Feature Artists: Mary Ann and Larisa Brechun

The Yellow Bird Shadows fruit group 2 as twilight settles in

Mary Ann and Larisa Brechun are a mother-daughter team of painters that make up Lama Art Works. While they enjoy painting together and both paint primarily with oils, their styles could not be more different.

While Larisa’s forte is painting portraits and the human form, she has also found an enjoyment in painting birds that are found across the south. Her paintings are available for sale at Littlehouse Galleries in Homewood, AL.

Mary Ann enjoys the freedom that comes with painting in an abstract style. Her favorite paintings are “abstract landscapes” which tend to be scenes from her imagination.

Mary Ann and Lara have found success with their Etsy shop and have had sales across the world, including England, Australia, and Taiwan.




Feature Artist: Michael Davis

Michael Davis is a watercolor realist inspired by the beauty and timelessness of the southern landscape.  His passion for nature is reflected in his many paintings of the southeast from the mountains of Tennessee and North Georgia to the Gulf Coast.

Although he began painting in oils when he was young, he quickly developed a love for the beauty and detail he could capture with watercolor.  Influenced by the works of Hubert Shuptrine, John Carlson and Wayne Spradley,  Michael has spent his entire career developing his unique style of realism  with  watercolor.  While Michael remains primarily a watercolor realist his current works in acrylic offer a new dimension to his artistic vision.

He has been accepted into numerous juried art shows and exhibitions.  In 2012 his Realism in Watercolor Solo Exhibit was featured at the Hardin Cultural Arts Center in Gadsden, Alabama and the Leeds Arts Council Gallery in Leeds, Alabama. He was a participant in the 2012 Energen Art Competition in which his painting “Autumn on the Bayou” was purchased for  their permanent collection.   Recently his works have been juried into the 2013 Energen Art Competition, the Alabama Wildlife Federation Fine Art Competition and the 54th Annual GAA Fine Art Exhibition at the Gadsden Museum of Art.  Solo Exhibits for 2013 included the Art Gallery at Hoover City Hall in July and August as well as Amicalola Falls State Park in the fall as part of their Visiting Artist Series, and a Solo Exhibit at Brookwood Medical Center in Birmingham in December 2013.   He will be the featured artist at the Rosenzweig Art Center in Columbus, MS in July 2014 and will return to Amicalola Falls with a Solo Exhibit in October 2014.

Among his many awards are Best in Show in the 2012 Eufaula Art Show, Hoover Arts Alliance Award at Art in the Gardens 2011, Hannah LeMaster Watercolor Award in Arts Alive 2011, Best of Show in Painting at the 2011 Fountain City Arts Fest, First Place Watercolor in the 2010 Hoover Shelby Art Association Show and Best of Show in the 2009 Vestavia Art Association Show.     Michael  is a member of the Mountain Brook Art Association,  the Blue Ridge Mountains Art Association and the Over the Mountain Plein Air Painters of Birmingham.  His paintings are in private and corporate collections throughout the South.


Allison Bohorfoush to appear on Fox 6

Allison will help to promote Riverchase Loves Artists on Fox 6 on Thursday morning, February 6 at 8:30am.

Bohorfoush 2014 RLA collage photo

In 22 years as a jewelry artist Allison’s work has been described as whimsical and humorous. Faces, animals, mystical and natural images are what inspire her. All pieces are one of a kind. Techniques such as fold forming, repose’ and fine chisel work are used to enhance the metal. She even forges and cuts her own tools out of steel and ultra dense plastic.

When demonstrating at public events, people are always shocked to see how she uses a hammer and chisel to cut these elaborate designs into such a small piece of metal.

Allison’s work is made of recycled copper and sterling silver scraps from other artists as well as her own melted down and reformed. Looking at the negative space left after cutting something away from a piece of metal gives her new inspiration and pushes her in new directions she might not have otherwise thought of.

Her imagery tends toward realism but with an off-kilter twist. Often pieces have sides that don’t match but are visually balanced. Animal and human forms are a recurring theme but not always how you night have imagined. Allison’s work forces you to take a deeper look and question the intent. Tongue-in-cheek, spirit animals, protective talismans or healing stones….. Look deeper and ask questions, it is not always what it seems.

For example, her answer to Valentine’s Day gifts are puzzle necklaces. Each pendant is cut from the other, each piece completes the other. Two distinct necklaces are made using a piece that makes the other whole. Some have a piece from the center symbolizing Mother and child while others are simply two sides to the same thing.

