by LAURA NATION-ATCHISON
Laura Nation-Atchison/The Daily Home

Talladega County artist Teresa Bussie is the featured artist this month at the LMo&Co Gallery in Talladega. There’s a reception for her at the gallery tonight from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. and everyone is invited to attend, meet the artist and tour the gallery on the downtown square.
Give Teresa Bussie a few buttons, some shredded paper, a little paint and some stones, and she’ll turn it all into a treasure.

Take the piece the Talladega County artist created she titled “Tweet,” for instance.

Tucked inside a shadow box she painted gold, there’s a tiny bird perched on a nest made of paper sitting atop a golf tee, she added a painted and textured background, placed some buttons and stones on the piece and it has a personality all its own.

This and a collection of other pieces of Bussie’s work are on display at LMo&Co Gallery in Talladega, and tonight, there’s a reception for Bussie at the gallery from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Bussie goes all across the board with her art, she does everything from painting in whimsical to realistic approaches to three dimensional work and found object work.

“I like to think that I’m recyling things with my work sometimes, and taking objects and giving them another life,” she said.

Bussie is a native of Talladega and grew up in the Munford area, attending Munford schools.

She recalls she’s always had a love for drawing and painting, and she’s been at it since she was a little girl.

The school system didn’t have formal art training for students when she was in school, but Bussie continued her art on her own.

When it came time for her to go to college and make a decision about a field to pursue, Bussie said she knew she wanted to pursue her love for art, but felt she wasn’t prepared.

“I was intimidated because I didn’t have any formal training,” she said.

But, Bussie followed her heart and talent and in her very first drawing class at Jacksonville State University, came out with an “A.”

Bussie continued with an art major and also earned teaching certification at JSU.

She then attended the University of Montevallo where she completed an masters degree in art education.

She later took further graduate courses in art at the University of Georgia, but did not complete her PhD.

She then became a classroom teacher in the very school system she attended, and waited and hoped for a teaching position that focused on her love for art.

When it finally came in 1983, her supervisor approached her about the opening with “good and bad news,” she said.

“The good news was that there was an art teacher opening,” she said. “The bad news was that I would travel to seven different schools.”

But Bussie took the position and then finally, 10 years ago, got her own art classroom at Lincoln Elementary School where she remained until her retirement in 2006.

“I was thrilled,” she said. “I finally had my own classroom complete with a sink and running water.”

Nowadays, Bussie can spend her time totally focused on her art and that’s precisely what she does.

“I love it,” she said.

In her home studio, Bussie will most likely have at least half a dozen projects in the works at any given time.

“I get bored easily, and that’s the best way for me to work,” she said. “I tried focusing on one thing at a time from start to finish, but that doesn’t really work for me.”

It’s pretty much the reason she likes working in a variety of mediums, it keeps her from getting bored, she said.

Bussie will experiment with all kinds of objects that will incorporate into her work.

“Sometimes I’ll just be looking through a drawer for something and something catches my eye and I think I can make something with it,” she said.

She will often visit thrift shops and other stores to find the pieces that eventually become part of her creations.

In addition to having a collection of her pieces at LMo&Co on Talladega’s downtown square, Bussie’s work is also in the Arscape Gallery in downtown Pell City.

She’s hoping to create her own web site this summer to make more of her work available to the public.

Everyone’s invited to stop by LMo&Co for tonight’s reception, meet Bussie and see the work she has on exhibit.

LMo&Co also has work on display and for sale from dozens of artists throughout the region, including painting and jewelry, pottery and drawing along with mixed media and intricate glass work.

Contact Laura Nation-Atchison at lnation@dailyhome.com.

© 2012