First graders to display artwork as part of Athens Arts League summer events

Photo courtesy City of Athens

ATHENS, Ala. – The Athens Arts League is gearing up for its summer events. Artists are submitting entries for the annual Alabama Spring Contest and Exhibit, set to open to the public in April.

Some of the items already submitted include blacksmith creations, oil paintings, and stained glass.

Athens Arts League Vice President Diane Lehr, who oversees the contest and exhibit, said the annual contest is part of springtime in Athens. “Art is an ideal way to capture the gorgeous sites of spring in Alabama.”

The Alabama Spring Exhibit will be at High Cotton Arts in Downtown Athens from April 5 to May 1, with the public invited to meet the artists at a reception on April 12 at 5 p.m.

Following the reception, the Athens Arts League will start its Art After Hours season.

Art After Hours is a free community event, held from 7-9 p.m. the second Friday of each month from April through September.

As part of the event, there will be live music outside High Cotton Arts, weather permitting, and Athens Police will block Washington Street in the area so spectators can bring chairs and safely enjoy the concerts.

In addition,  artists will have locally made art for sale, and the Athens Arts League will provide refreshments and art activities for children.

Art After Hours is part of the Alabama Music Series. As part of the event, the Athens Arts League supports Alabama-based musicians and simultaneously provides high school and college students hands-on experience in stage setup, marketing, event planning, and photography.

This year’s Alabama Music Series will include ticketed concerts, such as Plato Jones’ performance on July 5.

Athens Arts League board member Holly Hollman said this year’s hours for the event were shifted as a result of public demand.

“Last year Athens Main Street held a visioning session to see what the public envisions for downtown, and one reoccurring comment was more entertainment downtown at night,” she stated.  “Arts League adjusted the time to start and end later, 7 to 9 p.m., to address the public’s desire for night entertainment.”

Musical acts and themes, and dates for the season include:

  • Apr. 12 – Music by Kaleidoscope / Alabama Spring Exhibit on display
  • May 10 – Music by The Redeemers (formerly Acorn Hill) / School Spirit Night (the Arts League encourages visitors to wear their favorite local team’s colors)
  • Jun. 14 – Music by Coffee Black / Red, White and Blue Night in honor of Flag Day, (the Arts League encourages visitors to wear their favorite patriotic clothes)
  • Jul. 12 – Music by Good2Go / Summer Days Celebration with kids stations for hula-hoops, sidewalk chalk, and Athens ROCKS painting
  • Aug. 9 – Music by Justus Storm and the Hot Dogs / Cool Cats best-dressed pet contest
  • Sept. 13 – Music by John David Crowe / sport your favorite superheroes T-shirts and costumes in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

The Athens Arts League is also collaborating with the Mayor’s Youth Commission to host an art reception for first-grade students as part of an Art Dekko grant. The grant provides artists and art supplies to a Limestone County classroom each month during the school year, and  Leslie Pace’s first grade class at Blue Spring Elementary took the classes throughout this school year.

The reception will be May 4 at 10:30 a.m. at High Cotton Arts, and the Blue Springs students are creating a spring-themed art project to display. The Southern Splendor Chorus will also perform.

For more information about Athens Arts League and its programs, events and projects, visit their website or find them on Facebook.

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