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Clanton teacher’s art selected for exhibit

Julie Harrison and photographer Carl Burton with her Chilton County inspired artwork displayed at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts (Photo by: Krisi Parrish)

With a passion for art since the fifth grade, Julie Neussl Harrison, art teacher at Clanton Elementary School, is currently displaying her own work at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

Harrison, who completed an art degree from Huntington College in Montgomery two months ago, designed the selected piece as a final project for her last photography class.

Made with a combination of media including photographs, watercolor, acrylic and pencil assembled in a collage format, the piece is on display in the Artworks Corridor. Her piece focuses on the landscape of the Clanton Peach Tower and its surroundings.

“I knew I wanted to do something relevant to the county,” said Harrison. “This is where I work, where I graduated from, where my home is – and the peach tower says Chilton County so well.”

Harrison was accompanied by her family and friends at the opening reception.

“It was a passion of mine to finish my art degree,” said Harrison. “My professor Christopher Payne at Huntington recommended that I submit my work, and it was selected. It was such an honor.”

The student art show is held as part of the exhibition by Carl Burton, who has been a professional photographer for 30 years, and has documented the distinctive landscapes of Europe and the United States with particular focus on New York City.

Harrison began taking private art lessons at an early age from local artist Scarlet Teel. She has been teaching art to elementary students for 10 years.

Along with her art degree, Harrison has an undergraduate degree in elementary education, an education specialist degree and teacher leadership from the University of Montevallo.

“I encourage everyone to get involved in an art class,” Harrison said. “It might inspire you or spark your interest to learn more.”

The exhibit will be on display from now through March 13, 2011. The public is welcome to tour the exhibit.