Story By Natalie Salvatore
Photos Contributed By Melissa Giddens
Using her passion and over 20-year experience in creating and teaching art, Michelle Giddens continues to inspire creativity and learning in the Auburn-Opelika community and beyond.
Michelle Giddens Art is a home-based art business that creates custom-made art for homes and businesses, contributes to corporate events, can provide live paintings for weddings or bride bouquets, as well as for different types of social and student groups.
Giddens herself is not only a painter and color enthusiast, but also a teacher, wife and mother living in Auburn.
Her different experiences and roles in her life have come together in making her business what it is today. After opening her original business in 2015, a brick-and-mortar art studio offering parties and art classes for all ages, she closed the studio in 2021 to work on her passion out of her home instead.
With her three boys and busy family life, she felt it was time to switch gears. She creates her own art, as well as commissions and painting events.
“Creating is a necessary part of my life,” she said.
Not only is creativity at the center of her work-life, but it also is prevalent in her personal life.
Giddens said the artist in her comes out when she paints flowers and birds on her family farm or when she generally makes “creative messes” in other aspects of her life.
Giddens’ passion for art is reflected in her education studies. She earned a BFA in Art Education from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as a K-12 Art Alabama Professional Educators Certificate.
She originally decided to open her business after many parents had approached her to start teaching after-school art classes or begin offering summer art camps and birthday parties.
Giddens took their suggestions to heart. With her business, she offers birthday parties where the birthday child and their guests can have a chance at creating art and can select from a range of art project options on premium art paper or canvas. Parents can choose the location, or Giddens can bring everything to them.
Her painting parties bring groups together to achieve a common goal of completing an art project. Giddens supplies the materials and facilitates everything so artists can learn, grow and have fun. Expanding on her commission work, Giddens creates custom works of art and enjoys the entire process of interacting with her customers to bring a bit of her creativity into their homes through different pieces.
“I knew there was a creative need in our community, and I had the tools, knowledge and resources to fulfill it,” Giddens said. “Much has changed over the years, but I am proud of where I began and where it has led me now.”
An example of Giddens’ impact in the local community is when last year, Auburn UPC commissioned her to lead a campus painting event of Aubie the Tiger.
“I had the opportunity to teach students how to paint Aubie and paint with the legend himself,” she said. “It was a huge success. I have since had the original painting licensed by Auburn University and available for sale.”
Michele Giddens Art is a place to find personal, heartfelt pieces of art, as well as a welcoming and inspirational place to grow as an artist yourself.
For inquiries or information on bookings, prices, galleries, shopping and more, visit https://www.michellegiddensart.com, or email @michellegiddensart.