Arts Council new leadership excited for growth

Published 3:22 pm Monday, March 7, 2022

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

New art enthusiasts are taking leadership roles at the Chilton County Arts Council.

Melinda Smith has stepped in to the role of president for the organization’s board, and Russell Lawlis is now vice president. Both initially joined the board in 2019.

Smith said her enjoyment of art started at a young age because her mom was an artist. She enjoys drawing and photography.

Lawlis has dabbled in visual art but is a performance artist who enjoys playing and teaching the guitar.

“We are just restructuring everything,” Smith said. “… We are ramping up everything.”

This includes monthly Art Quest mini-festivals at the council office and an art camp for 100 children this summer.

“COVID kept us down for the most part, so we are going to have more events, more classes,” Smith said.

Outdoor concerts are also in the works.

Lawlis said the group is wanting to have more interaction with the community.

“We are excited and looking forward to growth and enrichment in the community,” he said.

Part of this is through partnerships. The owner of MayMay Made It will be doing an Art Quest class in June.

“We are looking forward to teaming up with her,” Smith said.

Lawlis offers guitar and bass lessons to all ages through the Arts Council.

Piano lessons, from another teacher, are being added in the near future.

Further partnerships will provide Arts Council member discounts to retails through the Art Card. Smith said partner retailers are still being contacted.

Many of these changes are possible because of the Arts Council’s relocation to 500 Fifth Avenue N in Clanton. The new location gives the council more space inside and outside for holding events, galleries and art sales.