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Birmingham Artists To Watch: Lillie Minnifield

Lillie Minnifield shows some of her favorite artworks, which includes a portrait of the late Ray Charles during 2018 Birmingham Artwalk. (Reginald Allen Photo, For The Birmingham Times)

By Je’Don Holloway Talley
For the Birmingham Times

There’s no one way to describe Lillie Minnifield’s art.

“I’m kind of all over the place when it comes to subject matter, so I just paint what I like,” she said. “It’s a hobby.”

The Ensley Highlands resident enjoys abstract and African art pieces for the color effect and the power of individual interpretation.

“The fact that you can see what you pretty much want to see in an abstract is what I like. … Everyone sees something different, so I like to play with those occasionally,” she said. “I like to paint African art because of the colors. I love bright colors.”

Minnifield uses oils, acrylics, and inks to develop her work, and she says her creativity is often dependent upon the current state of her mood.

“It’s complicated [creating],” she said. “I’m all over the place, so [my work] really depends on my mood that day.”

Minnifield, has been a part of Birmingham Artwalk for the past 13 years and credits fellow artist Ahmad Austin for getting her to come to the festival.

“He was a friend of my neighbor, and my neighbor and I were painting together for four to six hours almost every day,” she said. “[Austin] saw our work and told us we should really do Artwalk.”

Minnifield and her friend took Austin’s advice: “The first year I sold like 16 [pieces], but it is still just a hobby,” she said. “I don’t have a website. I work from a studio on my property and paint only what I enjoy painting.”

Minnifield is a Brundidge, Ala., native, who earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology from Alabama State University. The retired associate director of the Birmingham’s Partners in Neighborhood Growth (PING) program, which creates opportunities for inner-city youth, said it’s great to have local events where artists can showcase their work—Artwalk, Art Crawl, the Avondale Art Show, the Leeds Art Show, the Bluff Park Art Show, the Magic City Art Connection.

Still, Minnifield said, “I try to keep it at the hobby stage, so I can continue to enjoy what I’m doing.”

Click here to read more about Artwalk; Amber; Chris; Erin; Artes Hicks; Students