Fine Art Gallery, Working Studio, and Art Instruction in Birmingham, Alabama
Dori DeCamillis Art
My paintings are self-portraits
depicting my own mind-states. Each piece is a character in a private mythology
designed to personify my ever-changing thought patterns, habits, and perspectives.
These individual pieces of my personality are painted as they come up in my
life in an attempt to be more honest with myself and shed an introspective light
on my foibles, aspirations, and secrets. By doing so in the public arena I
lessen the power these thoughts have over me and reveal human attributes that notionally
relate to everyone.
In many cultures and religions around the world, animals
have been used to represent ideas, deities and demons, and human traits—a wide
range of inanimate phenomenon. Taking cues from these traditions, I came up with characters for the story of my own consciousness. I am currently writing a book about the process of painting this series.
All paintings are oil on board at 16" x 20" and titles are taken from the sonnets of Shakespeare. All unsold paintings are currently for sale at $2000 each.
Until recently my vessels were more often than not made as a means to explore glaze combinations for future sculpture or student demonstrations and tests. However in this recent series I have been exploring vessel forms and glaze more seriously, attempting to make them compliment each other. Combining my glaze surfaces with soft, bulbous, undulating forms resulting in this wonderful body of one of a kind pieces that are candy to the eye and touch.
Please check back as more images and info are updated.
Scott received a Masters of Fine Art in Ceramics at Ohio State University in 1989. His sculpture has been exhibited in galleries and museums nationwide. He was a prototype designer for Bath and Body Works and White Barn Candle Company for 7 years, and has been working with clay since 1979.
Scott is currently co-owner of Red Dot Gallery, the Director of the Alabama Crafts Council, and the director of the Alabama Clay Conference. He is on the Ceramics Monthly Advisory Board, a national ceramics publication.
Beginning Students will learn techniques for throwing basic forms (bowls, plates, mugs, pitchers etc.) on the potter's wheel as well as hand-building techniques (pinch, coil, and slab-building) if desired.
For intermediate and advanced students, I will help you refine your existing skills and expand your possibilities of form on and off of the wheel.
For many years I've worked with White Earthenware, and low-fire glazes, but my students and I have recently been exploring mid-range (cone 5-6) clay and glazes as well.
Classes are ongoing and students can start at any time if a time slot is available. Availability is first come, first serve. I teach beginners and advanced students together with a 8 student per class limit. Price is $165 per 6 weeks, and students must commit to 6 consecutive class sessions meeting at the same time every week.
Materials (clay and glaze) are not included in the class price which costs each student approximately $50, and I provide a list and locations to purchase supplies.
Mondays 6-9 pm
Tuesdays 6-9 pm
Wednesdays 1-4 pm
Wednesdays 6-9 pm
Thursdays 6-9 pm
Saturday Open Studio (when staffed) for enrolled students
Any missed classes must be made up within the six session period. Non-refundable class Gift Certificates are available.
Gallery hours are: Tues 6-9, Wed 9-9. Thurs 9-11 and 4:30-9, Sat 1-4 Please call before coming if you would like to visit outside of these hours.
Red Dot students range from brand-new beginners to advanced painters and drawers. Most of the students featured below have been studying at Red Dot for years. Click on the artist's name below for a gallery of each artist's work. (More names will be updated soon.)
Note to new students: Do not be intimidated. Almost all of these artists started with NO experience.
Scroll down to see samples of Kid's Class projects.
Kid's Art Class
Red Dot’s kid class is $140 for
six weeks and meets for one hour per week. You get one free miss per six weeks, so it can
be made up at the end. Supplies are
included. Classes are ongoing, even in the summer. I allow for free misses
over the holidays, spring break, etc.
Thursday at 4:30, 8- 12 year olds (and mature 7 year olds)
Class focuses on developing
academic rendering skill and still having fun with craft projects. In addition
to lots of sketching practice, we sometimes use mediums such as pastels,
acrylic paint, watercolor, pencil drawing, oil pastels, clay, collage, block
printing, scratch board, and found object constructions. Some of the kids will
be working on their portfolios to audition for Alabama School of Fine Arts, and
others are just there to have fun. The combo is quite successful for both
goals. I teach drawing as I would in a college class, so they’ll be well-versed
in art vocabulary, concepts, and skills if they come for a while. I insist on
an encouraging and positive experience for everyone.
