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Part Two: Artists on the Bluff - An overview of what's to come

By Heather, BluffParkAL.org Heather@bluffparkal.org  Photos by: Heather@bluffparkal.org  ©2011-2012 BluffParkAL.org


A BluffParkAL.org exclusive series on Artists on the Bluff

Part 1 - The Lady Behind the Curtain

Part 2 - Artists on the Bluff - An overview of what's to come

Part 3 - Artists on the Bluff - Let the Art Begin

Photobucket Slide Show of Artists on the Bluff story

Photobucket Slide Show on Artists on the Bluff story Part III

  "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

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 come through."

"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 something everyday!"


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 will be The Seasoned Performers, Alabama's only senior adult performing theatre group.

Two photographers coming to Artists on the Bluff are Corey Nolen of Nolen Photography and Butch Oglesby of Blue Moon 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 Bluff.

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 stained.

There are also plans for a coffee shop with WIFI and an outdoor seating area.

The building will still continue to host groups already meeting at the facility like the Birmingham Amateur Radio Club, and 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.

The outside

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 myself?

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.

Other information

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.



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