Art Abbs joined the Museum’s volunteer program in 2007, just after he retired from working at the Department of Interior for 42 years. His wife, Ruth Ann, had been a volunteer and he decided to join her by assisting with special exhibitions where he would hand out audio guides and take tickets. His volunteer role expanded over the years and he committed to regular Information Desk shifts. He and Ruth Ann also enjoy volunteering together for kids art activities on the weekends, especially a program he remembers with one of his favorite artists, Charlie Lucas.
Art enjoys meeting other people through volunteering and the friendships he has developed over the years. He also likes learning about art, the opportunity to talk to visitors about the Museum, and being able to give back to the community through volunteering. In addition to volunteering at the Museum, Art also volunteers at the Hoover Public Library’s Friends Bookstore. Art’s creative outlet is quilting, another hobby he picked up after retirement. Ruth Ann had been a quilter for years with Art as her assistant. He liked helping her cut fabric and using quilting tools. When he retired, Art decided to make his first quilt and was surprised when it won the first-time quilters award from the Birmingham Quilters Guild. He has since won several quilting awards.
In addition to quilting, Art likes to work in his yard and travel. Some of his favorite trips have been to national parks and landmarks. He even plans to visit a few more this summer. One of his favorite artworks in the Museum’s collection is Looking Down Yosemite Valley by Albert Bierstadt, and it’s a representation of two of his interests—art and a beautiful national landmark. Thank you, Art, for your service!