Applying for Alabama School of Fine Arts
Each year I have a student or two
working with me on their portfolio for ASFA auditions. I have a high success
rate for helping kids get accepted, but I offer no guarantees. ASFA auditions
are held each year in the Spring, and I encourage students to start working
with me in October on the required portfolio. If they start much later than
that, it can get pretty stressful for parents and students (and me.) It is best
if the student has been taking classes at Red Dot as far in advance of October
as they can. If a student is considering working with me on their portfolio, I
like to have a sit-down with students and parents to tell them what the process
ASFA really looks favorably on
prospective students that have attended their summer camps. Here is a
Here are links with information
about the application process in general. It can be pretty daunting, so I
recommend parents and students meet with me to explain how we prepare. I spread
it our over months to make it as stress-free as possible.
I was first introduced to the modern daylily in the early 90’s while gardening for Handy Hatfield in Ohio. I quickly became intrigued with the forms and colors being developed by hybridizers, and even more fascinated by the idea that one could combine two different flowers and make new flowers that were completely new and different.
I immediately began hybridizing at Handy’s. He had a wealth of subjects, but had no interest in making new ones. I remember my first blooms from Atlanta Superstar with Grand Palais. In fact, these initial seedlings can still be found today in the bloodlines of my program. Handy introduced me to Curt Hanson and Crintonic Gardens. Curt and I became good friends, and he quickly became and remains the strongest influence of my hybridizing efforts. I had an acre of property in Columbus, Ohio and by the mid 90’s was growing about 5000 seedlings at a time, and by the new millennium was positioned to begin naming and registering the crème of my crops.
All along this time however, I was (and still do) pursuing my first love of making art (this website can explain that other endeavor further), and was reluctant to start another artistic business venture, so I just continued to hybridize with the attitude that if it were to happen, it would happen. In 2002 I met a woman (who eventually became my wife) at an art festival in St. Louis. She lived in Birmingham, Alabama and we began a long distance relationship for two years until we both agreed it was time for me to move to Birmingham. I was in a position to do so, and frankly, was ready for a change of scenery.
At this time I felt my hybridizing might be over, or at least on hold for a while, so in 2003 I purged my program down to about 150 seedlings and moved them to a friends farm in Ohio just incase I was in a position to re-visit hybridizing down the road. When I first moved to Birmingham I lived in an apartment and we started up Red Dot Gallery, an art gallery and teaching studio here in Birmingham. Daylilys were still in my head, but at that time they were filed in the back. I generally kept up with the trends of other hybridizers, and even had a cultivar named after me (thanks to David and Mort), but my focus was on other endeavors, until 2005 when we began discussing the possibility of buying a home.
Well, that summer (2005) we found a nice ranch house on a half-acre just outside of the city, so the daylily wheels started turning again. I suddenly realized that I was now living in zone 7b not 5, and the possibility of blooming daylilys in one year instead of two was just too enticing, so in 2006 I retrieved my seedlings from Ohio, immediately planted them, got bloom, and made about 1000 seed. I didn’t get them lined out until February of 2007, so the one-year bloom idea didn’t happen this year, but it was great to re-visit old friends, and you can’t beat the long growing season and substantial re-bloom here.
The 2006 seedlings (2008 bloom) begin to reflect this reunion of sorts. I have since then been rebuilding my collection and re-broadening my gene pool. The next two years will hopefully reflect these efforts in my program.
Since the last post on my bio the 2007 and 2008 seedlings have bloomed, and I'm not disappointed. Despite the relatively small number of seed I make, the evolution of all my intros, and selected seedlings inspires me to move forward with my program. Recent acquisitions of new cultivars have been mixing up the gene pool nicely, expanding the paths I have taken. You can see the results on my flickr site.
Scott's Daylily Hybridizing Program
Daylilies are presented below in order of introduction, starting with the most recent.
This flower has become one of the primary influences of my program.
Named after the nickname of a small wealthy villige in Birmingham.
Mike Derrow aptly describes Tiny Kingdom as; A small flower with a big face.
$60 SF $70 DF
2009 INTRODUCTION BELOW
SHOT IN THE DARK
(Bennett, S. 2008)
(Prince Redbird X Bela Lugosi) X [When Fortune Smiles X (Nite Deposit X (Velvet Underground X Capearnum Sin)], TET., Sev., EMRe, 35 ", 4.75" flower, 5-6 way branching, 35-40 buds.
I won't call this a purple, but rather a dark plum-red. I feel this flower successfully incorporates the TET. Grand Masterpiece lines of Curt Hanson's with Elizabeth Salter's small TET program. Extremely fertile both ways.
