'What's a Momma to Do?'

‘What’s a Momma to Do?’ by Anniston artist Paulette Parks is included in the Watercolor Society of Alabama exhibit at Heritage Hall in Talladega.


The story of Oxford Performing Arts Center and how the venue has met its goals is an inspiring one. Since its start in 1981 it has become a major performance center in our community. A new chapter is being written now as technicians complete the theater’s renovation.

There’s always new art to see in Talladega’s Heritage Hall Museum. In fact, a new exhibit opens there this afternoon.

This is what’s exciting about art. There are always new plans, new activity and new people involved. Wouldn’t weekends be dull without these events?

Watercolor exhibit in Talladega

Yankee Magazine claims that the peak of color is in New England as the autumn foliage puts on its annual display. The peak of color in Calhoun County very well may be at Heritage Hall Museum in Talladega starting today, as the Watercolor Society of Alabama exhibits 60 paintings.

It’s an opportunity to make new discoveries and gain new perspectives by looking at the many scenes and situations.

The exhibit will be up through Oct. 20. Heritage Hall is located at 200 South St. E. in Talladega.

Three artists from Anniston were chosen to be part of the exhibit: Marsha Nelson, Paulette Parks and Rita Springer. Artists from Talladega are May Fountain and Frances Ross.

“This is a display you must see,” said Valerie White, director. “The quality, use of techniques, variety, meaningful subject matter and breadth of different styles make it a very fine showing.”

Parks agrees. “The use of color is strong, from what I’ve seen. The styles are varied, from impressionistic to super-realism. And there’s lots of figurative work, which I like.”

The Watercolor Society of Alabama began in 1939 with a vision to promote, create and inspire painters in the art of watercolor media. The vision is promoted by juried watercolor competitions each year and workshops taught by nationally and internationally known artists. The competitions are the WSA Annual National Exhibition and the Statewide Alabama Members Showcase.

Springer’s paintings are in corporate and private collections throughout the South, including the University of Alabama, and in England and India. She has studied painting at the University of Virginia and the University of Alabama, and locally with Wayne Spradley in Pell City. She has studied watercolor with artists in France, Scotland, Italy and Mexico. Anniston viewers have seen her solo shows at Nunnally’s Noble Frame and Gallery or the Donoho School.

Parks is a native of Georgia but has lived in Alabama for the past 50 years. She attended Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Fla., and received her BFA from Jacksonville State University with a concentration in painting.

Her sculptures and paintings have been and continue to be in various national, regional and local exhibitions. Her work is in numerous public and private collections throughout the country. She has been teaching drawing, painting and sculpture for 20 years in her studio in Anniston and offers informative and creative workshops on demand.

‘Haunted Alabama’ program Thursday

Is the paranormal normal? Probably not, but very strange encounters almost became the “new” normal in 2008 for Kim Johnston and her family after they moved into a new house in Shelby County.

Johnston, authorof “Haunted Shelby County” and” Haunted Talladega,” will give a presentation on “Haunted Alabama” at the Public Library of Anniston-Calhoun County on Thursday at 4 p.m. There will be enough eerie stories to invite your curiosity and attendance.

Johnston is a software developer by day and a researcher of the paranormal by night. “I became interested in the paranormal in 2008 after moving into a new house in Shelby County which my family and I can only describe as haunted,” she said. “We lived in the house five years. It was not unusual at all to experience many odd things. It affected us all.”

These experiences motivated her to seek out answers and to help other families going through similar circumstances, she said. “I have permission from these families to share some of these stories Thursday along with some of my own personal story.”

Everyone is invited to the program in the Ayers Room. 

Renovation progressing at OPAC

Amid the drilling, welding, sawing and all the noise that goes with progress, the colors selected for the renovation of the Oxford Performing Arts Center are sending a message of taste and beauty.

Burgundy, grayish-brown and gold have replaced the white on the walls. Box seating has been added, reminding one of opera-viewing of old. A catwalk above the stage will mean a quicker lighting focus. One hundred seats have been added.

These are just some of the features that enhance the renovated theater, which is modeled after a 1920s movie palace. The work is scheduled to be ready by Sept. 23 for a concert featuring Melissa Etheridge.

Downstairs, a small-stage theater and event center is scheduled to be ready in December for a series of chamber music concerts.

Hervey Folsom writes about the local arts scene every Sunday. Contact her at herveyfolsom@yahoo.com.