Artist flock to Valley Art Show

Published 10:09 am Tuesday, April 30, 2024

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VALLEY — Charles Scoggins has lived all over the U.S. and has finally found a home in Valley, Alabama. The child of a military family, Scoggins was what’s commonly called an Army brat in his youth. He spent time in places ranging from Monterrey, California to Columbus, Georgia. He’s now in a mill house on the corner of 59th Street and 22nd Avenue in the Langdale community.

“The records on the house go back to 1924,” Scoggins said. “That makes it a hundred years old, but I think it could be older than that. I’m restoring it, and that’s been a project. I’m enjoying living here in Valley and restoring an old mill house. I bought it during the pandemic and have been working on it since. I’ve been told that it’s an old dormitory. It has three rooms on each side.”

While he might be into house painting right now, Scoggins is quite good at another kind of painting. He creates some amazing images on canvas. He had some of his works on display at this past weekend’s Our Spring Art Show, sponsored by the Valley Arts Council. It was judged to be the Best in Show.

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Scoggins credits Antonio Mani, the former director of the Columbus School of Art, for having had a major influence on him. Mani’s students loved taking his classes and especially watching him paint.

Scoggins has relocated to Valley from the Atlanta area, where he has exhibited his paintings at the Atlanta Area Artist’s Center. He’s a member of the Portrait Society of America, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that was established in 1998 to serve the purpose of an art education organization that fosters portraiture, figurative art and contemporary-traditional art through art programs and art publications.

He’s retired following a career of more than 30 years as an illustrator in advertising designs. He has also worked for Visual Communications in Atlanta and has taught art classes. He’s visited lots of senior centers to encourage fellow retirees to express themselves through art. “I would love to work with local seniors,” he said. “Painting is such a good way to relax. It gives you something to look forward to each day. The more you do it the better you get at it. It’s a way to unlock your creative side.”

Valley Arts Council President Suzie Britt was well pleased with the artist participation and the turnouts on the part of the public at this past weekend’s Our Spring Show at Valley Community Center. A wide variety of artistic creations were on view. It ranged from Scoggins’ portrait art to the creative sketches done by Casey Bonner in his sketchbooks to the exquisite guitars that were handmade by Riley Yielding in his Beulah workshop. Vivian Valencia had interesting and unusual items made from common items such as Coke cans.

“It’s a great experience to have an art show,” Britt said. “It’s good for an exhibiting artist to have people come and see their work, and it’s good for local people to come out and see what talented people who live in the local area are creating with their hands.”

The Arts Council is looking at having another show for the Christmas holiday season. It could be taking place in late November or early December, around the time the Christmas Merry Go Round gets started.