Demonstrations:  Kentuck Festival for 5 years, Greater Gulf Coast Heritage Festival for 3 years and smaller festivals, markets and conferences for 20 years.

2013 Awards:

Award of Distinction at Three Foot Festival- Meridian, MS

Award of Excellence at Greater Gulf Coast Heritage Fest- Pensacola, FL

Purchase awards at Kentuck Festival and Mecca Fest

2012 Awards:

Merit Award at Mecca Fest- Carrollton, GA.

Purchase awards at Kentuck and Mecca Fest

2011 Awards:

Best of Craft Award- Three Foot Festival- Meridian, MS

Merit Award- Mecca Fest- Carrollton, GA

2009  Awards:

1st Place Craft – Troy Fest


2013 The LEAF  December 2013 Cover artist and article

The LEAF April 2013 article

2009  Birmingham News “Breathing Life Into a Dying Art” 9/13/09


Feature Artist: Alyssa Crisswell

Alyssa Crisswell 1 Alyssa Crisswell 2 Alyssa Crisswell 3

When you’re born into a family of artists there are only two options: pick your poison or go work in the “real world.” Growing up on an isolated reserve in the backwoods of Alabama with her award winning parents (clay artist Becky Bolton Crisswell and painter Troy Crisswell) Alyssa Crisswell learned about the creative process from day one. She attended her first art show when she was two months old and has been hooked ever since. In high school, she showed promise in painting and drawing but developed a keen interest in music and theatre instead. This led her to attend Emerson College in Boston Massachusetts where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree. For six years she made her bread and butter by painting scenery for over 50 operas, musicals, and plays in Boston, Providence, and eventually back home in Birmingham, AL. Crisswell began to develop her own compositions inspired by the art of natural history illustrators, the witty images of surrealist Rene Magritte, and Italian artist Luigi Serafini’s Codex Seraphinianus, an illustrated encyclopedia of an imaginary world. She has built a collection of what she calls “natural and unnatural curiosities” – half flora and fauna from the real world and half imaginary subjects with a twist.

Webiste :http://alyssacrisswellart.tumblr.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artbyalyssacrisswell

Feature Artist: Don Estes

A famous playwright once wrote, “at times, the soul needs something that reason cannot explain.”  That defines art for me.  Art has always evoked a feeling that goes beyond explanation for me.  Beyond the beautiful colors, an interesting scene or a riveting portrait, art produces a feeling inside me.  I fervently hope that I might cause that feeling in others who take time to view my paintings.  If so, I am a very successful artist.

Growing up on a West Alabama farm in the fifties, I was not exposed to art, yet I cannot remember looking at a photograph or reading a good book that did not fire my imagination causing an image to form in my mind.  In later years I encountered a few people that helped develop my interest in art.  While in communication school in Chicago I was taken to some of the wonderful museums by a new friend.  What I saw and felt made a lasting impression on me.  From there I began my first feeble attempts to draw and suffered much frustration.  Several years later I tried again and in frustration enrolled in a painting class at the Oklahoma Science and Arts Foundation.  While there a mentor taught me some of the basics.  Still it was many years before I began to work at art seriously.

An exciting life of working in broadcasting and then in the music industry took my time and energy for several years.  I still found time to dream about becoming an artist.  After 10 years as Director of Promotion for Warner Brothers Records in Los Angeles and 4 years as founder and publisher of a music business trade magazine, I decided it was time to take the plunge into art.  Moving back to my home state of Alabama I have studied and worked steadily to improve as an artist.  I have been fortunate to study under Daniel E. Greene at his studio farm in New Salem, New York.  Daniel is one of the premier  portrait artists in the world.  He was a student, and is a teacher, at the famous Art Students League in New York City.  I have never regretted the decision to focus my life on the arts.

I love art and hope that you find something that stirs a good feeling when looking at any of my paintings.


Feature Artist: Kay Moates

Kay Moates 1 Kay Moates 2 Kay Moates 3 Kay Moates 4

Kay is a fiber artist designing wraps with a difference. Created during her silence, they are an alchemy of earth fibers, stones and quiet. She knits ancient symbols into wearable tools for today’s life to ignite, empower, and magnify inner connections. They are soul whispers woven into body wings.

