Letter to Art Teachers


Dear Art Teachers:

Let me introduce myself. I grew up here in Birmingham and became a full time artist at 21 years old. In 1989, I left Birmingham to open an art gallery in New Orleans, LA. After Katrina, we came back home to our family. We planned to come back eventually; Katrina just sped up the process. I am now officially licensed to do University of Alabama and Auburn artwork (Please visit www.bamaart.net)

My wife Erin is a special Ed teacher at Spain Park High School. She and I are members of the Birmingham Feline Fanciers. Please visit our website at http://birminghamfelinefanciers.com.  Every year I sell my own cat art at the show. This year I realized that this could be a great venue for High School kids.

As for our Cat/Art Show, we are giving the students a very important experience. I wish I could have done that in High School. This will be a first for most High School kids to have their work on exhibit for several thousand strangers to see. A panel of independent art professionals will judge their artwork. I would hope that the kids put lots of energy into the competition. Not just for the prizes (which will be many and very cool), but also to be able to see the energy of the show. There will also be lots of press. As I have lectured to many full and part time artists. I tell them that due to technology and better communication, there are more full time artists making a living then ever before.

Entries will be sold with proceeds going to Birmingham Feline Fanciers (BFF has donated over $170,000 to feline charities). Entries will not be returned, but may be purchased for $20.

My goal is to get the kids to do something important, and have to part with it. I believe we will get some great work. You teachers should motivate them to go all out.  The letter I attached today is a call for entries. We will take the first 75 entries submitted.  Next year we will probably jury who gets in. This is really something I want to do to give back for all the success I have had (even if I was starving a few times).

Thanks for being part of Birmingham’s Art History!


Best personal regards,


Richard Russell

Cat Art Show Director