

Here is a link to view the over 150 paintings created between April 9 and 13.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Jill Berry finds blooms bordering a path--the essence of a spring walk.

Craig Reynolds combines dappled light and smooth water to create a spring memory.

Wyatt Waters captured the art deco green-and-black front of a White Castle Cafe from the mid-twentieth century.

Ron Bayens discovered a street fair and came back with a painting of a slice of life for the kid in everyone.

Today is Artist's Choice day at the Southeastern Plein Air Invitational--artists can go anywhere in the city/county and find the subject that most represents their style. To see the results of their search, join the artist at the opening reception at the Gadsden Museum of Art, 515 Broad Street, Gadsden--Friday, April 13, 6-8 p.m.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Artists will find the streetscape of Broad Street in Gadsden little changed from that shown in vintage postcards. Many storefronts feature the original owner's name and the date when they were built--the oldest from the turn of the 20th Century with others added through mid-century. The same is true for Alabama City and Attalla--all possible destinations for the first day of the Southeastern Plein Air Invitational.

Artists will find many architectural gems waiting to be painted including:

  • Movie palace marquee--the Pitman in Gadsden and the Ritz in Alabama City.
  • A prime example of Art Deco style, the former White Palace with its green glass facade banded in black on Broad Street in Gadsden.
  • The 50s vibe at the Magic Burger with its turquoise and red color scheme and original sign topped by an ice cream cone (halfway between Gadsden and Attalla).
  • The Nichols Memorial Library built in 1899, the first public library building in Alabama and listed on the National Register of Historical Places, it anchors Alabama City's Wall Street.
  • Alabama Power got its start in Attalla and the office there has the only remaining Reddy Kilowatt sign, the company's original logo.
  • The main intersection in Attalla features the former Walker's Drug with its original sign (now an antique store), a florist and wedding chapel, the city bell and gazebo.

What will the artist choose? Streetscape, architectural gem, storefronts with colorful merchandise, street vendors, or people shopping? After Monday night, we will know because the artists must turn in each day's paintings at the Gadsden Museum of Art. Visitors to the museum can see them on the following day. But none will be for sale until the reception Friday night, 6-8 p.m. The public is invited to meet the artists and see Gadsden, Alabama City, and Attalla through their eyes.

For daily information on the Invitational:

Follow this blog on and other information on the Gadsden Museum of Art web site (

Call or visit the museum (515 Broad Street in Gadsden, 256 546-7365)

Friday, April 6, 2012

ART QUEST: 15 Chances to Win Art Collectables

Left: Sample of Art Quest postcard.

The season for hunting Easter eggs may be over but another quest begins during the Southeastern Plein Air Invitational, April 9-13. In the fourth year of the event a new feature has been added—ART QUEST! 15 chances to win sketches, studies, and other art collectables donated by the 15 professional artists painting on location in the Gadsden area. Three ways to join in Art Quest:

1) See the artists painting on location and view the finished paintings in the Gadsden Museum of Art galleries.

2) Collect a postcard from each artist. The postcards are a free souvenir of the experience and include the artist’s picture, a reproduction of a painting showing their distinctive style, and a quote explaining their approach to creating art.

3) Collect five different postcards to become eligible for the drawing of sketches, studies, or prints from the plein air artists. Simply show your postcards at the Blue Umbrella (information central for each location), or at the Gadsden Museum of Art office during the week, or bring the postcards to the opening reception to enter the drawing.

The drawing will be held during the opening reception on Friday, April 13, 6-8 p.m., at the museum.

The public is invited to see the week’s paintings, meet the artists, and congratulate the Art Quest winners. All works completed during the event will be on exhibit and awards winners will be announced at the reception. All paintings will be available for purchase. Paintings will continue on exhibit through May 14.

Postcards will be available every day but some locations make collecting the cards easier.

Monday, April 9, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the artists will be painting in downtown Gadsden, Attalla, and Alabama City.

Wednesday, April 11, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. artists will be in the parks along the Coosa River including Coosa Landing (the city boat dock), Lafferty’s landing boardwalk, Jack Ray Family Park (behind the Hampton Inn), and James Martin Wildlife Park (behind the mall).

Friday, April 13, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., find the artists in Gadsden’s historic residential neighborhoods—Turrentine and Haralson Avenues; Argyle Circle; Reynolds, Walnut and Chestnut Streets.

The two other days of the event artists will be more widely distributed and in less accessible situations: On Tuesday, April 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the area around Gallant and on Thursday, April 12, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the artists are on their own to find the locations they most want to capture in paint.

To find daily information on the Invitational:

  • Look for the Blue Umbrella on location.
  • Consult the GMA Web site and follow the event in this blog.
  • Call GMA (236 546-7365) or stop by the museum at 515 Broad Street
Staff and volunteers will be available to assist visitors.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Nationally Known Artists Coming to Gadsden

Artists will converge on Gadsden beginning April 9-13 for the fourth Southeastern Plein Air Invitational hosted by the Gadsden Museum of Art (GMA). With gallery shows, Web sites, award winning paintings, and eager collectors, these professionals could paint anywhere but choose to come to Gadsden for its scenic beauty and friendly, informal atmosphere.

