2010 Children's Theatre Production
Parnell library theatre workshop encourages imagination, expression
By Sarah Craft | Shelby County Reporter
MONTEVALLO — Pirouetting pigs and dancing ducks aren’t sights one would normally expect to see on a Thursday afternoon at the library, but that’s exactly what you’ll find at the Parnell Memorial Library in Montevallo this week during the children’s theatre workshop, which ends Friday July 23 with a performance of “The Sad Song of a Low-Down Fox.”
The third annual workshop is funded by the Parnell Memorial Library Foundation Board for children ages 7 to 11. This year, the workshop accepted 30 children who got to audition for roles and rehearse for two weeks to participate in a musical written and composed by Phil McEntee, a retired music teacher with 27 years of experience.
“I’m delighted the library board founded this summer program,” McEntee said as laughing children ran around him after Thursday’s dress rehearsal. “It nourishes imagination and encourages teamwork.”
McEntee got the idea for the script from a story book he often reads with his grandson Jack. McEntee and his wife modified ideas from the story, and, he said, “Everything just came together.”
Mary Jane Evans, arts chairman of the library board, said the workshop helped children learn to sing, dance and speak loudly.
She explained that the final performance, occurring Friday, July 23 at 7 p.m., will be admission-free to the public.
“The parents developed and bought each child’s costume and brought them here every day, so we aren’t going to charge admission,” Evans said.
She and McEntee enlisted the help of several volunteers, including Evans’ husband Rick, who helped design and paint sets.
“I just love working with the children,” she said.
The play centers around musical animals, including a crafty fox played by 12-year-old Thomas Frost. Frost is a three-year veteran of the theatre workshop, who keeps coming back because, “It’s so awesome!”
Alabama Art Colony Exhibit
Art Colony Members on exhibit
By Catherine Legg | Shelby County Reporter
MONTEVALLO —When asked to put together a show at the Parnell Memorial Art Gallery, Laurie Orr Binion decided to include the works of fellow members of the Alabama Art Colony.
“This show is a sample of art work done by participants in the annual week-long colony meeting on Lake Martin,” said Binion. “I picked out art by artists with connections to Montevallo and then some art that I just liked.”
The Montevallo showing, entitled The Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Colony Exhibit, opened on May 19 and will close Aug. 6.
The public is invited to a reception on Sunday, July 11, at 2 p.m. at the gallery.
The exhibit boasts a wide variety of extremely interesting creations by Binion, Sarah Carlisle Towery, Cecily Orr Hulett, Langley Tolbert and others.
Hulett, Tolbert and Binion all grew up in Montevallo; went to elementary and high school in the community and then off to universities.
Towery, on the other hand, came to the town as an adult in the 1940s;, began her professional career at the University of Montevallo (then Alabama College) and taught at the high school. Many remember her with great fondness and respect.
Towery was the founder of the Alabama Art Colony.
On her 80th birthday, her children, Carlisle, Sarah Wade, and Misha Sampson, wanted to do something very special for her.
According to the information on the website of the Art Colony, “They invited a few of Sarah’s artist friends to come to Lake Martin and paint.
They provided them with a place to stay and before the week was through, they knew that this magic of friendship and creativity must continue.
Thus, the Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Colony on Lake Martin, was born.
This year the organization, renamed the Alabama Art Colony, is celebrating its 17th year and has grown from seven to more than 50 members from all over the U.S. in addition to those from Canada and France.
The artists come together once a year for five days of painting and instruction.
Towery (deceased 1907) had an illustrious background. She studied in the U.S., Europe, and Mexico, was a charter member of the World Art Workshop, and was awarded the Alabama Governors Award for the Arts.
She had one-woman shows in New York, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Wilmington, N.C.
The exhibit at Parnell Memorial Library Gallery and the reception are sponsored by the Montevallo Arts Council and were coordinated by board member Binion.
The gallery is open during regular library hours.
For more information, visit Montevalloartscouncil.com.
Catherine Legg can be reached by e–mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2010 Nature Camp
Campers learn to be caretakers of natur
By Catherine Legg | Shelby County Reporter
MONTEVALLO — “Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints” was the slogan of Montevallo’s Nature Camp, but there was an exception to that rule.
Visitors to Orr Park were recently surprised and delighted to find wonderful color sketches of Indian symbols covering the sidewalk along the creek, a gift left by the 24 elementary-age boys and girls who attended the camp.
The children painted the sidewalks as they were finishing up a week of exciting activities, which, according to the camp literature, “enabling them to be confident and comfortable outdoors in the hope that they will enjoy, preserve, save and explore their outdoor world.”
The camp day began at 8:30 a.m. and was filled with hiking, canoeing, arts and crafts, music, a visit to Oak Mountain’s wildlife center, storytelling, birding, and learning about conservation, erosion, using native plants, the weather and tracking animals.
The emphasis this year was on the Native American culture. Participants were divided into four tribes of six children who represented various aspects of the earth and their significance in the Native American history and culture. The tribes were Turtles, Beavers, 4 Winds and Eagles.
“What I loved about the camp,” said Linda Cicero, the project coordinator, “was the dedication and enthusiasm of the adults and counselors and how contagious it became and how that, more than anything, effected all the children did.”
Each child who completed the week carried home their T-shirt, bandana, beadwork, crafts, tote bag, bird box, three books, a subscription to NWF Ranger Rick magazine, and a pair of binoculars. More importantly, they went home with an expanded knowledge, love, and concern for the outdoors.
Campers were Jacob Cleckly, Mary Cassidy, Vanessa Avalos, Samantha Howard, Caroline Landers, Hugo Ponce, Amanda Buttgereit, and Micah Layton. Others were Price Alexander, Declan Nichols, Shannon Curl, Drew Hiltenbruner, Gracie Davis, McKenzie Hamby, Josh Howard and Christopher Villa Perez. Also enjoying the experience were Dyson Edwards, Clay Colley, Kate Frederick, Morgan Sanders, Avery Lawley, Chasity Brantley, Adam Jones, and Abigail Shimel.
Cicero and Sheila Jett, who directed the camp, were assisted by more than 25 nature-loving adults and several local middle school students served as counselors. Financial support came from the Parnell Memorial Library Foundation and from friends and parents. Several agencies, schools, clubs and departments of the city and the University of Montevallo partnered in the project.
To learn more about the annual nature camp, contact Linda Cicero at 665-1862.
Catherine Legg can be reached at email@example.com.