Former teacher’s art displayed

Published 1:52 am Saturday, February 9, 2019

The Lower Alabama Arts Coalition’s featured artist for this month, the late Elizabeth Ballard, always painted for herself.

Dr. Jim Krudop, Ballard’s nephew, said that she was painting for as long as he knew her.

“She never tried to sell her paintings or get it out in the public,” Krudop said. “She just always painted for herself.”

She was a straight up country girl, Krudop said.

“She grew up in the country and loved it,” Krudop said. “She stayed there her entire life on the farm. She taught me how to shoot a .22 rifle and helped me learn how to drive on the farm. Even when her parents were gone from the farm, she stayed and managed it. We really enjoyed being on the farm with her. She was a great aunt.”

Ballard spent more than 20 years teaching art and science for the Opp City Schools, then taught in Enterprise.  Collectively, when she retired in 1984, she had spent more than 27 years in education.

“One of the several things that she was, she was an educator,” Krudop said. “She taught art and general science at Opp and Enterprise High School, and she did it until she retired.”

When Ballard wasn’t painting or teaching, Krudop said that she spent a lot of her time crafting.

“She was very crafty,” Krudop said. “She built and repaired things and was really into antiques. There were several fun things at her house. She also made several ceramics. She was just an all around talented person.”

Krudop said that she was also very interested in family history and genealogy.

“She did a lot of work on the family history,” Krudop said. “And she spent her entire life around her family. She was born and reared on the farm that her father grew up on and her grandfather lived right across the road. He was a country doctor that moved down from South Carolina. He practiced medicine around the community with his horse and carriage and would take anything from hay to livestock as payment.

Krudop said that he is very honored to see the LAAC honoring his aunt with a show.

“It means so much to me and the family that we are able to do this,” he said. “Just the fact that other people will get to enjoy her paintings is what makes it worth it, because like I said earlier, she never wanted to push her work. She just did it because she loved it.”

Ballard’s collection includes a little bit of everything from family portraits, historic homes, sketches, landscapes, pen and ink, acrylics, oils, watercolors, pastels, and print block art.

All of the pieces are for sale, and proceeds from the reception will go back to the LAAC.

“We are delighted that the money from the sold paintings is going back to the LAAC,” Krudop said. “She has been known by people in the area for years and years, so it will be nice for people to enjoy her work.”

The opening reception will be on Sun., Feb. 10, from 1:30 to 3 p.m., at the LAAC Arts Center.

–Christopher Smith