High Cotton’s Art After Hours encourages a passion for enjoying the arts…April 13

By  | April 13, 2018 | Filed under: News

ATHENS-As a young child, Val Rainey attend an art class hosted by the predecessor of Athens Arts League and asked the teacher what color was the emotion shy.


Today, the Limestone County student is an artist at High Cotton Arts, operated by Athens Arts League. He recently received his acceptance notification from the Alabama School of Fine Arts.


“Growing someone’s passion for art is what we are fostering at Athens Arts League through our endeavors like High Cotton Arts and Scout Music House,” said Athens Arts League Vice President Diane Lehr.


Lehr said that passion includes enjoying art as much as it does creating art. On Friday, April 13, Athens Arts League is kicking off its Art After Hours season to provide a free cultural event for the community and encourage the community’s engagement with art.


Art After Hours will be from 5-8 p.m. on the second Fridays from April through September. The events will include live music, snacks and beverages, and art crafts for children.


72 West, a smaller version of Trippin’ Dixie, will perform live on April 13. Weather permitting, the band will set up outside of High Cotton Arts. The event will include a reception for the artists who entered the Alabama Spring Contest and Exhibit, giving the public an opportunity to interact with the artists and see their vision of springtime in Alabama.


High Cotton Arts artist Roberta Ress will provide an Athens ROCKS station. Children can paint rocks to hide as part of the bicentennial art project that encourages families, children, and others to explore Athens by hunting for the hand-painted rocks and posting selfies on the Athens ROCKS Facebook page.


Visitors can also see the studio and exhibit spaces of the High Cotton Arts artists and shop for locally made art from jewelry to pottery to paintings and photographs to stained glass pieces.


“Supporting the arts is important for our community and for those like Val who have a talent they want to express and share,” said Athens Arts League board member Holly Hollman.


Hollman said Val was painting a piece called “The Cat and the Blossoms” at High Cotton Arts on a recent weekend when visitors from New Orleans came inside the art incubator. The visitors saw Val’s unfinished painting, bought it, and paid him to ship it to New Orleans upon completion.


When Val learned of his acceptance to the Alabama School of Fine Arts, he announced it on his Val Michael: Fine Arts Facebook page.


“I would like to thank everyone who has helped me along the way and stayed hopeful for me,” he wrote.


Hollman said the motto for High Cotton Arts is, “We harvest creativity.”


“That’s what we want to do for Val and those like him who want to create, enjoy and own art,” she said.


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