It’s Art Trail Time!

By on 15 November, 2018 in Art, Fun, Kate and Stephen, Shopping with 1 Comment

The Art Trail map

It has become a tradition! For the third straight year, studio artists in the Cloverdale-Idlewild neighborhood will open their workspaces to visitors during the first weekend of December. The Cloverdale-Idlewild Art Trail is an easily walkable 12 block showcase of five studios and more than 15 artists. This year, it will be on Saturday, December 1, from 10 to 3, and Sunday, December 2, from 11 to 2.

In addition to the studios, the tea tent will again be hosted by the Kinzer family—with baked goods, tea, and coffee provided by the neighbors. Donation proceeds from the tea tent go to the Montgomery Area Food Bank. Last year, the art trail raised $370 for the food bank. The tea tent will be a site for the raffle for items donated by participating artists.

New this year at the tea tent, Elana Hagler, a Montgomery artist who is an art instructor at Alabama State University, will be making portrait sketches of people, which they can claim in return for a donation to the food bank. Elana will also have prints of some of her work available.

The Cloverdale-Idlewild neighborhood is home to many artists. Janice Prescott, one of the organizers of the Art Trail (and an artist herself), doesn’t think this is an accident.

“Every year we seem to find more people who are working away at making art in their homes and studios,” she said.
“While we are featuring pottery, painting, glasswork, jewelry, photography, quilting, mosaics, and drawing in the art trail this year, we also have writers, musicians, and chefs in the neighborhood. Plus, there are other artists here who just aren’t ready to put out a shingle. So it’s clearly a great place to be creative.”

The artists in the show have a passion for learning new things and creating, but they have arrived by different paths. Some have been artists all their lives, while others are in a new stage of life, as they’ve moved on from other responsibilities or other careers.

Updates on the Cloverdale-Idlewild Art Trail can be found at their Facebook page and on

We asked Prescott to tell us a little bit about the participating artists, and she put together some biographical snapshots for us. It’s a very interesting group with diverse interests. And if the pictures she shared are any indication, there’s going to be a lot of beautiful art to look at and even buy.


Several of the artists showing work at Celeste Sabel’s studio have exhibited together for many years as the Central Alabama Renegade Potters (CARP). Celeste began working as a potter more than 20 years ago, while she was going to law school and then working as a lawyer. Now devoting most of her time to her art, she makes pots using electric, gas, and raku kilns. She also paints and draws. Chris Greenman will be joining her in the studio this year. Chris is a Japanese-inspired, wood-firing potter who creates vessels that are sculptural, painterly, functional, and tactile as a way to slow people down and increase their awareness of the world. Kathy Haynie, potter, painter, and paralegal, will be displaying her art. Stephen Cappelli, a well-known potter who recently retired as chair of the visual arts department at ASU, has recovered from surgery and is back in the studio part time. Stephen will be there with work old and new. Marcia Pencola, quilter, is inspired by the antique quilting patterns she sees in her current home state of North Carolina.

Mike Handley is a working journalist, but he found his painting muse during a 2001 safari in South Africa where he was stirred by an image of orphans of AIDS victims. He has gone on to paint many subjects, including wildlife, vintage automobiles, and people.

Wild Clover Studio’s Janice Prescott has been a potter for more than 15 years. She recently added a kind of pottery that is made by hand building, from slabs and coils of clay. She says that she has become fascinated by the challenges and opportunities that come with “making pots that are not round.”

Warren Simons, also from Wild Clover Studio, is a photographer, but he considers his photography to be a record of the visual surprises that await him as he calmly and slowly walks through the world with no preconceived idea of what he will find. Warren has been a serious student of seeing with a camera for more than 15 years, but he has worked in laboratory science and is now a desktop designer of books and magazines.

Janice and Warren will be joined at Wild Clover during the art trail by mosaic artist Enid Probst, who came by way of a serendipitous career as a geologist and teacher. Enid is trained in all aspects of mosaic work, from mural installations to small studio works. Her current studio work focuses on mixing glass with native Alabama stone to create abstract pieces.

Darla Tiesling of Sun Dancer Studio has been an artist all her life but made a long detour through retail design. Now an avid potter, she usually focuses on making pieces that mesh with her love of gardening, the outdoors, and garden design. A former perfectionist, she has been taught by her pottery experience to embrace the fortuitousness of imperfection. She also has a following for her sophisticated jewelry designs, which will also be on display.

Darla will be joined again at Sun Dancer by Robin Holley-Johnston, who makes jewelry by repurposing and juxtaposing unique treasures into wearable art. Robin also produces stained glass and wall creations. In addition to their own work, the two artists collaborate in making copper and clay creations.

Also joining Sun Dancer this year is Flippo, whose stained-glass stars will be on display.

Nathaniel (Al) and Kristina (Stina) Allen, painter and photographer, are the latest studio additions to the art trail and are also new to the neighborhood, where they are convenient to their daughter’s school and Al’s job as chair of the visual arts department at ASU. In his artwork, Al likes to play with contradictory ideas: love and war; beauty and monsters; reality and artificiality. Predictably, art functions as a means of both meditation and communication for him. He considers himself blessed to be inundated by creative and insightful family members, friends, co-workers, and students. Even when administrative duties keep him from making art, his days are still filled with it.

Stina got her first digital camera about the time her daughter was born in 2003 and focused on Hanna until Hanna said, “Enough.” Stina invested in a better camera and lenses, and she started pointing her camera more deliberately at interesting subjects such as spider webs with morning dew or hungry hummingbirds in the back yard. Her current camera is a Canon 6d and her favorite lens is a Canon 50 mm. Her favorite subject is still her family, including Big Bob-the-Cat, but outside her family, she is fascinated by photographing faces—both of live people and sculptures.


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  1. Janice Prescott says:

    Great article! Thanks so much to Midtown Montgomery Living for your support! We hope to see all our friends and neighbors there on December 1 and 2.

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