Home Artistic creation Valley Arts Council to Host Memorial Art Exhibit – Valley Times-News

Valley Arts Council to Host Memorial Art Exhibit – Valley Times-News


VALLEY – There has been a lot of reaction to the Valley Arts Council’s plan to hold its first-ever memorial art exhibition featuring the works of gifted local artists who have died. Descendants and friends of these artists have shown great interest in seeing their loved one’s artistic creations exhibited in a local exhibition. The arts council memorial show will take place the weekend of June 11-12 at the Valley Community Center. The works on display will include photographs of the deceased artists and background information about them.

At a Wednesday afternoon gathering in the Community Center’s Hood-Gray Room, family members and friends of late artists showed some of the artwork that will be on display and spoke about their loved one’s passion for artistic expression. Bill and Wiky Gladden from West Point were there with a large acrylic artwork by Bill’s mother, Frances Gladden. It shows a potted geranium and is so well done that it looks like an enlarged photograph.

The daughter of a college professor, Frances Baker (Gladden) was born in Arkadelphia, Arkansas in 1917. The family later moved to Atlanta, and young Frances was able to spend time in New York and even Berlin, in Germany, before World War II. . In 1941, she married Dr. Joseph R. Gladden. They had three children: Joe Jr., John Baker and William Cary “Bill” Gladden. Besides being a wife, mother and community volunteer, Frances was an artist. She started out as a medical illustrator, graduating from Vanderbilt University illustrating medical textbooks.

“She captured so much beauty of the world on canvas,” said Bill. “She accompanied my father on fishing trips and spent her time drawing and painting. She even took a trip to the Greek islands and painted beautiful watercolor artwork. Above all, we remember her for her flowers. She couldn’t wait for spring every year to have new subjects. All over the valley you can see its reflections in his art. She has spent many hours learning, teaching and creating. For that, we are very grateful that Frances was given the talent to share the beauty of God’s creation with the world.

Works of art made by another world traveler will be exhibited during the show. Patty Scalf was at Wednesday’s meeting with a painting of her late husband Dee Scalf. They spent a lot of time in the Middle East doing missionary work. Mr. Scalf painted many Middle Eastern scenes that he saw. His Jerusalem paintings depict such scenes in the Praetorium, where Jesus took up the cross; the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Western Wall, the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

Pam Gibson and Mia Breland were there with a portrait of Mary and baby Jesus by Anna Ruth Sands Gibson. She was Pam’s mother and Mia’s grandmother. Gibson was born in 1909 and hailed from the community of Riverview. She attended school in Riverview and later attended LaGrange College. She taught art for many years at Riverview. She liked to paint figurines. There’s a picture of her in one of The Westpointer magazines decorating a float for a West Point Christmas parade.

Debbie Williams was at Wednesday’s meeting with a flower-framed painting by her late mother, Mary Morgan. She was born Mary Ussery in the Bacon Level community of Randolph County and graduated from Handley High School in Roanoke. After high school, she married Curtis Morgan and they made Roanoke their home. They moved to Fairfax in 1964.

“His love of flowers — and a lot of hard work — resulted in beautiful gardens at their home on Greenberry Circle,” Williams said. “All of his formal artistic training took place after his retirement from the Sears catalog store in Lanett in 1981.”

Morgan studied watercolor at Southern Union State Junior College and earned Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Certificates. She also received lessons in landscape and floral painting from Laura Lanier, acrylic painting from Frances Gladden and watercolor from Jim Longshore. She also took art classes taught by Ruth Hanson.

“Mom liked to work with her hands,” Williams said. “In addition to art, her hobbies included sewing, crocheting, flower gardening, flower arranging, embroidery and cooking.”

Morgan died in 2018.

Amy Newsome from Valley brought a landscape painting done by her best friend Gena Montalbano.

“I met Gena when I was 16,” Newsome said. “She was my youth group leader in our church. Gena was very active in the church and in community programs like the Boy Scouts. His son, Matthew, was a Cub at the same time as my son. We were den mothers together.

“Gena loved to paint, crochet and do just about any craft project she could find,” Newsome added. “She always had a great eye for beautiful things. Gena was my friend and was friends with many people in the community. She was 62 when she died, and we still miss her.

A keen local historian, Judy Bledsoe has arranged for some of the works by Langdale natives Leon Duffey and Dan Parkman to be displayed at the upcoming Memorial Art Show. One of Parkman’s paintings dates back to 1927, when he was at Langdale Primary School. He would go on to create some of the iconic images the Langdale Kindergarten (aka The Cotton Duck) is known for – rabbits and ducks.

William and Brenda Howell from the Birmingham area were in town on Wednesday to lend one of William’s mother’s paintings to the show. It is a framed painting of a decorated Christmas tree and is treasured by the family. William’s mother, Mary Howell, was from the Penton community in Chambers County. She married and moved to Fairfax, where William grew up. “She loved to paint, especially watercolors,” he said.

She died in 1996.

Amber Morris brought an artwork made by her grandmother, Frances Carroll (1920-1961).

“She was a well-known performer in Chambers County in the 1940s and 1950s,” Morris said. “She taught art at LaGrange College for several years. Frances was married to Cecil Carroll. In 1951, they adopted a newborn and named him Donald Cecil Carroll, calling him Don for short.

“Frances and Cecil have had a great life with their careers and Don’s upbringing,” Morris said. “Frances loved to paint and Cecil was a well known local photographer. They worked together to make many paintings and pictures,” Morris said.

Some of Cecil Carroll’s best-known images include scenes from the early Christmas merry-go-round and other familiar holiday scenes in the Valley. He took the picture of Langdale Meadow hanging in the stairwell of the LaFayette Lanier Theater.

Anita Bowles, daughter of Clinton “The Walkin’ Man” Kirk, was there to talk about some of her father’s works. Mr. Kirk was gifted as a folk artist. He loved making cars and houses out of Popsicle sticks and went to great lengths to do so. He made chimneys from small river stones glued together and cut the scales from pine cones and placed them as shingles on the roof. Mr. Kirk loved seeing the reactions of his friends when he presented them with these amazing items as gifts.

On March 15, 2010, Mr. Kirk received a key to the town of Valley at a council meeting. He got his nickname from his love of walking for exercise in the Todd Addition neighborhood where he lived. This kept him going until he was in his nineties.

Lisa Patterson brought artwork made by her mother, Jeanette Mason. This is a beautifully realized image of hydrangeas in full bloom.

For years, Mrs. Mason and her husband, Evan, ran the Curb Market village on HHighway 29 between Shawmut and Langdale. Ms. Mason taught art and exhibited many of her paintings in local art shows organized by the Valley Arts Council.

Arts Council Chair Suzie Britt had artwork made by her mother, Betty “June” Brown Wheat, who died aged 90 last June.

Wheat was a graduate of the University of Georgia in art education and design. She taught in the Atlanta city school system for several years and completed her teaching career at Southern Union State Community College. She wasis an avid animal activist and has helped in every way possible to protect and help animals and pets.