Sellers makes mark in community
By By LYDIA GRIMES-Features writer
Frances Sellers is having a showing of her artwork at the Thomas E. McMillan Museum in the Fine Arts Building at Jefferson Davis Community College until Aug. 31.
She is one of Brewton's newest residents, having come here only three years ago, but she is certainly making her mark on the art community.
Her work is not confined to any one media, but she leans more toward watercolors. Her art subjects vary from abstract to one of her favorites, various birds. Her display will feature watercolors, collage and a mixture of other media.
Sellers is a juried member of The Watercolor Society of Alabama (WSA) and a former member of the Mount Dora, the Eustis and the Leesburg Art Association in Florida. She has taken workshops with Stephen Doherty, Robin Moore, Frank Webb, Tom Jones and Tony Couch and has taken art classes at Lake-Sumter Community College in Central Florida and at Jefferson Davis Community College here in Brewton.
She has won numerous awards including one for her painting of blue-footed boobies marching across an American flag call "Boogie Woogie Booby Boys of Company B" in the 2000 "We Love a Parade" President's Day Show at the Lake Museum of Art in Central Florida. She also has a piece in the permanent collection at the museum. Her painting, "uno, dos, tres," was accepted in the 2004 Alabama Members' Juried Showcase for WSA and another painting, "Blind Date," was accepted for the 64th Annual National Exhibition of the Watercolor Society of Alabama Show held at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University in 2005. The entry won the Merchants Award of the H.K. Holbein, Inc. Certificate of Excellence. That particular painting was the first piece that she sold.
Sellers was one of those who entered the Brewton Community Association Christmas Card contest for 2004, due to be featured on a card this year. She also has had several pieces of her work included in the 2005 summer issue of the Watercolor Magazine in the article, "Exploring New Options," written by editor-in-chief, M. Stephen Doherty. She attended a workshop conducted by Doherty and sponsored by the Watercolor Society of Alabama where she learned how to use different techniques and materials in her work.
Sellers was born in the small town of Keytona, Ala., and lived in Tarrant during her school years. Her father was in construction and when she was very small the family moved around a lot while he was doing war construction. They had settled in Tarrant by the time she started to school and she graduated from Tarrant High School in 1958. She was an active student, serving on the student council, and she was in the honor society. She went to Sanford University in Birmingham and graduated in 1962 with a degree in education.
She did find time to meet and marry Jerry Sellers in 1961. He was also a student and after the marriage he attended the University of Alabama to earn his masters degree in structural engineering. They lived on campus during that time and she worked in the Special Education Department at the college as a department secretary.
After he finished college, the couple moved to Pensacola and lived for about a year while he worked with Southern Pre Stressed Concrete, Inc. They then moved to Montgomery where he became a salesman for the same company. They lived there for eight years and adopted their son, David, there in 1975, before moving back to Pensacola where they lived for about 14 years.
Her husband's company was sold and he went to work for another company which meant another move for the family. They moved to Mount Dora, Fla., where David completed school. During this time she was painting more and began to compete in art shows. She is an avid birder and uses her love of birds in many of her works.
A few years ago, while the family was still living in Mount Dora, they realized that their small town was becoming a bedroom community for Orlando. It was getting more crowded and a major highway was being built near their home.
Not only do the Sellers have a place to play golf, they also can do a lot of bird watching. Sellers said they have documented 90 different birds near their home at the Country Club of Brewton.
Sellers joined an art class at Jefferson Davis Community College and met the art teacher, Sue Laing. She was persuaded by Laing to display her work and those in the community will be able to see her work at the show through August, each day from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Sellers stays very busy with her art, birding and playing golf, but does maintain a collection of decorated eggs that began when she was a small child. She has also become an Arts Council member.