His art brings stories to life

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Lee Bain reception Thursday

A one-man art show, currently on display at the museum on the campus of Jefferson Davis Community College features the works of Lee Bain. A reception will be held on Thursday, April 7, at the Thomas E. McMillan Museum from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. The public is invited to stop by, look at the art work and meet the artist.

Bain, well known local artist, has worked in several mediums during his career, and has won awards in all of them. The current show includes samples of all his different talents as an artist.

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He came to Brewton in the early 1970s through a  grant from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Alabama State Council on the Arts and Humanities. The grant was made by private funds and he was given the opportunity to come to Brewton on a grant to serve as artist in school.

Bain worked with the schools for a couple of years and was then hired to teach art at T.R. Miller High School. That was the first year that the school offered an art class. It was there that he met and married Beth Parker Johnson in 1974, a fellow teacher.

He taught at the school for the next 10 years and during that time he became extremely active in the Brewton Council of the Arts. He was instrumental in organizing the first Brewton Invitational Art Show which hosted a large number of outstanding artists from all over the Southeast. Many local families entertained these artists in their homes as well as helping them with their displays.

Bain had never thought about having a career in art until he found himself in France as a result of a stint in the U.S. Air Force. He was surrounded by art and found it to be something in which he was very much interested. He was able to see first hand some of the works of the master painters.

He was born in Tuscaloosa and moved around during his childhood attending many different schools. He graduated from Gordon High School in 1956 and joined the military. At the end of his tour of duty in 1960, he entered the University of Alabama, working part time.

“I got a job at the Tuscaloosa News,” he said. “I knew I had to work because you can’t depend on painting to make a living. I knew I had to have a real job.”

When he came to Brewton, he had to return to college in order to be able to teach. He attended Troy University where he not only obtained his teaching certificate, he also earned his masters degree in arts education.

Bain has had a long and successful career. He has owned his own graphic design business and participated in art shows all over the southeast. He also has taught high school and college level classes while participating in art shows in Alabama and Florida.

In these workshops people have been introduced to watercolors, silk screen, woodcuts, oils and hand-made paper. He taught career technical education in several schools and  was elected president of the Alabama Association of Career Technical Education in 1998. He has held both state and national positions with the Association of Career Technical Education.

He has inspired and guided many over the years and his work will be long lasting in, not only this community, but everywhere his work is displayed.