Little River Arts Council welcomes new president

Pictured above is Little River Arts Council’s newest president, Destin Padgett, who took over the role in July. The LRAC is welcoming new members and vendors. For additional information, email or visit 

Destin Padgett became Little River Arts Council’s new president in July, replacing former president Bill Rutledge. The non-profit organization began approximately 15 years ago when it was started by Sandra Comley and Kregg Wilhite.

“The purpose of LRAC is to serve the artists in our region and put patrons in front of their work,” said Padgett. “Members pay an annual fee that ranges from student to sponsor that allows us an organization to present events where they can display their various talents.”

Padgett is a 2010 graduate of Sylvania High School. She also has an Associate’s degree in Art Studio from Northeast Alabama Community College. Her talents include sculpting, painting and photography. “I’ve always been fascinated by art and art history,” said Padgett. In addition to her schooling, she credits her mother and father who she said were always creative. “Mom wrote poetry and dad was a brick mason who was creative in his work,” Padgett said. “My love of being creative goes back as far as I can remember.” She also gives credit to her art teacher at NACC, Paul Stevenson.

Padgett’s first experience with LRAC was when she attended Colorfest several years ago. “I became a board member very quickly thereafter,” said Padgett. Previously Padgett worked for Dave’s Antiques, in Valley Head, but now she is working from home selling vintage items online. Her new work schedule allows her time to devote to event planning and other president related responsibilities for LRAC.

With the pandemic still affecting society, Padgett said she and the board of LRAC work diligently to plan events that are out in the open air and spaced apart to keep social distancing possible. “Our next event is November 13 and 14, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., at DeSoto State Park Pavilion in the picnic area,” said Padgett. “It is the Creative Spirit Market that we hold annually. Every year the number of vendors grows and this year should be no different.”

The event hosts food, music and artists from all over the region. Items such as pottery, jewelry, mixed-media paintings, and wood carvings are generally featured. Demonstrations are also part of the event. Padgett also said that children’s craft packets will be available to take home. “We felt it safer to have ‘grab-it bags’ for the children rather than hands-on workshops during the pandemic.”

Currently, Padgett is working on a three-part art piece depicting the reality of the circle of life. She said the pandemic had her creative juices on hold for awhile, but that she recently felt an awakening and is planning on finding a large gallery in a metropolitan area to display her work when it is finished. “My new work will be rather large and I will need a large gallery to showcase the piece I am currently working on,” said Padgett.

To contact LRAC concerning support, membership, or registering to be a vendor email or go to LRAC is on Facebook and Instagram. They are happily welcoming new members.

Board members for the LRAC are:

• Anne McLeod, Vice President

• Juli Jordan, Secretary

• Rhea Pirch, Treasurer

• Cynthia Stinson

• Steven Stiefel

• Wil Henry Cobble

• Lacy Dobbs

• Brittney Hughes

• Mikel Yeakle

Destin’s Motto: “To encourage and lift up new emerging artists.”

— Marla Ballard’s Who's Who appears in the Times-Journal Wednesday and weekend editions.

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