Teel named Senior Citizen of the Year

Scarlett Teel of Thorsby was named a recipient of the Senior Citizen of the Year award in the state of Alabama for her work in the field of humanities.

She was presented the award during a banquet in Montgomery on Aug. 13, where many awards for various categories were handed out.

“I don’t expect to be rewarded and that’s not the reason that I do what I do, but I feel very honored that people think of me in those terms,” Teel said.

She is a member of Senior Connection and was nominated by director Vanessa McKinney for the years of work that Teel has put forth to share and spread the love of art.

According to Teel, the selection process included looking into the overall works that a person had done throughout the years in a certain field.

The Senior Citizen of the Year awards has been given out annually since being created by the Alabama legislature in 1983.

Art has always been a part of Teel’s life and she can trace her passion for it back to her childhood.

“I would go up to my mother and tell her to draw me some boxes,” Teel said. “We didn’t realize it, but she was giving me my first art lessons.”

The fourth grade was when she got a private art tutor and since then she has not stopped painting.

“When I got into school the teachers recognized it,” Teel said. “I started with a paint by numbers and have been at it ever since. I have to do it, because there is just something that makes it part of who I am.”

The style of painting that Teel enjoys is realistic, but she also delves into the abstract or non-objective form from time to time.

“I’ve experimented a lot,” Teel said.

She had an art studio in Clanton for 35 years and now holds a weekly art class at Senior Connection.

“I tell my students that ‘you need to paint with your heart and your head,’” Teel said.