My Masterpiece schedules art show to exhibit student’s work


By Donna Thornton/News Editor

My Masterpiece Art Studio and Gallery will host its second art show from 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 7.

The show features the art work of students in Hillary Blackwood’s General Art Class and Zachary Noah’s Cartoon Animation class. Students will display their work  and those who attend will have an opportunity to purchase prints, greeting cards, DVDs, and books. Refreshments will be served and awards with be presented.

My Masterpiece owner Dawn Beck said admission is free for the show. Students will be displaying work done in oil, watercolor, acrylics, books and digital cartoon animation.

Beck said the philosophy at the studio is to provide a place “where everyone is an artist.”

Beck is originally from the Gadsden area and worked as a counselor before opening the studio. She said she has always enjoyed art and has more than 30 years experience with ceramics. She has been commissioned to build many theatrical props of all kinds for local schools and performing art centers and painted many of the canvases in the gallery at My Masterpiece. Beck works as one of the artists for private parties and is available for private lessons and commission pieces.

General Art instructor Hilary Blackwood has had many years of experience teaching classes and leading workshops and demonstrations as a professional educator. She has combined her lifelong love of art with her love of teaching as an artist at My Masterpiece. Through her personal study and practice, Hilary has explored such art forms as painting, stop motion animation, sewing and bookbinding.

She has also participated in many of Gadsden’s art events including First Friday, art shows at Gadsden Museum of Art, teaching book arts with the Gadsden Public Library and Downtown Gadsden’s Gadabout. Her artwork appears in several boutiques throughout Alabama. Blackwood is available for private lessons, commission pieces and often works as the artist for private parties.

Work done by Blackwood’s students include paintings in a variety of mediums – even one using an old window as a canvas.

Students in the general art class include: Courtney Carroll, who now will be teaching art classes at My Masterpiece, Jared Reneman, Emille Dillard, Elizabeth Peterson and Lauren Peterson.

Cartoon animation instructor Zachary Noah is a self-taught cartoon animator. He is a 2010 graduate of Southside High School. He attends Gadsden State Community College as an Art major. In 2008, he created his first cartoon character called Cameron Cat.

His animation style is heavily influenced by the classic cartoons, such as Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, etc.

The first animation that Zachary Noah created was entitled “Dogs Hate Cats.” Cameron Cat has been his hallmark cartoon character ever since. He even received hundreds of dollars from one of his cartoons on YouTube. From August 2008 until he graduated in May 2010, Zachary also played the marimba with the Southside High School marching band, The Pride of Southside.

Zachary, who is autistic, worked with two Cartoon Animation students this week to finish their cartoon productions. Student Eleanor Rowe, 20, was able to see her cartoon character — Bijou the Perfect Rabbit – come to life during Monday night’s class.

Beck said to craft the three- to- four minute cartoon, Eleanor had to complete approximately 800 drawings, reflecting every move in the character’s positions. Eleanor plans a series of cartoons featuring her character.

Nine-year-old Desirae Cramblett was completing work on her cartoon, an anti-bullying story, the first in a planned series of “Life in a Tree” cartoons.

Like Eleanor, Desirae completed hundreds of drawings for her cartoon. For both young artists, Noah takes the drawings and via computer, puts the images together, along with the recorded dialogue and sound effects – all done by Noah and the students – to make a completed cartoon.During the art show, guests will be able to see the cartoons, as well as displayed work from all the classes.

  My Masterpiece is enrolling students for various classes including general art, drawing, creative writing workshops, and cartoon animation. The studio also is open seven days a week for private parties of all kinds including birthday parties, office parties, couples’ night and Girl’s Night Out. Nightly paintings classes are offered at the studio and commission work is available. 

Beck said many exciting workshops are scheduled for the upcoming year as well, such as Intro to Calligraphy, Zentangle Artist’s Trading Cards, Simple Bookmaking, Painted flower pots, cloth stenciling, printmaking, stamp carving, banner making/prayer flags, creating gift tags, card-making, holiday ornaments, decorative papermaking, and art journaling. 

Call 256-312-7617 to sign up for a class, book a party, or get more information. 

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