Mindfulness Mantles and ‘tiny quiets’ have been shown in galleries and fine arts and craft shows in New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and through out the Southeast.

For On Slender Threads’ complete story and shop visit

• website ~ www.onslenderthreads.com

• Facebook ~ www.facebook.com/OnSlenderThreadsWearableZenMoments

• Twitter ~ www.twitter.com/OnSlenderThread

Feature Artist: Hank Siegel

Siegel LongLife Lake -Winter

Siegel Eye See You

Hank is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and a retired Department of Defense official who now makes his home in Hoover, Alabama.  He has lived in the Birmingham area since 1992 and rediscovered his photographic interest upon retiring from the Defense Department in 2003.

He initially developed his interest in photography in the early 60s’ while in the Armed Services and has been using his camera to capture the light in the forms, colors, and textures of the visual world from the south central Pennsylvania mountains to the Sierra Nevada Range of Northern California and the California Coastal Range; and now in the rural and urban areas throughout Alabama and the southeast.

Being trained as a certified Army Instructor in Behavioral and Organizational Dynamics, he has since parlayed those skills into developing and teaching classes in Digital Photography for all levels of skill.

He also lectures on photography covering such topics as Capturing Light to Create Memorable Images, The Photographer as Artist and The History of Photography as an Art Form.

His works have been displayed in venues throughout the southeast including the Light Box Gallery at Pepper Place, The Dempsey Art Center in Auburn, the Soon-Bok Lee Sellers Gallery in Bluff Park, the Gadsden Museum of Art,  the gallery at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and the Blue Ridge Mountain Art Center in Blue Ridge, GA.

His images have won awards at annual photography exhibitions throughout Alabama.

Feature Artist: Toby Klein

                           The Artist’s Kaleidoscopic World

Like a real Kaleidoscope, Toby’s art is created with a burst of color, symmetry of design and motion all captured in “The Artists Kaleidoscopic World”.  Her goal in creating work is to intrigue each person by drawing their eye into the piece of art, while holding it there so they may see all of the intricate detail.  In developing her style, she has strove for her work to be unusual and different from other artists.  She is a mixed media artist, whose work is contemporary and ranges from different degrees of abstraction and experimental to representation.  Her images both representational and non-objective show the use of color, design & techniques as seen through the artist eyes.

Toby won the top award at the 2013 BluffPark Art Show ($3500. Purchase Award for their permanent collection).  She was selected as the Artist for “Southern Voices” in 2010 and exhibit in the Hoover Library Gallery for 3 months.  Among awards, locally as well as internationally, she was a Finalist in “The Artist Magazine’s” 2006, 2005, 2003 & 2002 Annual Art Competition. Toby is a Signature Member of the International Society of Acrylic Painters, International Society of Experimental Artist, Southern Watercolor and Watercolor Society of Alabama, where she served as President in 2003-2004.  She is an Elected Member of the National Association of Women Artist in New York.


2013: Book – Who is God IV  Magazine – Southern Jewish Life  News Paper – The Birmingham News.  2012: Books – Eyes On: Abstracts; Journeys To Abstraction;  Who is God Book II & III. 2011: the Memphis Jewish Scene Magazine; American Style Magazine (for the 3rd year).  2010: A Walk Into Abstract DVD;  Southern Jewish Life Magazine; Cover of Temple Beth-El Membership Directory for 2nd year.  Additional publishing’s: American Artist, Watercolor Magazine; Watercolor Artist Magazine; The Artist’s Magazine; Memphis Jewish Journal; The Birmingham Post Herald; The Pen Women; The Birmingham New.

Represented By

Museum Cotempo – Olympia, W. A. ● Newbill Collection By the Sea – Seaside, FL ● Temple Beth El Gift Shop – Birmingham, AL

Selected Juried Exhibitions and Awards

National Association of Women Artists – 123rd Annual New York, NY 2012; 2009; 2008; 2007; 2005; 2002; 2001 Award ● Medal of Honor; 2000

Watercolor Society of Alabama – 71st National Homewood, AL 2012; 2007; 2006 ● Daler-Rowney Award; 2005 ● Merchant Award; 2004 ● First Place-Past Presidents Award; 2003 ● Experimental Artist of AL Award; 2002; 2001; 1999; 1997

International Society of Experimental Artist – 20th Annual –Shelton, Washington 2011: 14th 2005 Award ● 1st Cutting Edge Award; 13th 2004; 8th 1999; 6th 1997 Award ● Merit

