Bayou Painters

The Bayou Painters (a.k.a. Alabama Gulf Coast Colony, Coden Art Colony) was an art colony active in Coden and Bayou la Batre in the 1940s and 1950s.

The Bayou Painters evolved from the earlier Dixie Art Colony organized by Montgomery artist J. Kelly Fitzpatrick. Genevieve Southerland is credited as the founder of the coastal branch of the Dixie Art Colony which would become known as the Bayou Painters. The Gulf colonies ended when Kelly Fitzpatrick, Genevieve Southerland, and “Shiney” Moon all died within 100 days of each other. Surviving members continued to paint the Bayou La Batre/Coden area over the decades.

Members included Frances Elizabeth Harris, William Bush, George Bryant and Carlos Alpha “Shiney” Moon. Southerland served as Director, and Fitzpatrick and Moon were art instructors.

Exemplary works include Shiney Moon’s "Shell Road (Post Office, Coden, AL)", "The Blessing of the Fleet", William Bush’s "Pirate’s Oak", "Coden Bridge" by J. Kelly Fitzpatrick, and works by George Bryant.


  • Nelson, James: Birmingham News 10/31/04.
  • Williams, Lynn Barstis: “The Dixie Art Colony”, Alabama Heritage, Summer 1996.
  • Williams, Lynn Barstis: “South Alabama’s Art Colony 1946-1953”, American Art Review, February 2006.

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