Local artist, longtime Ashlander celebrated

A local artist, who has greatly contributed to the Ashland community, celebrated her 99th birthday last Thursday.

Alice Alexander moved with her family to Ashland when she was only 5 years old and since then she has left her mark on the town.

Alice Alexander blows out the candles on her 99th birthday cake during a celebration last week. The 94-year Ashland resident is well known for her contributions to local art.

Alice Alexander blows out the candles on her 99th birthday cake during a celebration last week. The 94-year Ashland resident is well known for her contributions to local art.

“She never would’ve considered living anywhere else,” her daughter Terry Alexander said.

The first piece of art her mother contributed was the town seal. The logo has key town buildings, an oak tree and a railroad running through the middle. Alexander said her mother created the seal with inspiration of all that the town’s known for.

“Mainly the railroad was used to tie everything together,” Alexander said.

In addition, her mother helped paint the background featured in the “Old Ashland” mural, which was created in 1953. The mural was painted over three years by a handful of individuals. It’s currently on display in Town Hall.

Although it is not an accurately scaled depiction, the painting shows how the town was during the early 1900s.

Alexander said her mother has always been creative and artistically talented with oil and watercolor paints. Alice was well known for her portrait paintings and at one point she painted Sumpter Priddy Jr. as a child.

She also sewed clothes for both of her children as they grew up. Alice designed her own home, where she resides now on Duncan Street in Ashland.

Building was another hobby of Alice’s. She built her own recycling bin that she uses every day.

Although she just turned 99, Alice does not act the age. Alexander said she is very healthy for her age. She was mowing her own lawn into her early 90s and would still be cutting her grass if she had not bought a newer but heavier lawnmower, Alexander said.

Community members including Jen Chambers, promotions chair for Ashland Main Street Association, celebrated with Alice on her birthday last week and the association recognized her for her huge contributions to the town and deemed her their featured artist. Each month they recognize a new artist that has a strong connection to the arts community.

“She is a treasure to Ashland and we look forward to celebrating her 100th birthday Jan. 16, 2015,” Chambers said.

Posted on Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 1:48 pm