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Teel holds weekly art classes at Senior Connection

By J.R. Tidwell / Editor

Among the multitude of events and benefits members of Chilton County Senior Connection have available to them are free art classes hosted by long-time instructor Scarlett Teel every Wednesday at noon.

Everyone who attends the classes works with the medium of their choosing and works at their own skill level and pace.

“All they need to do is bring some art supplies,” Teel said. “Some paint with acrylics or watercolors, and some even draw. You can start with the minimum if you want. If you advance in it you can pick and choose. They work at their own level and work with whatever they want to.”

Teel has been holding these classes for around the last four years.

“(Senior Connection Director Vanessa McKinney) asked me if I would do it, and I said ‘sure.’ We may have anything from one or two a class or 10 or 12,” Teel said. “Summer is slow because people are doing things. We have had some beautiful things come out of here.”

Teel has been an art instructor for quite some time. She taught out of her home studio for 35 years.

“I have been doing [art] all my life,” she said. “When I was in the fifth grade my teacher got me an art teacher, who happened to live about a mile from my house. I rode my bicycle over to her house on Saturdays, we listened to the Metropolitan Opera live and we painted.

“After the time when I discovered boys I stopped painting until after I was married and had my children. Then I started back. I went to the University of South Alabama and studied art there. I transferred to Montevallo for the last two years, and I finished with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.”

Some participants in the Senior Connection art classes have been under Teel’s tutelage for many years.

Melinda Maddox, who took part in the class held on July 25, has been doing so since retiring a year and a half ago.

“I took art from Scarlett as far back as 30 years ago for seven or eight years,” Maddox said. “When someone told me (Scarlett) was up here, I decided to come find her.”

Maddox said her paintings are something she can leave her kids.

Teel stresses that the most important thing about her art classes is that participants enjoy what they are doing and have fun no matter how the work turns out.

“(Hosting the classes) makes me feel really good,” Teel said. “I have one here that has been coming to me for 30-something years. I hope they get something out of it too, and I think they do, even if it’s just sitting up here talking. We could just about work out the world’s problems if they would come listen to us.”