Arts Alive application deadline extended to March 25th

The 35th annual Arts Alive juried fine arts and crafts festival will take place May 15 and 16 in downtown Florence, Alabama. The festival takes place in Wilson Park and at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts and features outstanding national, regional and local artists and crafters.

The festival showcases artists specializing in painting, stained glass, jewelry, sculpture, pottery, fiber art, woodwork, photography, and much more. The Arts Alive juried gallery exhibition is in Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts right across the street from Wilson Park and is open the same hours as the festival, and will remain open from May 14 through June 18.
Artists can apply to the Gallery exhibit, for a booth in Wilson Park, or both. The online application form is here: 

Artistic Renderings of Youth 2021- On Display Now

Artistic Renderings of Youth 2021 will be on display March 1-March 31 at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts. March is nationally recognized as Youth Art Month, and this juried exhibit celebrates the young artistic talent in our area.

Founded by Florence art educator Jerry Foster and coordinated by Middle School and High School art teachers, Artistic Renderings of Youth celebrates its 30th year of exhibiting 7th through 12th grade artists from Colbert, Franklin and Lauderdale counties. Every year ribbons are awarded in three grade divisions: Division 1: 7th and 8th grades, Division 2: 9th and 10th grades, and Division3: 11th and 12th grades. The University of North Alabama School of Arts also recognizes exceptional talent by awarding $500 scholarships to three students from Division 3.

This years winners are:

Division 1:

Best of Show & Best Photograph – Piper Moore, Creekside Academy Learning Cooperative

1st Place & Best Pop Culture – Isabella Welch, Shoals Christian School

2nd Place – Claire Frederick, Muscle Shoals Middle School

3rd Place – Olivia Hiebel, Brooks High School

Best 3D – Gavin Cambron, Muscle Shoals Middle School

Honorable Mentions – Ella Broadfoot, Florence Middle School; Emberli Daniel, Muscle Shoals Middle School Jorge Torres, Muscle Shoals Middle School; Alexander VanRensselaer, Muscle Shoals Middle School

Division 2:

Best of Show – Lauren Bernard, Deshler High School

1st Place & Honorable Mention – Elizabeth Gautney, Muscle Shoals High School

2nd Place – Hal Driskell, Florence Freshman Center

3rd Place – Ellen Walker, Florence High School

Best Photograph – Eli Sockwell, Creekside Academy Learning Cooperative

Best Computer Generated – Isaiah Ricks, Florence High School

Best Pop Culture – Avery Britten, Florence Freshman Center

Best 3D – Isabella Wallace, Florence Freshman Center

Honorable Mentions – Lexy Bush, Muscle Shoals High School; Emma Watson, Brookes High School; Megan White, Shoals Christian School

Division 3:

Best of Show & UNA Scholarship – Taryn Kimbrough, Colbert Heights High School

1st Place & UNA Scholarship – Raymon Nance, Florence High School

2nd Place & Best Computer Generated – Ella Scott, Colbert Heights High School

3rd Place – Emma Trawick, Muscle Shoals High School

Jerry Foster Avante Garde Award & UNA Scholarship – Jenna Swanson, Florence High School

Ronnie Riner Memorial Drawing Award – Honor Froman, Florence High School

Best Photograph – Ivy Rose Ball, Muscle Shoals High School

Best Pop Culture – Maggie Sanders, Florence High School

Best 3D – Elaina Nichols, Florence High School

Honorable Mentions – Honor Froman, Florence High School; Kansas McWhirter, Florence High School; Hannah Middleton, Deshler High School; Kate Scott, Florence High School; Serinity Wingerter, Florence High School;

CALL FOR ENTRIES: 7th-12th grade artists!

Artist: Savannah Cole, 9th grade, Cherokee High School, 2020

Calling all artists in grades 7 through 12! The deadline for entry in Artistic Renderings of Youth is February 19.  This is a juried exhibit of artwork open to 7th through 12th grade students from Colbert, Franklin and Lauderdale counties. The exhibit, coordinated by area art teachers, opens March 1 and runs through March 31. Schools may participate or students can enter on their own. Each student can enter up to three works. Entries are juried and, if accepted, are eligible for ribbons awarded in different grade level groupings. Works must be original and can be in any medium. All 2-dimensional entries must be matted or framed. Framed pieces and canvases must have hanging wire attached on the back.

Museum programs are made possible, in part, by a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.

For more details on entry rules call Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts 256-760-6379.

Upcoming Holiday Wreath Workshop.


Join us on Saturday , December 5th, from 1pm to 4pm as we welcome Susan Rowe of Flori Designs. Susan will provide the participants with a bountiful selection of locally foraged greenery, and all necessary supplies to create a beautiful holiday wreath. Workshop fee is $50.00. Spacing is limited for this event, as we will be observing social distancing. To sign up for this workshop and make payment arrangements please call the Art Center by December 28th at (256)760-6379

Upcoming children’s programs at Kennedy-Douglass

Saturday, December 12th, 10:00am-Noon

Local artist Provie Musso joins Kennedy-Douglass in welcoming children ages 8-12 years old to learn how to make these wonderful holiday ornaments that use recycled materials. There is no charge for this children’s program, there will be limited attendance as we are practicing social distancing, so please call (256)760-6379 BY DECEMBER 5th to reserve a place for your child(ren).

Saturday, December 19th, 10:30am-11:30am

Jessica Fenn Hill, FLPL Youth Services Librarian will join Kennedy-Douglass in welcoming children ages 4 years old and up for story time and gingerbread decorating. Mrs. Jessica will be reading the holiday classic “The Polar Express” followed by a gingerbread snack (children may add some decoration to their gingerbread). There will be limited attendance for this program as we are practicing social distancing, please call (256)760-6379 BY DECEMBER 11th to save a place for your child(ren).


