For Montgomery native Gina Budny, her family, their beloved space on Lake Martin and her parents patronage of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts fostered a love of art at a young age. During her high school years at The Montgomery Academy she took AP Art History, after some encouragement from her father who also studied art history in undergrad, and began a quick journey to her passion—creating unique commissioned pieces of art.
Always a creative person, Joanie Conoly says finding her life’s work has been a long process. And while her biggest blessing in life and greatest accomplishment is being a mother to her three children, Eleanor, 7, Charlie, 4, and Margaret, 2; rediscovering her love of painting came at the perfect time in her life.
As a little girl, Nancy Cooper was a self-proclaimed smartass who enjoyed being creative. One day when she got sent to her room for being a little mouthy, instead of staring at the walls sulking, she went into the garage, found a can of paint and painted her bedroom furniture. “When I was supposed to be doing homework I would draw women’s clothing. It was always when I wasn’t supposed to. I would start coloring with whatever,” she says.
“The past two years have been a real baptism by fire.” After losing his mother in a boating accident in 2016 and his father to Alzheimer’s in 2017, Madison Faile found a way to deal with the tragedies that life dealt him. “Art is what got me through that process. Art is the only thing that got me through.”
Some artists are said to be born with a paint brush in hand, and that is certainly true of Ruthie Carlson. She barely remembers a time when art was not a vital part of her life. Growing up, Ruthie’s father owned a printing company. Her relationship with her father and his printing company was the beginning of her love of art. “On Saturdays rather than watching cartoons, I would go with him to the office. He would lead me through aisles and aisles of paper and allow me to collect as much as I could carry in every size and color. Then, he would set me up on a drawing table in their art room with a magnitude of magic markers, pens, pencils, scissors, rulers and more. Every girl’s dream, right? Well definitely mine!”