For 20 years, the Helen Keller Art Show has been showcasing art made by students with visual impairments. More than 40 artworks were selected for this year’s exhibit, made by students of all ages from all over Alabama — many of whom attend the Alabama School for the Blind in Talladega.
“Each piece is unique,” said Shirley Wilson of the UAB Vision Science Center in Birmingham, who directs the annual art show. “The teachers allow them to be who they are, and it’s just remarkable.”
Normally, the exhibit is shown at several museums in Alabama, but the pandemic is upending those plans. The exhibit was cut short when it was on display at Heritage Hall Museum in Talladega last month. So we gathered the artworks into the virtual exhibit below.
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“The Major Mountains” by Abby Theiss
Abby Theiss, age 12, a sixth-grader at the Alabama School for the Blind, loves art class and P.E. She enjoys drawing in her free time and likes playing on her cell phone.
“Water Lilies” by Taeja Mayes
Taeja Mayes, age 12, is a student at the Alabama School for the Blind. She enjoys art class and spending time with her friends. She also enjoys texting with friends and playing games on her computer.
“Sunflower of Alabama” by Haiden Hawkins
Haiden Hawkins, age 9, is a fourth-grader at Thompson Intermediate School. Haiden loves to create art. She created this piece of art because it reminds her of the sunshine when she is riding her bike in the family driveway and playing at home with her little brother. Haiden used acrylic paint, a plate and foam shapes to make her flower base. She used jewels, sunflower seeds and hot glue to outline her flower.
“Ice Skating in Winter” by Georgia Aplin
Georgia Aplin, age 12, is a sixth-grader at the Alabama School for the Blind. She has three sisters and lives in Munford with her family. In Georgia’s free time, she likes to read, play outside and play the piano. She also enjoys singing and making art.
“The Warrior” by Miguel Andres
Miguel Andres, age 15, is a hardworking student at the Alabama School for the Blind. He loves art and works very hard to progress in art class. Miguel enjoys learning new things. Miguel makes friends easily and is a quick learner.
“Flower Power” by Nikki Grace Yates
Nikki Grace Yates, a seventh-grader at the Helen Keller School of Alabama, is the daughter of Scot and Sandy Yates. Nikki loves to play with her friends, socialize and watch her favorite videos on the computer.
“Multi-Color Vortex” by Dillon Daffin
Dillon Daffin, age 11, is a student at the Alabama School for the Blind. He lives in Mobile with his family. Dillon enjoys shooting basketball with his dog. He also enjoys playing other games with his friends. Dillon enjoys art and created a beautiful mixed media piece of art.
“Alabama Birthday” by Haiden Hawkins
Haiden Hawkins, age 9, is a fourth-grader at Thompson Intermediate School. Haiden loves to create art using jewels and bright colors. She created her artwork in celebration of Alabama’s Bicentennial year. Haiden used acrylic paint, tissue paper, foam, colored jewels, beads, pipe cleaners and birthday candles.
“A Love for Music” by Eustacia McCallum
Eustacia A. McCallum, age 18, attends Clay-Chalkville High School. Her favorite things to do are listening to music, shopping and spending time with friends and family. Eustacia loves school and learning new things. Her favorite colors are silver and blue.
“The Unknown Dragon” by Shymiria Broadnax
Shymiria Broadnax, age 13, is a student at the Alabama School for the Blind. She lives in Montgomery with her mother and siblings. In her free time, she likes drawing, poetry and photography, and she loves to sing.
“Mama Mia Pizza, Pizza and Silver Spoon to the Moon” by Sophia Gutierrez
Sophia Gutierrez, age 7, is a student at Willis Valley Elementary School. She is always happy. Her hobbies include playing with her Barbie dolls, Legos and watching Titi Toys on YouTube. Sophia enjoyed creating the pizza art using cardboard.
“Looking for a Mermaid” by Ameerah Jones
Ameerah Jones, age 12, attends fifth grade at the Alabama School for the Blind. Her favorite class in school is science. In Ameerah’s free time, she enjoys writing songs, playing games and sometimes free drawing. Her favorite color is blue.
