Catherine Partain
  • Female
  • Birmingham, AL
  • United States
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Profile Information

Organization or Business Name
Crosses By Catherine
Contact Email
Art Interests
Art History, Arts Ministry, Arts Organization, Collecting, Glass Arts, Iconography, Illustration, Installation, Liturgical Design, Metal Work, Museum/Gallery, Painting, Sculpture, Works on Paper
Artist / Personal Statement

“My crosses are my daily tool of alignment, like cross-hairs in a scope. They remind me that when I am broken, and when I allow God to put me back together again, I evolve more beautifully than I could have without Him.

My chosen medium, scrapped iron, reminds me that to err is human and to be thrown away is part of living in a fallen world. To be redeemed is the true and active love of God in action. I enjoy my iron scrapping process as a vital part of my creative process, because I can literally use all of what I find. Our iron scrapyards are full of the past. Hardships, turmoil, demise, forgotten dreams. Torn, broken, flooded over, rusted, scarred and buried. Whether found in dirty heaps, hoppers, dumpsters, ravines, or mud pits, I reach for the pieces too insignificant to make anything out of.

Iron is age-old. Iron was ground to powder and made the ink that was used to write out the decrees set forth by Caesar. Iron nails were used by the Romans to crucify Christ. Iron made the chains that held people back, shackles that have enslaved generations, testing the human will. Iron divides people. Iron is unforgiving.

However, iron is also used to build things. It has been used to build railroad systems and bridges across countries and ships to ensure safe passage between them. Iron has reunited people. Iron built this south.

The cross is the reason for my own redemption. God took a broken-down, hopeless individual and is transforming me into something larger, outside of myself. Love breaks through all racial barriers and dividing lines between religions, genders, and classes. No one is forgotten by the cross. It beckons us to look in our own soul-mirror and find truth. It provides us strength to rise high above our own defeats… bringing hope and change of the heart.”
Accomplishments / CV

2007-2015: Primarily Self-taught in Metal Arts. Online Research
2012-2015: Inspero Art and Vocation Lectures Series: Writer Nancy Winslow Carroll, Artist Gina Hurry, President of The Washington Institute Of Arts/Vocation Steven Garber, Artist Berenice Rarig, Art Factory Director Rick Holladay,
Artist Marti Scudder
2015: Studied exhibit installation under Jay Loughner
2012: Metal Arts: studied fabrication under artist Brandon McCullar
2008: Metal Arts: studied fabrication under welder Mark Lyles
1998-2001: Docent Art History Lecture Series and Programming, Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL.
2000: Summer Studies, Naturalist Tradition Portraiture under Charles Cecil,
Cecil Studios, Florence, Italy
1999: Studied Oil Painting under Rollina Oglesby, Museum Series
1990: Noncredit Courses Drawing I and II, Savannah College of Art and Design
1986-1989: Self-taught in marketing and aesthetics of jewelry design
1984-1986: Studied ad layout and design while employed at LM Berry Advertising
1983-1984: Studied marketing, copywriting, typestyle selection and illustration under artist Dale South at SouthMark Advertising
1982-1983: Studied screen printing under artist Rick Rush


2014: Altar Boxes Community Classes for Dia De Los Muertos, Teacher and Community Outreach Director. Birmingham, AL.
2014: Sugar Skull Community Classes for Dia De Los Muertos, Teacher and Community Outreach Director. Birmingham, AL.
1999-2001: Docent Touring, Birmingham Museum of Art: Local and Regional Elementary, Middle and High School Groups. Birmingham, AL.


2013-2015: Resident Artist at Artists on The Bluff, Birmingham, AL.



2016: Solo Exhibition, “The Way of Forgiveness: Found Object Sculpture by Catherine Partain Shamblin”, Marilyn Foley Art Gallery, University of Mobile, AL. January 2016.


2012-2015: “The Power of Words” , The Neighborhood Brew, Birmingham, AL.

2013-2015: “Community of Heart” , Helena Methodist Church, Helena, AL.

2015: Site Specific Installation, “Seeds of Change”, Saint John’s Lutheran Worship Center and Cross Dedication, Guest Artist and Speaker, Salisbury, NC.

2012: Site Specific Installation, “The Power of Prayer”, Lincoln Village Prayer Room and Cross Dedication, Guest Artist, Huntsville, AL.


2015: Group Exhibition, “Rik Lazenby and Friends: To Depart is to Arrive”, Shelby County Arts Council Gallery, Birmingham, AL.

2014: Group Exhibition, “Artists on the Bluff Resident Art Show”, Soon-Bok Lee Sellers Gallery, Birmingham, AL.

2014: Group Exhibition, “Small Art for a Big Cause”, Gallery 1930, Mountainbrook, AL.

2014: Group Exhibition, “Artists As Prophets, a Pentecost Conversation”, Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church Gallery, Birmingham, AL.

2014: Online Exhibition, “Schools of Sacred Art: Crosses and Crucifixes”, featured artist, The John Kohan Sacred Art Pilgrim Permanent Collection, Philadelphia, PA.

2014: Online Exhibition, “Picture in Focus: Exalted Be My Savior”, Lenten Season Offering Featured Artist, John Kohan Sacred Art Pilgrim Permanent Collection, Philadelphia, PA.

2013: Group Exhibition, “Artists on the Bluff Resident Art Show”, Soon-Bok Lee Sellers Gallery, Birmingham, AL.

2013: Group Exhibition, “50 Years of Hopes & Dreams Collaborative Art Show: Inspero celebrates the Civil Rights Movement”, Cahaba Brewery Gallery, Birmingham, AL.

2012: Group Exhibition, “Friends for Cancer Support”, Naked Art Gallery, Birmingham, AL.

2011: Group Exhibition, “Rebuild Alabama: Art for Tornado Relief”, ACME Gallery, Birmingham, AL.

2011: Group Exhibition, “YWCA: Art Of Passion”, Birmingham Botanical Gardens Art Gallery, Birmingham, AL.


2014: “The Reclaimed Art of Catherine Partain”, Guest Artist and Speaker, Hunter Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL.

2013: “The Metal Art of Catherine Partain”, Guest Artist and Speaker, Briarwood High School Art Dept, Birmingham, AL.

2013: “Urban Avenues: Art and Vocation”, Guest Artist and Speaker,
Mount Laurel, AL.

2012: “Salvaged: The Metal Art of Catherine Partain”, Guest Artist and Speaker, Southeastern Bible College, Birmingham, AL.

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At 9:30pm on January 30, 2016, Nancy Mabes said…

Very moving work.  Best of luck for your current exhibit.  I've recently been doing some metal detecting with a friend on our family farm.  Finding lots of old iron scraps and artifacts. Seeing your work makes me want to learn how to weld and make them into something! The objects and surfaces are so crusted and interesting and mysterious.


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