• 57°

Lower Alabama Arts Coalition to host reception for local artist

Chelsea Rae Huggins is living proof that you can’t keep a good woman down. Huggins, who was seriously injured in a car accident in October 2010 that left her paralyzed from the chest down, has gone on to work on her college degree and to continue painting–a talent she did not discover until after her accident.

What started out as a therapeutic activity during Huggins’ long recovery and rehabilitation has become a meaningful way to express herself creatively and share that creativity with others.

Tuesday, July 25, the Lower Aabama Arts Coalition in Andalusia will host a reception for Huggins from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., with a display of her paintings in their gallery.

“I’ve just completed several new paintings for the gallery show in Andalusia and I am still doing commissioned pieces as well,” said Huggins. “I should have approximately 15 pieces on display at the reception and the majority of them will be for sale.”

This is not the first time the artist’s work has been spotlighted.

The Butler County native had a well-received showing of her work a few years ago at the former High Horse Gallery in downtown Greenville.

And one of her paintings was chosen in 2014 for a display at the Reeve Foundation headquarters in Short Hills N.J. as part of a 10-painting collection for Expressions of Paralysis.

Huggins, who holds the brush in her mouth to paint her canvases, says it all started with a simple flower painted for her mother. Over time, the fledgling painter grew in skill and confidence and discovered a market for her work.

While Huggins’ personal favorite of her latest paintings is one titled “Charlie Cow,” she says a variety of subjects will be featured in the gallery exhibition, including landscapes, seascapes, florals, a few cotton paintings and more.

Having graduated from Lurleen B. Wallace Community College with her associate’s degree in May, Huggins says she is all set to continue her studies at Troy University next month to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

In the meantime, Huggins is excited about the upcoming gallery reception in Andalusia and hopes to see old friends and make new ones as they discover her artwork.  “I’d love to have everyone come by and see me and check out my latest work,” she said. Live music and refreshments are also planned for Huggins’ gallery reception. The arts center is located at 513 East Three Notch Street in Andalusia. Call the center at 334-222-3205 for directions or additional information. You can also visit Huggins’ Facebook page, Mouth Art by Chelsea Rae Huggins.