$55 SF $70 DF
2008 INTRODUCTIONS BELOW
CHEESEBALLS IN COWTOWN
(Bennett, S. 2007)
(Guineveres Gift X Chestnut Mountain), TET., Sev., EMRe, 28", 4" flower, 4 way branching, 30 buds. This bright "Cheeseball" Orange self is possibly the most consistent daylily I've bloomed to date. The plant and flower are well proportioned, and it quickly forms a nice clump. Fertile both ways.
(Bennett, S. 2007)
(Devonshire Duchess X Seminole Wind), TET., Sev., M, 30", 4.5" flower, 5 way branching, 30 buds. Named for my mother Helen Luzerna Bennett who I credit for the softer side of my personality. While Helen is a soft Melon Pink, she boasts a large yellow watermark on robust, well branched scapes making a strong statement in the garden. Fertile both ways.
(Bennett, S. 2007)
(Anastasia X Bela Lugosi), TET., Dor., M, 36", 6" flower, 5 way branching, 30 buds. This Salmon Rose flower has an unusual form and wide spaced branching. The legendary bloodlines speak for themselves, and while it is pod sterile, the offspring from this cultivar are showing great promise in both form and color. Pollen fertile.
$25 SF, $30 DF
(Bennett, S. 2007)
(Shadow Passage X Unity Consciousness), TET., Sev., M, 28", 5" flower, 5 way branching, 25 buds. A Smokey Red Violet with a Grayish Slate Watermark. Named after my father Harold Thomas Bennett, this flower with it's unique color combination pays tribute to the person I credit most for my creative side. Fertile both ways.
$40 SF $50 DF
Red Dot Gallery exhibits the work of owners Dori DeCamillis and Scott Bennett, as well as other local and occasionally national artists. The work of Red Dot Students is exhibited in an annual student show, and individual students will have solo shows when they have sufficiently developed their visual voice and have an adequate-sized body of work.
Red Dot owner Scott Bennett is currently the Director of the Alabama Crafts Council, and in 2012 hosted the annual Alabama Clay Conference in Birmingham.
Dori DeCamillis Books
Dori has written three books. The first two are memoirs. Born in Steamboat Springs, Colorado before the cold, remote, rural mountain town became a world-class ski resort, Dori tells stories of growing up with her eccentric family in "My Steamboat."
In her late 20s she traveled the United States for three years in a vintage motor home, selling her paintings at outdoor art festivals. "The Freeway", chronicles her hair-raising adventures on the road. Both books are available for sale on Amazon.com
"Exhibit A" is a colorful catalogue of images and information about her 12 panel painting project funded in part by an Alabama Council of Arts Fellowship. Dori produced intricate works of art inspired by 12 places in Alabama. Available on Blurb.com.
In the freewheeling memoir, My Steamboat, Dori Duckels DeCamillis revels in the uncommon cold of her Rocky Mountain girlhood--complete with fierce, funny parents, wily siblings, improbably-named classmates, and the feisty menagerie who just happened by. Set in the shadows of postcard-perfect Storm Mountain, her book recounts how the people and place irrevocably shaped her, at the very moment her sleepy little hometown was becoming a big-time resort. Part picaresque parable, part insider travelogue, My Steamboat adroitly spins an endearing coming-of-age tale of love, laughter and growing up, candidly reminding us about the abiding power of place and family.
--Mary Kay Culpepper, journalist and longtime editor, Cooking LIght magazine.
Dori DeCamillis Hails from the Hills
Oh yes, I judge books by their covers. Because books, and book covers, are art to me, and I am attracted to good, vivid, striking art.
So I was hooked at first sight by Dori DeCamillis' memoir, "My Steamboat: A Ski Town Childhood." The luscious, fresh-air inducing bright photo of children playing in the river while the verdant ski slopes wink behind is so inviting...
And then the mud-covered, rough-and-tumble reality of Steamboat residency sets in. From the beginning DeCamillis warns that mountain folk are blunt sometimes, and that her stories, which are so every-day in her mind, may seem surprising or even scandalous to city slickers.
This city slicker wasn't scandalized, but did laugh uproariously at the girl joining her basketball team to moon highway drivers out the tour bus window, at the mother whose language could make light hearts blush, at the genuine sacrilege of naughty pranks during Mass in the town's Catholic parish.
