Inclement weather doesn’t bother Jerry Marks. The Oxford painter welcomes the opportunity to stay inside his studio all day and paint to his heart’s content.
Marks displays his work on a regular basis at Nunnally’s Noble Street Frame and Gallery in downtown Anniston. For the current exhibit of his work, he made an additional contribution: last Saturday he gave a demonstration on the importance of the use of shadows to create realism in watercolors.
Since retiring from Anniston Army Depot, Marks has had more time to paint both watercolor and acrylic scenes from American history, as well as landmarks in this area. “I’ve been called the hermit painter,” he said with a smile. “But there’s still so much to paint, considering the people, events and legends in history.”
Saturday’s demonstration included scenes from trips to Williamsburg and Yorktown in Virginia, a favorite destination for Marks and his wife, Barbara, since their daughter, Jeri Lynn, is located there.
Williamsburg and Yorktown are appealing for two more reasons. “There is a demand for original art there, and the area is teeming with history,” Marks said. He regularly sells his work through a gallery in Merchants’ Square in Colonial Williamsburg.
Marks’ paintings at Nunnally’s are detailed, a form of design he is accustomed to after a career in industrial engineering.
Perhaps in a future exhibit, patrons will see one of his recent works, a watercolor of Oxford restaurant Hubbard’s Off Main reflecting a time when the building was a general store.
“I’m fortunate to be doing what I like best, mixing art and history,” the artist said.
Marks’ work will be on display through October at Nunnally’s, 1401 Noble St., Anniston, 256-237-5921.
Meet ‘The Mad Hatter’
Also on display at Nunnally’s, in the upstairs gallery, is the work of Cherie Leins, a folk artist who makes hats — all kinds of hats — from 1890s-style onward.
“My children lovingly call me ‘The Mad Hatter’ because of the high volume and variety of what I do, all without patterns,” Leins said.
The display includes knitted backpacks and colorful knitted toboggans, some representing movie and television characters. The toboggans can double as canister covers.
Leins’ creations are a God-given gift, she said, inspired from learning handiwork from her grandmother. In addition, she crochets, draws and does tole painting, besides staying busy with ceramics and woodwork. “I’m a ‘Jane of all trades and master of none,’” she said. “But it’s great therapy.”
JSU drama announces season
The Jacksonville State University drama department’s 2014-15 season includes two well-known playwrights and three others who merit attention.
• The season opens Oct. 16 with “The Seagull” by Anton Chekov. Imperfect but fascinating characters populate this satiric and darkly funny play in which an aging theater star, her idealistic playwright son, her famous writer lover and a lovesick actress spark a blaze of rivalries and passions.
• The season continues Nov.13-16 with “The Mousetrap” by Agatha Christie, with a drama student rising to the challenge of directing.
• Next up is “A Year with Frog and Toad,” a musical based on the children’s book series, Feb.19-March 1.
• “To Tread Among Serpents” by Kelly McBurnette-Andronicos, winner of the 2014 Southern Playwrights Competition, runs April 9-12. The play explores the aftermath of a double murder in Rabbittown.
• Also in April (dates TBA), JSU Drama Student Showcase and One-Acts will spotlight directing class achievements along with student progress in design, technical work, film and performance.
Season tickets for all five shows will go on sale in late August. Season tickets are $41 for adults, $33 for students, JSU employees, seniors and military. For more information, call the drama department at 256-782-5648.