Artists on the Bluff
From the 1970s to 1990s, the school hosted community education programs, originally offered by the Jefferson County Board of Education and later brought under the umbrella of Hoover City Schools. Linda Williams coordinated the programs at Bluff Park School and eventually all of the Hoover Community Education, keeping the system's neighborhood-based elementary schools active in the evening hours with classes in square dancing, interior design, flower arranging, art, computer literacy, and personal finance. When the elementary school students moved into the new Bluff Park Elementary School constructed just south of the existing one, the community school was joined by a day care and space for community meetings. The building, meanwhile, began to fall into disrepair with some otherwise-unused rooms filling up with stored materials.
Williams retired when the Hoover Community Education program was shuttered in 2010. In 2011 she and artist Rik Lazenby formed Artists on the Bluff as a non-profit organization. The group negotiated an informal agreement with Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos and school superintendent Andy Craig under which the city would repair and maintain the Bluff Park School building and provide a $50,000 annual allocation for the group's operations for three years. The school board continued to pay for utilities for the building.
The organization scheduled classes and programs and organized exhibitions. It also subleased 20 studio and gallery spaces to artists and gallerists who organized their own classes and events. The renovated facility opened in September 2012. With the city's involvement, the organization flourished and served as a model for other publicly-supported arts programs.
The school's former cafetorium was operated as a coffee shop, and later as a lunch restaurant and caterer. The Hoover Historical Society began keeping their archives in the former school library. The school continued hosting public meetings for the Birmingham Amateur Radio Club, the Hoover Art Alliance, Girl Scout Troop 30746 and other clubs.
In 2017 the school board determined that it could no longer subsidize the Artists on the Bluff by paying for utilities, which had sharply increased with the opening of the Capers on Park Avenue restaurant in 2015. Williams agreed that the non-profit should negotiate a fair lease.
Within a few months, however, the school system determined that it could not afford to bring the building up to code nor to continue allowing it to be used without doing so. It agreed to lease the building to the City of Hoover if the city was willing to renovate it, but the Hoover City Council voted in September not to fund that work, thus requiring Artists on the Bluff and other tenants to move out. School board president Earl Cooper expected the superintendent to recommend razing the building.
In 2021 Hoover City Schools contracted for demolition of all of the former elementary school buildings except for the original 1923 schoolhouse, which was renovated as the home of their Student Services department.
- Deborah Ballog fused glass (2012–)
- Big Art Blessings (Nada Boner & Floyd Hosmer 2012–)
- Blue Moon Studios photography (Butch Oglesby 2012–)
- Kendall Boggs painting (2012–)
- Cecily Chaney metal & jewelry artist (2012–)
- Sam & Amy Collins illustration (2012–)
- Cynthia B. Cox Studio pastels (2012–)
- Environmental Design Studio (Duane Pritchett 2012–)
- Fire & Brimstone Forge (Kenneth Spivey 2012–)
- Sandra Fuller illustration (2012–)
- Lana Hobbs pottery (2012–)
- Hoover Historical Society (2012–2017)
- Lazenby's Decorative Arts (Rik Lazenby 2012–)
- April Levi painting (2012–)
- Karen Libecap painting (2012–)
- Learning To Be The Light (Robin Schultz 2012–)
- Jayne Morgan (2012–)
- Nolen Photography (Corey Nolen 2012–)
- Park Avenue Coffee Shop (Frances Moon 2012–), Capers on Park Avenue restaurant (Jay Roberson 2015–2017)
- Deb Paradise ceramics (2012–)
- Tricia Robinson painting (2012–)
- The Seasoned Performers theater company (2012–)
- Soon-Bok Lee Sellers Art Gallery (Soon-Bok Lee Sellers 2012–)
- Tangled Stones Studio (Darla Williamson 2012–)
- Dirk Walker painting (2012–)
- Deb Warnat calligraphy & painting (2012–)
- Markham, Madoline (September 24, 2012) "Artists on the Bluff renewing Hoover's creative spirit." Hoover Sun
- Anderson, Jon (May 26, 2017) "Capers on Park Avenue closing; Artists on the Bluff staying." Hoover Sun
- Anderson, Jon (September 18, 2017) "Artists must vacate former Bluff Park Elementary School." Hoover Sun
- Anderson, Jon (September 30, 2022) "Appreciating the past: Renovation of old Bluff Park School honors history of 100-year-old building." Hoover Sun