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Marion County Arts Trail

Have you ever heard the old saying, "Great things come in small packages"? Come spend the day on the Marion County Arts Trail and enjoy meeting new friends and neighbors and seeing wonderful, unique artistic sights in the relaxing, down-home atmosphere of the small towns of this rural northwest Alabama county.

Marion County Arts Trail Stop #1:

Jerry Brown Pottery

Come visit ninth-generation potter Jerry Brown, and of course, his sidekick, Blue the Mule! Watch Jerry throw his world-famous face jugs, watch Blue mix the clay! See the only known operational mule-powered pug mill in the United States and his famous groundhog kiln!

Brown, whose pottery pieces are currently exhibited in the National Museum of History in Washington, D.C., was selected in 1992 as a recipient of the National Heritage Fellowship, and in 2003 he was honored by the Alabama State Council on the Arts with the Alabama Heritage Award.

And if you plan your trip in the early spring, you might catch a glimpse of Jerry, and his wife, Sandra’s purple martins! They usually have over 200 martins "living" at the pottery shop during early spring.

Jerry Brown Pottery
166 Boyett Drive
Hamilton, AL 35570
(205) 921-9483
Web site: www.jerrybrownpottery.com
E-mail address: sales@jerrybrownpottery.com
Studio hours: Monday through Saturday,
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Courtesy: Alabama Department of Tourism

Marion County Arts Trail Stop #2:

Sipsey Creek Decorative Iron

Enjoy your next stop on the Marion County Arts Trail at an actual functioning blacksmith shop! See pieces of iron and metal "come to life and take shape" at this unique art workshop. At a time where many ornamental metal artists take shortcuts or simply "tack" flimsy pieces of iron or metal together, Jimmy Armstrong and Richie Stone create and produce strong, functional, and artistic metalwork. Perennial favorites at the annual Jerry Brown Arts Festival held in Hamilton, Alabama, Jimmy and Richie’s unique ironwork is not only original but is something which will decorate your home, church, or place of business for years to come. They also take custom orders, and please take note, their prices are very reasonable.

Sipsey Creek Decorative Iron
224 Thrush Road
Detroit, AL 35552
Website: www.facebook.com/SipseyCreekDecorativeIron
Email: None
Contact phone numbers:
Jimmy Armstrong (662) 825-0412
Richie Stone (205) 412-9023
Studio hours by appointment only.

Marion County Arts Trail Stop #3:

PawPaw’s Opry

PawPaw’s Opry brings the wonderful sounds of great Southern-inspired country, bluegrass, rhythm & blues, and maybe even a little rock music on the third Saturday night of each month. Enjoy this intimate setting in downtown Hamilton where there’s not a bad seat in the house. Enjoy performers from throughout the Southeastern U.S., many who have performed on the big-time stages in Nashville and many who are on their way! Performances begin at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 per person.

PawPaw’s Opry
223 First Avenue Southwest
Hamilton, AL 35570

Contact phone number:
Jimmy Gilmore (205) 495-3340

Marion County Arts Trail Stop #4:

Organic Vessels Studio & Gallery

Opening in December, 2009, gourd artist extraordinaire Missy Miles’ Organic Vessels Studio & Gallery will leave you asking, "How did she do that?" "Is that really a gourd?"

Miles began her work with gourds in February of 2005. She carves, sculpts, and paints all shapes and sizes of gourds to make them unique and unlike anything you can buy in a "regular" store. She designs everything from hippy gourds to tribute pieces and lots of things in between.

Although relatively new to the gourd art world, Miles has been honored with multiple awards at juried shows through the state. She is the 2008 "Gourd Queen" for the Alabama Gourd Society. She also received the honor of "Artist’s Choice" from her peers at the 2008 and 2009 Jerry Brown Arts Festival and the 2008 Fayette Arts Festival.

Also, Miles is a wonderful mural artist. But, that is the next stop on your Marion County Arts Trail.

Organic Vessels Studio & Gallery
1445 Jimmy Brown Road
Hamilton, AL 35570
(205) 921-1193 – shop
Web site: www.organicvessels.com
E-mail address:missy@organicvessels.com
Studio hours: By appointment only

Marion County Arts Trail Stop #5:

Guin – Mural City

Downtown Guin, Alabama has been known for years as the small Northwest Alabama town which suffered great devastation in the "Super Tornado Outbreak" of April 3 and 4, 1974. However, where there was once death and destruction now stands beauty and grace.

With the goal of being known as "Mural City," the City of Guin, its businesses, and its citizens have commissioned artist Missy Miles to complete seven murals in its downtown area. Three of the seven are now complete. The fourth mural depicting the history of Guin is set to begin soon.

City of Guin
P. O. Box 249
7400 U.S. Highway 43
Guin, AL 35563
(205) 468-2242
Web site: www.guinal.org
E-mail address:cityhall@guinal.org
Studio hours: Viewable 24 hours a day

"The Arches"

"Marion County Banking
Company - 1903"

"Freedom Eagle"

Marion County Arts Trail Stop #6:

The Pastime Theatre

Step back to the grandeur of theatres of the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s in the recently-renovated Pastime Theatre in downtown Winfield. This beautiful facility’s renovations were very carefully conducted in order to maintain the original art deco.

Today the Pastime Theatre is owned by the City of Winfield and operated by a seven-member board appointed by the City Council The theatre provides a wonderful venue for educational, cultural, and artistic performances and events.

Pastime Theatre
1052 U.S. Highway 43
Winfield, AL 35594
(205) 487-3002
Web site: www.pastimetheater.com
E-mail address: cityclerk@dlis.net

Theatre tours offered by appointment.
For a schedule of events, please check the website listed above.

Marion County Arts Trail Stop #7:

Lou Weeks Carter Studio

In 1957, Lou Weeks Carter began her self-education into the world of art by copying pictures and learning colors. Some fifty-plus years later, her beautiful works hang in homes and businesses throughout the United States. This lady made up her mind early on – no watercolors or crayons for her – oil was what she wanted on the end of her paintbrush to make her thoughts and images come to life.

Mrs. Carter does not have one subject which she calls her favorite; she enjoys all types of subjects such as flowers, fruits, and landscapes. She is also well known for her wonderful children's portraits. As part of her 52 years of painting, Mrs. Carter has competed in juried arts festivals throughout the country and going as far west as Colorado and Arizona, and winning numerous awards, ribbons, and certificates. She has won Best in Show at the West Alabama Arts Association Art Show, where she remains a member of that organization.

With her skills greatly honed, Mrs. Carter is now a dedicated art instructor in her hometown of Winfield, Alabama where she uses her studio/gallery as inspiration to her students. There she teaches persons of all ages who want to learn the art of painting. She has taught hundreds of students throughout the years, and continues at the age of 82 to do what she enjoys so much – painting and teaching.

Lou Weeks Carter Studio
234 Ashwood Drive
Winfield, AL 35594
(205) 487-2193

Studio hours: Please call for appointment.

Designed, maintained and hosted by Hamilton B.A.S.E., Hamilton AL
©2021 Northwest Alabama Arts Council, Inc.