Kelly News Clips July 2021–The Kelly’s OPEN!

“The Kelly Interior, Including Stables” by LJ Christensen

Our beautiful, newly renovated Kelly is open for business.  Because there is so much tourist traffic in downtown Wetumpka, we have a roster of gracious volunteers helping 10-5 p.m. on Mon-Saturday, along with Curator Jennifer Eifert and assistant intern Autumn Staggart.  (If you are willing to volunteer a few hours, please contact Carol Hickman—334-391-5090. It’s fun to meet all the visitors.) On July 3 alone, there were tourists from Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Virginia and Idaho.  In less than two months, we’ve welcomed over 1200 visitors, including the precious toddler below.

“Celebrating Independence Day at the Kelly,”
by LJ Christensen, with parental permission.


TWK, Tuesday, July 20, noon—Come for Provisions

The Provisions Cheese and Wine Shoppe proprietor Dustin “Lucky” Lawrence will be talking about his journeys to seven continents tasting wines and cheeses.  A recent Air Force retiree from Maxwell Air Force Base, Lucky will tell us how he came to settle in Wetumpka at the nearby Fain Theater to start his business with his wife and friends.  Come at noon with a bag lunch; The Kelly provides a beverage and dessert.  Parking is available here and there on Market Street and at Coaches Corner, but allow a few minutes to walk around the construction zone.

“Provisions” of cheese and wine tasting for our Kelly Grand Opening by LJ Christensen

Camp Kelly—Huge Success

With over 100 children, plus parents and dozens of Kelly Volunteers, Camp Kelly, our combined project with the Wetumpka Library has been hugely popular this summer.  Running an afternoon “Tales and Tails” program once a week for six weeks, the reading/art project was envisioned by Kelly educator Cookie Knott and Librarian Cathy Saylor with tremendous help from high school art teacher Adriane Duvall.  A generous grant by the Central Alabama Community Foundation made this exciting program free to all children, grades 1-6.

Kelly Art Camp by Carol Hickman, with parental permission

Cathy Saylor explains that the children read at home, keeping a log, and heard speakers and created art during the group sessions.  She explained, “The Alabama Department of Archives and History came to kick off our events with “tales” about Alabama’s diverse animal population. Art projects touching upon several animals native to Alabama, such as the red-bellied turtle (our state reptile), and the Tulatoma snail, found mainly in the Coosa River (which flows right through Wetumpka), were presented throughout the summer. Renowned artist Ricky Trione from Fairhope, AL, traveled to teach a drawing lesson on the turtle. We will conclude with prizes for the top readers, and a trivia contest that draws questions from all of the sessions presented throughout the summer.” Heartfelt thanks go out to the Kelly members and Friends of the Wetumpka Library who volunteered so many hours.

Kelly Art Camp by Jill Friedman, with parental permission

Continuing to Linger Longer

First Thursdays by the Coosa, The Kelly sets up a free art project for kids. This month they made a cute celebratory project to hang and wave for 4th of July.  If you like to be surrounded with smiling faces, just volunteer to help out.  Call Carol Hickman (334-391-5090) or just show up at the Open Air Community Market behind Market Street,  4-8 p.m.

“Pretty in Pink” by Carol Hickman
“Little Girl, Big Celebration”
by Carol Hickman
“3 Kids, 3 Smiles” by Carol Hickman,
all photos with parental permission

Autumn Is Here

Not Autumn, the season, but Autumn Staggart, our current AUM intern–have you met her yet?  She jumped into the excitement just before the Kelly Grand Opening and has been scurrying ever since.  Besides helping keep the gallery open, she has been hanging art and even assisting with grant-writing.  She reports that we have 2-3 grants in process right now. Autumn says she’s “up for anything” and proves it by her intrepid move to Scotland for her BA.  Now she’s working on a master’s at AUM and her certificate in Museum Studies and really enjoying her internship at The Kelly.

Autumn Staggart, Kelly Intern,
by LJ Christensen

Bits from the Board

Now that The Kelly has a stable location, the next order of business is to get really well organized.  President Belyn Richardson is working to see that committees are working for various duties, such as social events, exhibition, finance, membership, and communication.   Opening daily requires more involvement than ever.  Volunteer to help in areas you enjoy–there are plenty to choose from.

Coming up soon will be the Poarch Creek Indian exhibit in September, a 10th anniversary celebration in August, a Members Party in November, the December Artists Market, and in February, a huge Arti Gras Fund-raiser Gala on Mardi Gras.  In the meantime, Curator Jennifer Eifert reports that The Kelly has already sold over $7000 of art by exhibition artists and Kelly Art Associates, with 25% of the proceeds as commission. As so many pieces are selling, our Art Associates Walls are changing fast–stop by often!

Ever-changing Kelly Art Associates Wall now includes
 Emily Roney’s jewelry. Photo by LJ Christensen.

Our Gratitude to Sponsors

Without you, we couldn’t do all we do for our community.  Thank you.

Elmore County Commissioners Mack Daughtery, Henry Hines, Desirae Lewis, Bart Mercer, Troy Stubbs