Lively’s work is well known to visitors of Comer Museum and Arts Center in Sylacauga, where he has exhibited his paintings and long been a supporter of museum programs and events.
Now, the five students join their teacher in an exhibit at Comer Museum, showing a variety of their art that includes still lifes and landscapes along with lots of other work.
The group includes painters Virginia Vick Gray, Joyce Lee, Ouida Chapman and Gaye Bailey of Bessemer along with Patsy Essman of Helena and a reception is planned for their exhibit Thursday, March 11 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Everyone is invited to meet the artists and view their work, and to enjoy live entertainment from pianist and vocalist Donnie Kitchens along with refreshments.
Lively is a Birmingham native who joined the U.S. Navy after graduating from high school in 1951. After completing flight training, he was an aviator in the U.S. Marine Corps until he retired from the Navy in 1975.
Lively said he always had an interest in art and in about 2000, started working on his art interests more seriously.
He has worked in stained glass, designing and building glass windows, panels and lamps.
He now paints mostly using oils and acrylics.
Lively lives in Sterrett in Shelby County with his wife, Sondra.
Essman started taking art lessons after retiring in 2001 as a school secretary for the Jefferson County Board of Education.
She said it was her mother who inspired her to believe that “age isn’t a factor in pursuing your dreams,” and she enjoys great support in her interests from her husband of 53 years, George.
Bailey has been painting for about seven years, and worked for the contracting firm of Russell and Alford for 32 years.
“I never thought I could paint, but when I quit working 40 hours a week, I found I had more time to learn something else,” she said.
Her painting started on glassware, and she later started taking lessons to learn to paint on canvas.
Bailey said she thinks she still has a lot to learn, but that “old dogs can learn new tricks.”
Gray is a Shelby County native who started painting in 2006.
She said she always liked art of all kinds.
She said she enjoys painting, but has a suggestion for others who are interested.
“Start early, because when you get older it is harder to grasp things.”
Lee grew up in Bessemer and said she always had a dream of becoming an artist.
While raising her family, she said she put the art interests on the “back burner,” but when her family was grown and after retiring, she returned to her dream.
“Who knows, I might see my dream come true,” she said.
Chapman said she discovered the joys of painting just in the past two years.
“Working with two groups who paint in two styles is a real challenge, but a lot of fun,” she said.
The exhibit from Lively’s class will remain on display at the museum through March and may also be seen during regular museum hours, Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.