LAC to honor local artists
Jan 03, 2013 | 2903 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The reception for the Leeds Arts Council’s Artist of the Month will be slightly different this weekend.
The LAC is hosting an opening reception this Sunday for local artists Grace Butler, Frank Dawson, Cindy Schmidt, Elizabeth Gregory and Annette Davenport. The reception will be in the gallery at the Leeds Theatre and Arts Center, 8140 Parkway Drive, downtown Leeds from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. 
This exhibit will be different from the usual exhibits at the arts center; the group showing involves artists who paint mainly for themselves. They often give their work to family and friends and — except for Butler — have not participated in art organizations or in other art shows.  
Frank Dawson, a retired educator, was born in Leeds and taught English at the Leeds Middle School for 25 years. He has had a life-long interest in paintings, drawing, creative arts, short stories and poetry.  
The work he will be exhibiting will be mixed media. He and his wife, Joan, are active members of the poetry group sponsored by the Leeds Arts Council.
Grace Butler has lived in Leeds for most of her life. She had no experience in art until her retirement in 2008. She began teaching herself to sketch with the book, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Drawing and Illustrating.” After a few months she began experimenting with different media, eventually painting with oil on canvas — which is the medium she will be exhibiting. 
Butler is a member of the Odenville Art Club and Patrons Art Council East. She has exhibited at the Cobb Lane Gallery in Birmingham and had her work in the Symphony Gift Shop at the Decorators’ Showhouse. Grace is available at
Annette Martin Davenport lives in Moody, and was born and raised in Leeds. She began painting with acrylics in 1987 by taking lessons in tole painting on wood from JoAnn Morgan.  
Years ago, she began painting with acrylics on canvas. She is part of a small group who paint together each week at First Baptist Church of Leeds.  
Elizabeth Gregory and her husband, John, have lived in Leeds for 14 years. She is the Corporate Program Manager of Behavioral Health Services for Amedisys Home Health, Inc.  Elizabeth attended art classes at UAB and watercolor classes led by Becky Wallace in North Carolina and Gayle Jones in Birmingham.  
Gregory has been focusing on watercolors for the last two years. She says she finds that the softer tones in watercolors draw her eye into the painting and that this medium lends itself to the kinds of subjects that she likes: landscapes, seascapes and floral. 
Some of her work in this exhibit will include ink drawing with watercolor. Gregory is also an author and her latest book has just been released. Elizabeth is active in the Leeds Arts Council and the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany.
Cindy Schmidt was born and raised in Louisville, Ky. She received a degree in elementary education and a minor in art from Murray State University. Schmidt taught at Leeds Elementary School for 34 years and moved to Leeds in 1993.  
She has always enjoyed art of all types. After retiring, she began taking watercolor classes from Wayne Spradley.  Currently, she enjoys creating a watercolor from old family snapshots. She is a member of the Wellspring Worship Center. 
The public is invited to come meet the artists and enjoy viewing the different styles and media on exhibit throughout January. The arts center is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and during LAC events.  
For more information regarding the exhibit and other upcoming events, call the arts center at 699-1892 or visit In case of inclement weather, call ahead.

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