“Starry Night and the Eiffel Tower” by Nathaly Gutierrez
Nathaly Gutierrez, age 13, is a student at Fort Payne Middle School. She likes to draw and learn new things about different countries. She would love to travel around the world, especially Thailand. Her art interest is Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night and the Eiffel Tower.
“I See With My Hands” by Alexis Harrison
Alexis Harrison, age 5, is a student at the Helen Keller School of Alabama. She loves to sing, dance and play. She loves playing with her friends and her toys. She is always happy and loves life.
“Octo-Eye” by Taylor Gannon
Taylor Gannon, age 17, is an 11th-grader at the Helen Keller School of Alabama. Taylor loves music, sports and his friends. Taylor is a great student and loves his school.
“Love Wins” by Aubrey Whitley
Aubrey Whitley is 17 years old and a student at the Burkett Center. She enjoys listening to music and playing with toys that light up. She enjoys riding her enormous tricycle in the sunshine. Her favorite music is by Quinn and The Wiggles.
“Flying Over Paris” by Sam Skellie
Sam Skellie, age 11, is a student at Helena Intermediate School. He loves sports and plays flag football. Sam loves to be outside and throwing the football with his dad.
“Shining Sunflower” by Audrey Nickell
Audrey Nickell, age 11, is a fourth-grader at Thompson Intermediate School. Audrey loves art and creates art at home as well as at school. Audrey takes ice skating lessons on the weekends and has even grown her own cotton and shared with her Alabama history class. She used a plate to design the center of her artwork. She also used acrylic paints, craft jewels and hot glue to fill the center with real sunflower seeds.
“Pretty Painted Flowers” by Bella Windsor
Bella Windsor, an eighth-grade student at North Jefferson Middle School, loves the aroma of beautiful flowers. Bella believes that flowers can hear and feel her touch, which inspired her to create painted flowers. She enjoys playing on her tablet and loves to watch the 'Loud House.'
“Lone Wolf” by Mya Harris
Mya Harris, age 17, is a student at Pleasant Grove High School. She loves to swim and enjoys playing video games on her iPhone. Her favorite video game is "Mario." She loves to browse the internet.
“Wingsong” by Saniya Sanders
Saniya Sanders, age 14, is a student at Alabama School for the Blind. She likes dragonflies and butterflies. She enjoys swinging and going to water parks in the summer. Her favorite words are whispering, screaming and butterfly, which all relates to her imaginary dragons.
“The Wanderer” by Kaleigh Gable
Kaleigh Gable, age 17, is a graduating senior at Alabama School for the Blind. Kaleigh is planning to attend the University of Montevallo. She likes to write short stories, read and play video games. Her artwork is part of the short story she is in the process of writing.
“My 3D Gangster" by Tristan Rose
Tristan Rose, age 8, is a third-grader at Alabama Virtual Academy. Tristan entered the Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama because of his love for arts and crafts. Tristan created his artwork by tracing the picture of a gangster then gluing the pieces on canvas and painting each piece with acrylic paint. The bricks were formed using cardboard and covered with painted masking tape. Tristan loves to read, play soccer and video games.
“Snow Moji" by C’Naya Stevenson
C’Naya C. Stevenson, age 17, is a 12th-grader at Pleasant Grove High School. C’Naya enjoys shopping, singing, dancing and getting her nails and hair done. She enjoys school and works very hard when it comes to schoolwork. She is a graduating senior and a member of the school choir. She loves meeting people and talking.
“Spring” by Anna Grace Kelley
Anna Grace Kelley, age 6, is a student at Vincent Elementary School. She is very driven and independent. As soon as Anna developed enough fine motor strength to grip a writing utensil, she began drawing elements of her own self-portrait. She loves all things of 'dramatic play.' Anna’s favorite quote is 'I Can Do Hard Things.'
