As of June 2011,
Bluff Park Community School, located on Park Avenue, made the
official move to becoming Artists on the Bluff, an Alabama
Non-profit Arts Education Corporation. The joint venture between the
City of Hoover,
Hoover City Schools, along with advisor Linda Williams and the
Artists on the Bluff project committee, took some time to hammer
out. "This is the completion of a dream for many within the art
community, not just in Hoover but Central Alabama. It has taken a
few remarkable people with great patience to see this through,"
Hoover City Councilman and Bluff Park resident Gene Smith tells
bluffparkal.org. "I have learned that things never move at the pace
you hope and want, but when the timing is right, most good things
"We are very excited for the community," Williams says. The school
has come alive in the last month with work on the inside and outside
of the building. Many artists are signing up for studios and moving
in! This brings a bright smile to Linda Williams who was the
Director of Community Education for Hoover City Schools until her
retirement. "This project has been like having a new baby, you learn
Finding a director for the program was not difficult. Williams
looked to one man with an extensive background in the arts
community. "She (Linda Williams ) talked with me about the
Artists on the Bluff project and asked me to take the position
as Director... and I thought ‘hmm...' At the moment I was
just looking for a place to move my own studio," newly named Artists
on the Bluff Director Rik Lazenby says. "My original intention when
asking around to start with was to keep the gallery open and move my
studio here to the building. Maybe even to use the building as a
teaching studio in the future." Little did he know the plan was
already in motion.
What's going to be offered and who has moved in!
There will be many forms of art classes and studios open at
Artists on the Bluff. "We are really going to have a good mix of
mediums here. There will be everything from jewelry making to
sculptures. We have signed several ceramic artists, fused glass,
photographers, a woodworker and others. We are looking at stained
glass, print and other forms of art and performing groups for the
spaces," Lazenby says.
Several artists are already signed and moving in. They include
Big Art Blessings where kids' artwork from school or home
projects is made into a decoupage collage for display, artist Nada
Boner who works in clay sculpture and teaches classes, and artist
Floyd Hosmer who will be part of the teaching studio. Also moving in
Seasoned Performers, Alabama's only senior adult performing
Two photographers coming to Artists on the Bluff are Corey Nolen of
Photography and Butch Oglesby of
Studios and Blue Moon Brides.
"When we saw the school building we thought it was awesome! I would
much rather be in a place like this with students and be available
to teach than in a closed off studio or factory, Mr. Oglesby says.
bluffparkal.org caught up with the Oglesby's while they were busy
painting and getting their new studio ready at Artists on the
As part of moving in, each artist has the freedom to paint and set
up their studio as they would like. Many are still in this process
though some are finished. The doors for each studio will be freshly
There are also plans for a coffee shop with WIFI and an outdoor
The building will still continue to host groups already meeting at
the facility like the
Birmingham Amateur Radio
Hoover Historical Society.
The Soon-Bok Sellers Art Gallery - The gallery will still be
used as it is now, hosting shows and displaying student works. There
will be other opportunities to use the gallery, as well.
If you have been by the school recently, you may have noticed some
trees and the old sign are missing. The City of Hoover has been hard
at work getting the grounds cleaned and cleared. There will be
lighting added outside to focus on the new lettering over the front
door which will read "Artists on the Bluff." The old painted "Art
Gallery" sign will also be updated to match the style of the new
front door lettering.
When can I start classes? How do I reserve a studio for
Artists on the Bluff will have a grand opening and a website.
Dates for opening and classes have not been set yet. Artists or
groups interested in looking at studio space can visit the school or
call 439-2860 for Linda Williams or Rik Lanzenby.
Check bluffparkal.org as we continue to post updates on Artists
on the Bluff.
Rik Lazenby, Director Artists on the Bluff Background
Rik Lazenby is the owner and principal artist of
Lazenby’s Decorative Arts Studio one of Alabama's premiere
studios. The studio focuses on a wide array of fine faux finishes,
designer wall and ceiling finishes, authentic Italian plasters,
Venetian plasters, and Clay plasters. Lazenby has studied with
nationally recognized leaders in the decorative arts field and
trained in Italy under established masters.