The Arts are very important in the Black Belt and especially in Sumter County. There are several local artists and art organizations in the area that provide art classes, art galleries, continuing education courses, workshops, etc.
One popular local artist is Sheila Hull of The Studio.
The Studio, SH Designs Art Studio, is located on Marshall Street in downtown Livingston. Art classes are offered every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; starter kits and canvases are available or you can bring your own paints/supplies. Studio Strokes is offered every other Thursday from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm; all supplies are included. Sheila also creates custom paintings and portraits. In addition, her Hand Painted Ornaments are very popular. Not only does she paint them to order, but also has been commissioned by the Alabama Supreme Court to paint ornaments of all the county courthouses, by Alfa Insurance to paint Farmers Federation, and was chosen to paint all of the ornaments for the 2011 National Christmas Tree display in President’s Park in Washington, D.C. Sheila’s artwork has been so popular that it has been included in several published magazines including Alabama Living and Friends & Family.
Another local artist is Karen Castleman of Treasure’s Boutique, Consignment & Tanning.
Karen teaches art at Sumter Academy and teaches art classes at her boutique. She offers one on one charcoal, paper mache, and acrylic classes for children. She is also known for her painted furniture and whimsical canvases. Her artwork is displayed on the walls of Sumter Academy’s daycare, in her boutique, and in various businesses.
Please visit her website at www.treasuresboutique.net
The Coleman Center for the Arts:
The Coleman Center is continually supporting their community with creative art programs. Their programs include a community based artist-in-residence program that produces socially engaged public art projects; an exhibition program that features the work of local artists as well as regional and national artists completing CCA projects; and an education program that offers year round educational opportunities for area youth. For more information on their exhibitions, programs, and events, visit www.colemanarts.org
Sumter County Fine Arts Council:
This organization is responsible for providing art and seasonal theatrical performances in Livingston. The organization has featured various theatrical troupes, local performers, and orchestral music performances open to the public. For information regarding specific events, please visit www.scfac.uwa.edu
UWA’s Division of Educational Outreach:
The Division of Educational Outreach is comprised of bby Publications, the Black Belt Museum, Center for the Study of the Black Belt, and Continuing Education which seek to meet the social and cultural educational needs of the Alabama Black Belt region while promoting the historical, cultural, and natural resources of the region. Mosaics, fused glass jewelry, and Loops at Land (which is quilting, stitching, knitting, etc) are some of the classes offered through their Continuing Education Program. For more information on the programs offered, visit www.uwa/eucationaloutreach/
The following are also offered through these various artists and organizations:
- Museums: Black Belt Museum (Livingston), Coleman Center for the Arts (York), and Cuba Museum (Cuba)
- Murals: there are murals painted on four of the buildings in Downtown York
- Pottery Heritage: Center for the Study of the Black Belt (UWA, Livingston)
- Artist Workshops: The Center for the Study of the Black Belt, Coleman Center for the Arts, and The Studio (Livingston)
- Artists in Residence: Coleman Center for the Arts
- Summer arts camp: Colman Center for the Arts
- Glass/ceramics studios: Divison of Educational Outreach’s Continuing Education Classes