V….Vaughn (her signature is as original as her artwork) toured the U.S. with her one-woman show of 365 plein air paintings recording the last days of her family’s farm in Texas, a show that ended its run at GMA. She has painted in Gadsden several times and conducted workshops for local artists. Several of her paintings are in the permanent collection of GMA and in private collections here.

Dot Courson of Pontotac, Mississippi, is making her third trip to Gadsden. At last year’s event she won the top award in the Quick Draw Competition, a special feature of the Southeastern Plein Air Invitational where artists must complete a painting in only two hours. In March, 2012, Courson had a solo exhibit at a gallery in Tupelo. As a member of Women Painters of the Southeast her work will be on exhibit at a gallery in Jacksonville, lorida, beginning April 27. Millie Gosch of Roswell, Georgia, who was also juried into the Women Painters of the Southeast, will be returning for her second painting trip to Gadsden.

Two artists will be adding an international flavor-- Dmitriy Proshkin, originally from Russia but now living near Chattanooga, and Ron Bayens, originally from Canada but now living in Auburn. Proshkin has painted in Gadsden many times and his works are in the permanent collection of the GMA and private collections here. Bayens painted in Gadsden at the 2009 event and turned a rainy day downtown into a painting that is now part of the permanent collection of the GMA.

John Guernsey, originally from southern California but now living in Marietta, Georgia, is a favorite of local art collectors. His painting of Noccalula Falls was acquired for the permanent collection of the GMA and fellow artists have voted his work ‘best in show’ for the last two years. Another painter making a splash with a painting of Noccalula Falls, Katrina Weber of Huntsville, will be returning this year. Her close-up view of water rushing over the falls shows how an artist can take scene familiar to thousands and turn it into original

Craig Reynolds of Rainbow City and Gina Brown of Glencoe demonstrate that artistic talent doesn’t have to be imported. Their understanding of the locales, scenery, and history of Gadsden add a special depth to their paintings. Both have paintings in the permanent
collection of GMA but their paintings don’t always stay local: Reynolds is represented by galleries in Charleston and New Orleans and Brown by galleries in Northport, AL and Charleston.

Jill Berry from Pensacola, Florida, made an impression on her first trip to Gadsden last year with her bright, colorful garden scenes and use of the palette knife to add a lively texture to her paintings. She is returning for her second year and will be joined by artists participating for the first time including:

Amy Peterson from Hoover, AL

Karen Weir from Catherine, AL

Amanda Carder from Cummin, GA

Charles Young Walls from Atlanta, GA

Wyatt Waters from Clinton, MS.

Come see Gadsden through the eyes of the 15 professional artists who will be painting in Gadsden April 9-13.

Join the artists on location or at the opening reception on Friday, April 13, 6-8 p.m. All works completed during the event will be on exhibit and awards winners will be announced. All paintings will be available for purchase at the reception and online. The exhibition will continue through May 14.

To find daily information on the Invitational:

Look for the Blue Umbrella on location--volunteers will be available to assist visitors.

Consult the GMA Web site and follow the event on this GMA daily blog.

Stop by GMA at 515 Broad Street, Gadsden.

For online sales go to Or, call GMA (236 546-7365).

Friday, March 23, 2012

Signs of Spring

Sun is out, ground is wet, sky is blue, flowers are in full bloom - and it isn't even April yet! Hope the beauty of the season holds for another two weeks! Fifteen artists from six states will be in town (beginning the day after Easter )painting on location every day for your viewing pleasure. Call for more information on exact locations each day! See you 'round town' for the Southeastern Plein Air Invitational! EC

Saturday, February 18, 2012


River, mountains, historic architecture, and spring gardens make Gadsden an art destination for 15 professional artists attending the fourth annual Southeastern Plein Air Invitational, April 9-l3. Alabama artists will be joined by those from Texas,Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee for a week of painting “en plein air” (in the open air).

Hosted by the Gadsden Museum of Art this year’s event features popular local artists Craig Reynolds and Gina Brown; returning favorites Virginia Vaughn, Dmitry Proshkin, and John Guernsey; and artists new to the event. Locations include parks along the Coosa, the three historic downtowns of Gadsden, Alabama City, and Attalla, and other scenic vistas around Etowah County.
In the five days of on-location painting, the artists will create over 150 original paintings. The public is invited to watch the artists daily. Paintings will be on exhibit and for sale beginning with a reception on Friday, April 13, 6-8 p.m. The exhibition continues through May 12.
For additional information, contact the Gadsden Museum of Art (256 547-7365 or Watch this blog for news on event planning, the arrival and experiences of the artists, the reception and sale, and the exhibition.