Bubbles, Buttons, Balls and Balloons!

Photo Credit: Shoals Piecemakers Quilt Guild

Entries in the Shoals Piecemakers Quilt Guild’s Annual Challenge will be on display at the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts Annex Galleries from November 30th through January 15th. This year’s exhibit, Bubbles, Buttons, Balls and Balloons. The quilts on display as part of the quilt challenge will include circular patterns, including traditional patterns such as wedding ring, log cabin wreaths, storm at sea, snowball, etc. or an “art quilt” such as a textile painting. A small portion of fabric (the “challenge fabric”) was provided each quilter and it must be included in the design of the quilt. The shape and size of the quilt is up to the individual quilter but must have been completed entirely by each artist within this calendar year of 2020.  The normal three – layer quilt with binding is required.

The Guild members will judge their peers work at the initiation of the exhibit, they choose their Favorite Quilt, Best Use of Theme, and other awards. The public chooses the People’s Choice Award by voting for their favorite quilt during the period of time that the exhibit is on display at Kennedy-Douglass Art Center by marking ballots available in the display area.

The Shoals Piecemakers Quilt Guild meets at 7:00 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at Saint Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Florence. New members are welcome. The Guild is made up of quilt makers at all levels of expertise and people who are interested in promoting the collection and preservation of quilts.

We observe safe distancing at the art center, and limit visitors to eight people in each gallery at a time. We ask that all visitors wear masks while viewing the exhibit.

Art Expressions: Shoals Artists Guild Members Show

‘The Basket Maker’ Martha Carpenter, oil on canvas

The Shoals Artist Guild Annual Members Show will be displayed from October 23rd through December 28th in the Kennedy-Douglass Annex Galleries. The group exhibit includes paintings in oil, watercolor, pastel, acrylic, and mixed media. This year’s judge, Decatur, Alabama oil painter Robin Roberts, chose nine pieces as award winners :

1st place: The Basket Maker, Martha Carpenter, oil on canvas

2nd place: October Fashion, Mary Linville, acrylic

3rd place: By Momma’s Side 2, Bonnie Davis, acrylic on canvas

Honorable mentions: ‘Reflections, Linda Thompson, ‘Neighbors’, Carolyn Wear and ‘Shoals Theater’, Diedrick Weaver.

Merit awards: ‘Study in Purple’, Carol Howdyshell, ‘Memories of Mom’, Julia Gray and ‘Secret Serpent’, Carolyn Wear.


The Guild was founded in 1952 and includes members that work in a wide variety of media and across a broad range of styles and techniques. They meet the third Friday of each month at the arts center for technical demonstrations and to discuss current topics relevant to visual arts. Members are welcome to stay after meetings to sketch or paint. The Guild maintains a permanent presence with original paintings and prints in the FAM gallery on the second floor of the Kennedy-Douglass Art Center./ New members are always welcome.

CALL FOR ENTRIES: upcoming exhibit to benefit One Place of the Shoals


ARTISTS FOR COMMUNITY: in support of One Place of the Shoals

Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts is collaborating with Artists for Community to host an exhibit that will raise funds for One Place of the Shoals, a non-profit organization that provides crisis care services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  We are accepting artwork submissions from the public for this community art show that will also feature artwork by UNA faculty and art students. UNA art students created Artists for Community to raise money for Shoals area non-profits, all artwork included in the show will be for sale, 60% of all proceeds will be donated to One Place, the artist will receive the remaining 40%. The exhibit will open Saturday, October 3rd  and will remain open through Friday, October 16th. The Artists for Community exhibit will be centered around community support for One Place of the Shoals, a ground-breaking collaborative family justice center that provides a safe and comforting atmosphere with state-of-the-art facilities for victims and their children facing this most difficult part of their lives. 

We will be accepting artwork in the following mediums:

2D: Painting, Drawing, Photography, Digital prints and Collage

3D: Sculpture, Mixed Media and Mobile

Artists may submit up to 3 pieces. Questions may be emailed to:

The application period has ended for the Artists for Community exhibit, and all submissions have been juried. Applicants will be notified via email if their artwork will be part of the show.

The Shape of Joy – Exhibit opening on Sunday, August 16th

The Shape of Joy: new paintings from Dr. Hisham Ba’albaki will open on Sunday, August 16th.

“Life” 35″ x 42″ Acrylic paint and pastel on paper

Dr. Ba’albaki is a self-taught artist that began painting in recent years as a counterbalance to his professional work as a cardiologist. Dr. Ba’albaki’s work is abstract, dynamic, and expressive – he prefers acrylic paint because “it lends itself to experimentation, mixed media, layering, paint transfer and gel printing techniques to name a few.” Other features that characterize his work include heavy texturing and the use of forceful mark making on relativity large canvas or paper surfaces. His palette is typically bright and limited.

“Having spent my teens and twenties in Lebanon during its civil war, other than dabbling with photography, interest in art was never on the radar. Pursuit of higher education followed by an all-consuming career, placed my “right brain” in a hiatus for another thirty years. It wasn’t until my mid-fifties that I started appreciating art and working with wood and currently with paint…While my paintings are non-representational and intuitive, they do lend themselves to varied and personal interpretation, my main interest is an enjoyable creative process.”

We will host a reception on Sunday, August 16th from 1pm-3pm at the Kennedy-Douglass Art Center while observing safe distancing and limited visitors in each gallery.