“A Few of My Favorite Things” by Xavier Kurre
Xavier Kurre, age 12, is a student at Oak Mountain Middle School. Xavier enjoys building things with Legos and magnetic tiles. Xavier enjoys drawing things that he really likes. This artwork reflects churches and old cars.
“Blooming” by Cason Berryhill
Cason Berryhill, a fourth-grader at Burkett Center, created his flower art using food coloring and Epsom salts. Cason created his sunflower because it reminds him of being surrounded by a big smiley face.
“Colorful Sombrero” by Angel Madrigal
Angel Madrigal is a first-grader at Creekview Elementary School. He is very active and enjoys his family. Drawing is one of his favorite things and he loves to draw and illustrate his schoolwork. Angel speaks Spanish and English. His favorite show to watch is 'Coco.' He created his artwork in celebration of Mexico’s holiday celebration Day of the Dead.
“Big Heart” by Jazmine Chatman
Jazmine Chatman, age 15, is a student at the Helen Keller School of Alabama. She loves playing volleyball, basketball and hanging out with friends. Jazmine also loves music and helping out at HKS.
“Alabama Blue Pond” by Audrey Nickell
Audrey Nickell age 11, is a fourth-grader at Thompson Intermediate School. Audrey loves art and creates art at home as well as at school. Audrey used acrylic paint and created her lily pads out of tactile materials. She used tissue paper, beads and pipe cleaners to make the Camellia flower.
“Hotel Landscape” by Xavier Kurre
Xavier Kurre, age 12, is a student at Oak Mountain Middle School. He enjoys building things with Legos and magnetic tiles. Xavier enjoys drawing buildings, trees and other things that he experiences outdoors.
“Cruising” by D’Marcus Andrews
D'Marcus Andrews, age 18, is a 12th-grader at the Helen Keller School of Alabama. He is a great student with an outgoing personality. He loves his friends and his school.
“The Guitarist” by Levi Doran
Levi is 10 years old and a student at Moores Mill Intermediate School. He has three sisters and one brother. His favorite things to do are play 'Fortnite,' build Lego sets, draw and play outside. His favorite subject in school is reading. He loves to spend time with his friends. Levi loves music, and that is what inspired him to paint a guitar.
“The Eye of the Dragon” by Celindia Martin
Celindia Martin, age 12, is a seventh-grader at the Alabama School for the Blind. She enjoys most school subjects and enjoys learning new things. Celindia enjoys listening to music, playing on her iPad and drawing. Celindia loves the myths and legends of dragons.
“Crystal Tears” by Dekendrick Graves
Dekendrick Graves is 20 years old and attends Helen Keller School of Alabama. Dekendrick loves music, sports and his friends.
“Colorful Abstract” by Thelonious Z. Sylvester
Thelonious Zegschmidt Sylvester is a student at the Alabama School for the Blind. He is studying Japanese culture. He also enjoys science and the study of the moon. His favorite color is dark purple. In his free time, he enjoys making sculptures and origami.
“Beads, Beads, Beads" by Gavin Millinger
Gavin Millinger, age 10, is a student at Helena Intermediate School. He has a great interest in how animatronics work. Gavin likes to listen to worship music, play simulation games and know what his big brothers are doing. Gavin’s parents say he finds beauty and joy in common things. Since moving to Alabama, Gavin has taken an interest in making his own artwork, and after attending Camp Courage, he has learned that he can also be courageous.
“First Morning Light” by Brittney Gardner-Braxton
Brittney Gardner-Braxton, age 12, is a sixth-grader at the Alabama School for the Blind. Her favorite subjects are social studies and art. Brittney enjoys working with crafts as a hobby. She also enjoys playing outside, participating in cheerleading and dancing.
“Dancing Hat” by Harper Carter
Harper Carter is a student at Creekview Elementary School. She has a brother and two sisters and enjoys going on trips with her family. Harper created her artwork in celebration of Mexico’s holiday celebration Day of the Dead.
Features Editor Lisa Davis: 256-235-3555.