What hangs on my walls are for the most part local Jasper artists and other Alabama artists’ works whom I’ve come to love. Nothing hangs on my walls that doesn’t speak to me on some level or doesn’t elicit some emotional response or memory. I know that sounds like a lot from a canine, but I picked up a lot from Mike, and he picked up a lot from those around him over the past 50+ years.
The first artists that Mike met after Jasper Main Street began in 2015, and later I met, were the mega-talented Heidi Young Batson and her brother, Bill Young. We call him Young Bill Young, and we call his dad Old Bill Young. Old Bill Young likes to be mentioned, but I’m sure their talent came from their beautiful German-born mother Anneliese, whom Old Bill met while on a U.S. Army tour.
Heidi is the elder sibling (not by much), and if you don’t already know her, you’ll remember her from Marshall’s Pet Pantry fame. I wrote that article a few months ago, and Marshall was a flirt. Heidi’s style of art is all her own. She describes herself as a mixed media collage artist and photographer. In an aside, Heidi is also a personality and compatibility practicing astrologer, and she just completed her course work as an End of Life Counselor/Doula. Mike likes to visit with her, but I must confess, Marshall is who I want to see.
Heidi takes commissions, but she also creates with no buyer in mind. The piece below spoke to me because it not only has my namesake, but has butterflies. Mike’s grandmother collected butterfly pendants, and some were given to him after she died a few years ago. The printed version of the Daily Mountain Eagle doesn’t have the space to show you all her works or Bill’s works in my house. However, if you want to see them, email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe to the digital version of Tallulah Leads, or find them on Jasper Main Street’s Facebook page.
To see more of her art, find happymoonstudio on Instagram and Happy Moon Studio on Facebook.
Bill Young is probably best known to many people as the art teacher at Jasper High School. However, I just know him as an artist and friend since he also created a piece inspired by yours truly. Since becoming Downtown Jasper’s official unofficial mascot, local photographer Blakeney Clouse took some shots of me in the district. One of the shots inspired Bill to paint a portrait of me with only Mike’s legs showing in the background. This photo also became the shot for this article since I clearly lead.
Currently, you can see some of Bill’s paintings in the newly-renovated Synovus Bank lobby located at 200 West 18th Street in Downtown Jasper. Also, look at his Facebook page to see more.
And speaking of local artists in Downtown Jasper, keep an eye out for Pinnacle Bank’s unveiling of their latest renovations. Among items featured will be local artists’ works that the bank commissioned to display in their Downtown Jasper facility.
Invest in your community and purchase local art. I do! More artists to come over the next few weeks.