Two TRM graduates intern with Nall

Published 5:23 pm Wednesday, June 17, 2009

By By Lydia Grimes
features writer

Two former T.R. Miller High School students are getting the chance of a lifetime this summer. Joseph Billy and Amelia Couture have been invited to spend the summer in Vence, France, at the N.A.L.L. — Nature Art & Life League — Foundation, as apprentices of the artist who calls himself Nall.
They are living on the nine-acre estate located in a valley west of Vence, France, which overlooks the Mediterranean. It is there that Nall has designed 10 studios for artists and a museum that features some of the most renown art in the world. Each year he sponsors five Alabama art college students by bringing them to his estate for the summer.
Couture, too, had traveled with Godwin on a former trip to France. When she heard that Billy had applied, she did also, and was accepted. The two students have known each other for most of their lives, attending the same school and the same church.
They left on Friday, May 29, and will return in August, just in time for college in the fall. Couture will be a sophomore at Vassar College, a liberal arts college in New York.
Billy will be entering Montevallo as a freshman in the fall. He wants to continue studying fine arts but is leaning toward a degree in public relations.
Although the two students will be staying on an estate in the south of France, they will not be living a life of ease. They will be assisting Nall and maybe traveling with him to various art shows that are scheduled.
The N.A.L.L. Foundation in France has become a stop on the spring break tours organized for former T.R. Miller High School treacher, Harriet Godwin. They don’t always go to France, but when they do, they try to stop by the estate.
Nall was born in Troy, into an old established Southern family. The family became wealthy, first from a cotton plantation and then from the oil industry and the field of finance. He developed an interest in art at an early age and studied under the master painter Salvador Dali. Dali convinced him to live from his art and told him to continue to “draw and keep on drawing” and to not be afraid.
He later attended the University of Alabama and obtained a degree in Art, political science and psychology. He returns to Alabama every year and maintains his ties with his home state.
Both Couture and Billy have maintained their interest in art for several years and can remember their first venture into the theater when they were in “The Secret Garden” while they were still in elementary school.
Both Couture and Billy said this is the opportunity of a lifetime and they plan to make the most of it.

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