The Shelby County Arts Council will start 2018 with the best folk artists around.


By Lindsay Dyess
Photos Contributed

January is Fine Folk Art Month at the Shelby County Arts Council, which means you can kick off the new year at a gallery exhibit featuring some of the best folk artists the South has to offer. Artist Teresa Wamble hand-picks these artists each year to bring a unique exhibit that features diverse works, from painting on found objects to stained glass pieces to gourd art creations. Each artist brings his or her own interpretation of what southern culture truly means.

This year, the SCAC is including Alabama artist Charlie Lucas in the Fine Folk Art lineup. Lucas, also known as “The Tin Man,” is well-known across the Southeast for his paintings and sculptural work made out of found objects and raw materials. Lucas is a self-taught artist who got his start when a back injury left him unable to work. He found a love of metal work in his youth by tinkering around in his great-grandfather’s metal shop. Lucas discovered a joy in creating sculptures from discarded metal objects. His first pieces where displayed in his front yard, and since then, he has gone on to be featured in museums and galleries across the Southeast.

This year’s lineup also includes Tuscaloosa-based glass artist J.K. Terrell for his first SCAC gallery exhibit. Terrell got his start in glass after retiring from teaching social work at the University of Alabama in 2013. Terrell had always had an interest in stained glass, and it seemed like the perfect medium for his creative energies.

“I use the two different techniques of Tiffany style and lead came to develop a piece,” says Terrell. “Both processes are very labor intensive and detailed, but that’s what I enjoy about stained glass.” Although stained glass artists are few and far between in the region, Terrell has found Buck Creek Stained Glass in Helena as a source of inspiration and resources in the area.

“The one thing I try to communicate with my work is you don’t look at stained glass … you look through it to realize its potential beauty,” says Terrell. “With that being said, light is a necessary component to fully realize the beauty of stained glass.” For the Fine Folk Art show, Terrell will be incorporating the theme of “Rock n’ Roll Heroes” into this work. After spending a number of years as a working musician, this theme seemed like the perfect fit for his love of music and glass work.

Join us on Jan. 12 to celebrate some of the most talented artists of the south. Fine Folk Art will feature the work of Charlie Lucas, J.K. Terrell, Mary Ann Casey, Marian Baker, Larry Stewart and exhibit curator Teresa Wamble. The gallery exhibit opening will be Friday, Jan. 12 from 6-8 p.m. There will be refreshments, live music and the opportunity to meet some of the artists. This event is free and open to the public; everyone is invited. The Shelby County Arts Council Gallery is located at 104 Mildred St. in Columbiana. For more information on this and other events, visit or call (205) 669-0044.