Energen, The Wonders of Alabama Art Competition 10th Annual – Birmingham, AL 2009

Creative Catalyst Productions Collage & Mixed Media Show – 2006 Award ● Most Innovative

Experimental Artist of America – 12th Annual 2008 Award ● 3rd; 2006; 2003; 2002; 2000 Award ● 2nd; 1999; 1998 Award ● Best of Show; Honorable Mention 2001, ’97 & ’96

International Society of Acrylic Painters  – 9th International Delray Beach, FL 2006; 2005; 2003; 2002 ● Award Daler-Rowney $1000.00 Merchandise Award

Watercolor 2003 Exhibition – Houston, Texas ISEA Venue

Panoply Arts Festival Huntsville, AL 2007; 2004; 2003; 2002 Award · Best of Show; 2001; Purchase Awards each year

N.A.W.A. Writings on the Wall – Hewlett, NY 2000

ISE Art Foundation Exhibition – New York, NY  2000

Southern Watercolor Society – 22nd Annual – Niceville, FL 1999 Award ● Soho Gallery Award; 21stAnnual 1998; 18thAnnual   1995   Award ● Rockport Publishers Award

HeritageHallMuseum – 1999 Cheaha Invitational Talladega, AL 1999; 1998 Award ● Jemison Carnegie Foundation Purchase Award; 1997; 1996

Bluff Park Annual Art Show – Hoover, AL 2013 Top Award   ●  $3500. Purchase Award; 2012-1999 & 1994-1993; Award ● Purchase Award 2008,2000,1993; 2007 Award ● President’s Award $1750.00; 2006 Award ● Cash Award

Permanent and Corporate Collections

Alabama Power ● Compass Bank ● Brookwood Medical Center ● CSE Investments ● Data House ● Children’s Hospital ● Heritage Hall Museum ● Hoover Public Library ● Howard Industries ● Regions Bank ● St. Vincent’s Hospital ● Wells Fargo Bank ● Grandview Financial Group ● among others – Private Collections throughout North America, Europe & Israel.

Featured Artists: Renae and Roger Poer

Poer Renae and Roger

Who is R and R?

We are often asked this question. Truthfully, we are Roger and Renae Poer, a husband and wife team working together to offer  designs of rustic but elegant wearable Art Jewelry,  Designs by R and R.

We offer a blend of Form, Function & Style in our designs using many techniques of metalsmithing such as hammer forging, fusing, kiln firing, soldering, chain linking.

We let the materials, such as Sterling Silver,  Fine Silver & Bronze, 22K, 18K and 14K Gold, Copper, Precious & Semi-precious Natural Stones and Pearls guide our handcrafted designs. We are mostly self taught jewelers who embrace new techniques in order to  offer a wide range of unique one of a kind pieces.

One of our favorite types of work is having a client bring an heirloom pieces and intrusting us to create something new for them to wear and cherish.

Our studio is located  in Sylvan Springs, a small town in central Alabama. We hope you’ll allow us to show you our most recent creations.

Roger & Renae

Poer Bracelet2 Poer gate1 Poer Heart FusionPoer Tourq window pain

Feature Artist: Susan Baird

baird 1 baird 2 baird 3 baird 4 baird 5

Susan Baird has been fascinated with art all her life. As a child she enjoyed drawing the people and objects she observed. She later developed an appreciation for the paintings of the Dutch Masters, French Impressionists, and American Tonalists, and still enjoys nothing more than spending an afternoon with a book about one of her favorite artists.

Susan has participated in workshops with some of her favorite artists including Leonard Wren, David Leffel, Kenn Backhaus, Greg Kreutz, and Robert Johnson. She has also taken classes at the atelier of accomplished local aftist, John Lonergan.

Her reflective nature is evident in her work today. Contemplating the way light moves across a face, still life, or landscape, she seeks to convey the beauty that surrounds us. Susan hopes to be a student of art all her life because she believes insight is gained through practice and experience.

Her drawings and paintings have been featured in the Alabama Symphony Show Home. She shows her work at Artists Incorporated in Birmingham and Stonehenge Gallery in Montgomery and is a member of the Alabama Plein Air Artists. Her paintings are in many private collections in the Southeast. To learn more about Susan or to view her paintings, visit her website www.susanbairdart.com.

She can be found on Facebook as Susan Trant Baird.