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As a Certified Medical Illustrator, Sam Collins has spent the majority of his professional career illustrating the intricacies of the human body, creating cellular landscapes, and explaining scientific concepts through pictures.

After 25 years of such specialized artwork, Sam now creates mixed media artwork reminiscent of days spent on family road trips when he was a kid. He combines his love of pop art with symbols of the American landscape.

Everyday objects - signs, buildings, cars, music, advertising imagery and events of the mid 20th century, influence Sam’s artwork. He uses painting, photography, digital images, screen-printing and found objects to create his collage constructions that reflect the American lifestyle and culture.

For more than 25 years Amy Collins, also a medical illustrator, has had the opportunity to incorporate her artistic skills into her professional career - explaining scientific concepts through pictures. For the last several years she has been able to focus on something she says is one of her true passions - oil painting.

"My paintings are a reflection of my environment – places I’ve been and things I enjoy. People and animals often provide inspiration. With expressive and loose brushstrokes I try to define their individual personalities. I focus on capturing the light and color nuances that occur at a certain moment in time. Whether in a landscape, a still life, or a figure, I want the viewer to share in that same moment.”


  • On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, Aldridge Gardens salutes the Bluff Park Art Association and Show with this unique look back at art through time.

  • The works of dozens of well-known local and regional artists are on display. Pieces include pottery, paintings, mixed media, photography, metals, wood, paper, clay and much more.

Artists include:

Su Abbott
East Point, GA

Larry Allen
Leeds, AL

Sherrie Beard
Birmingham, AL

Richard Brough
Tuscaloosa, AL

Betty Brown
Bluff Park, AL

Gordon Bruno
Jacksonville, FL

Gina Castle
Slidell, LA

Lin Christopher
Roswell, GA

Will Christopher
Roswell, GA

Charles Collins
Birmingham, AL

Wayne Corliss
Leeds, AL

Troy Criswell
Calera, AL

Bruce Crowe
Russellville, AL

Casselberry, FL

Lorrie Dallek
Atlanta, GA

Nelson Grice
Alabaster, AL

Bethanne Hill
Birmingham, AL

Dorothy Hoeschen
Atlanta, GA

Richard Jacobus
Douglasville, GA

Armor Keller
Birmingham, AL

Kathryn Duke Kinard
Birmingham, AL

Toby Klein
Hoover, AL

Ronald Lewis
Birmingham, AL

Dunkin McKinnon
Hayden, AL

Melanie Morris
Birmingham, AL

Barry Parks
Morris, AL

Debra Riffe
Birmingham, AL

Sarah Rishel
Atlanta, GA

John Sims
Birmingham, AL

Beau Stahl
Pensacola, FL

Milton Thomas
Birmingham, AL

William Thompson
Fairhope, AL

Pamela Waters
Huntsville, AL

Mildred Wyatt
Birmingham, AL

Les Yarbrough
Hoover, AL

bluff park exhibit

Alabama Plein Air Artists

Plein air is a French term that translates to 'open air', and means painting or drawing outside, in the open air. 

The subject matter is created on site, from life, through direct observation. The goal is to capture the light and colors particular to that time of day and locale, as seen by the human eye. The artwork is not only the result of what the artist sees, but by the sounds, smells and activities that infuse the location.

Last May, 10 Alabama plein air artists participated in a "paint-out" at Aldridge Gardens. They captured the beauty they saw around them on our acreage. 

This spring, those works are on display in the Eddie and Kay Aldridge Arts & Historical Collections Museum. The exhibit will run through June 8 and will feature three pieces from each of the participating artists, including:

Gina Brown
Amy Collins
Barbara Davis
Sharon Gates
Diane Newsome
Amy R. Peterson
Robin Roberts
Elaine Shields
Joan Weaver
Karen Weir

Gene and Pam Smith are the presenting sponsors of "Aldridge Gardens en Plein Air."