Choosing a palette of orange and reds with dots of yellow, the squirt piece is aptly titled “Red Hot Chili Pepper,” and bears the name well.
Morris’s creation is one of more than 100 pieces of original art being made especially for the Arc of South Talladega County’s ArtPartners Auction Sept.16 at Comer Museum and Arts Center.
ArtPartners pairs professional working artists with Arc clients to work together on paintings, sculptures, jewelry and other mediums to raise money for the Arc’s ongoing art classes for clients.
The Arc serves adults with developmental delays, offering a broad range of programs and services from job training and living skills to activities that are just plain fun.
The art program started six years ago and has been hugely popular for clients, said former Arc Director, Beverly White, who was one of the organizers of the art classes.
White said she saw clients grow in all kinds of ways through the art program, from learning there were things they could enjoy doing independently to gaining self-esteem and confidence, in addition to developing their individual creative talents.
In addition to the visual arts, Arc clients also enjoy theater and music through the art program.
Connie Vickers has been the group’s art teacher since the classes began and also helps prepare for the annual auction.
This year’s event, planned with a tailgating theme, begins at 5:30 p.m. and continues until 8 p.m.
Fun, food and activities will be spread all over the museum grounds, and a live auction will determine who goes home with their favorite pieces of art.
Food served will be “tailgating appropriate,” said Comer Museum Director Donna Rentfrow.
“We’re going to have a whole lot of fun with it this year, just like we always do,” she said.
Tickets are $15, and supporters may also sponsor easels for the event. Sponsorships range from $75 to $500, said contributing artist and Arc staff member Cheryl Eyster.
Eyster, who worked with Morris on his painting, also worked with Arc clients Shantavia Garrett and Patrice Fluker, making framed collages using all kinds of “found” and everyday items.
Fabric and paint, buttons and bits of lace, shells and the words “Live, Laugh, Love” are positions together on the assemblage Eyster and Fluker made, making an interesting assortment using “a little bit of everything,” Eyster said.
Rentfrow worked with clients, too, to create the art for the auction.
She and Kristina Dobson came up with a bright purple cat with glaring yellow eyes as one of the pieces.
Talladega artist and Heritage Hall Museum artist in residence Tommy Morehead worked with two clients this year on large canvas paintings.
With Beverly Nettles, Moorehead designed a bright bull bearing an equally colorful rooster on his back, and with Arc client Brandon Russell, a cheerful baby duck wearing shades taking a swim in a lake.
Vickers took groups of clients to the Auburn and Alabama campuses, using crayons and oil pastels to make rubbings of the textures of campus landmarks, which they assembled as collages.
Other artists who worked with clients for the auction are Mary Ellen Hurr, Shirley Dawkins, Carol Laney, Chick Lively, Shirley Pody, Jimmy Reynolds Jr., Sue Ridley, Glenda Rumsey, Don Smith, Erin Yuskistis, Donna Hill, Ali Decamillas, Sarah Margaret Wade, Alice Thomas, Kevin Whitman, Elder Session, John Tilly and Donna Abrams.
For tickets to the auction or to reserve easel sponsorships, call the Arc of South Talladega County at 256-245-2323 or Comer Museum and Arts Center at 256-245-4016.
Contact Laura Nation-Atchison at firstname.lastname@example.org