This book has the feel of that friend in your life who tells the funniest stories and you could spend hours just listening, laughing, and wanting more. That's why I couldn't put it down until the last page had been devoured. Enjoy the mountain scenery, cherish this precious portrait of a once-quaint town that has, like so many resorts, been standardized to commercial perfection, smell the pine-scented breezes, and romp with Dori and the Duckels clan up and down Steamboat's mountain playground. Coloradans will feel right at home between these covers, and out-of-towners will rejoice in what we all know is our own slice of paradise.
--Rocky Mountain Authors blog at the Tattered Cover, Denver, C
If you think you know Steamboat, think again. This story of a ranch town cum ski resort, by a native who knew it all back when, will make you rethink not only Steamboat Springs, Colorado, but that "same small town in each of us," as the songwriter said.
In these pages you will meet a mother with a profanity habit who fling cats into snowbanks and plays sad folk songs on the ukulele; a father who emerges only rarely from his deep silences to laught manically at his own jokes and teach his teenage daughters how to play dirty basketball; townspeople who include lecherous old dudes hanging around the local pool, former race car drivers at the wheel of the scool bus, and history teachers who issue bomb threats.
Dori DeCamillis (nee Duckels) tells of her unique family, peculiar neighbors, and reassuringly American hometown with honesty, grace, and most inportantly humor. A cross between Patrick McManus and Garrison Keillor, DeCamillis gives us a town and cast of characters not soon forgotten.
--Avery Hurt, author of Bullet With Your Name On It
Two young painters sell everything they own, buy a vintage motor home, and hit the road to seek their fortune. This is the story of their adventures. In a voice as unafffected as the paintings that she and her husband create, Dori tells the story of her three year-long journey. Often funny, sometimes heartbreaking, with echoes of Huck Finn, Jack Kerouac, and Lucy and Desi in the long, long trailer, The Freeway takes the reader not simply across America, but to a place somewhere in the center of the heart.
The Freeway is warm, funny, and wonderfully engaging. In the best tradition of travel writing since Huck Finn, it the journey, not the destination, that counts, and this is one you'll love going along on.
A catalogue of full-page reproductions of "Exhibit A" a series of panels I completed between 2006 and 2011. The pieces are painted with oils on board and copper with handmade ceramic tile.
I moved to Alabama in 1994, amazed by the historical and natural wonders that are largely overlooked by Alabamians. I received the Alabama State Council on the Arts Individual Artists Fellowship for 2006-07 which inspired a series of 12 large paintings in my mixed-media panel format based on some of my favorite Alabama places.
In most cases I worked with a handful of extremely dedicated people who have devoted their lives to saving, managing, and promoting awareness of their place. The series was featured in a solo exhibit of the work titled "Prominence of Place" from April to September of 2011 at the Mobile Museum of Art.
Annabelle DeCamillis is attending University of Alabama,
Birmingham. The child of professional artists, she had been making art of all
kinds since she was a toddler. Her artwork has gathered top awards at the
Alabama state level, including the Alabama State Superintendent’s Visual Arts
Recognition, the Alabama Council on the Arts Visual Art Achievement Awards. She
won Best in Show in the I Love Homewood Day Sidewalk Chalk Contest and People’s
Choice Award in the Nature Conservancy’s Earth Day Fundraiser. In both cases
she competed against adult professional artists.
At the national level, Annabelle won the gold medal at the
prestigious Scholastic Art and Writing Awards in 2012, and the Silver with
Distinction in 2013. The awards are given out at a ceremony at Carnegie Hall
each year. Her winning painting as a junior was chosen to be exhibited at the
U.S. Department of Education for a full year. She was also a 2013 YoungArts
finalist and scholarship recipient. She attended a week of classes with
world-famous artists in Miami and exhibited her paintings at the Miami Museum of
Art. A solo exhibit of her work marked the inaugural event at the newly
remodeled Hoover City Hall in Hoover, AL in April 2013. She was honored in a
ceremony by Mayor Gary Ivey. In May and June of 2013 one of her paintings hung
in the Kennedy Center in New York City, celebrating the Presidential Scholar
ceremony as a YoungArts alum.
Annabelle has completed professional commissions, such as a
large mural for the Birmingham Zoo and all the pastel panels hanging at
Creekside Tavern in Hoover. Her other interests include belly dancing, Japanese
culture and language, and costume making. Her parents own Red Dot Gallery in
Homewood, AL where Annabelle teaches classes.
34" x 40" Oil on Canvas 2012 SOLD
From the series, "Dress Code," a body of work depicting normal people in everyday settings with costumes that are out-of-place. Her work is influenced by her love of costume making, Japanese animation, and traditional oil painting.