Saturday, July 13, 2013

Quest for Local Art

A friend and I have been making weekly sojourns to exploring the local art scene in the North Georgia area. So, far we have visited some really awesome galleries and been surprised by the local artisans shown and also, found less stellar art.  We live with in an hours drive of a few small college and university towns. Last week we took a tour of Gainesville and had a pleasant conversation with a local artist in her coop small store front gallery, shared by 5 other artists. Then saw a group show at the college gallery. Yesterday we travel in the other direction to the University town of Athens, where there are many little store front art galleries, as well as a few larger spaces including the Lyndon House Arts center. It was a joy after so many rainy days to be out in sunshine even if it was a bit to hot for me walking around the downtown area after our yummy lunch at the Last Resort Grill. I dined on a “healthy” green salad with grill chicken and followed it with a most decadent mocha cheese cake. I’m sure I walked of the calories during the afternoon tours of shops and galleries.(LOL)  In one little shop we found an artist who made the most amazing wire miniature portraits that he was selling as pins.  He looped wire this way and that, overlapping it, creating a maze of tangled black wire lines that form a face and hair. I wondered if his creativity came out of random playing with wire or if it started out intentionally.  In any case it was inspiring.
We ended our day with a wonderful exhibit at the Lyndon House Arts Center. The show was of Ossabaw Island: Holy Ground by The Ossabaw Artists Collective a group of artists who have explored Ossabaw Island State Heritage Preserve twice a year, since 2009, as part of a visiting artist program, sharing the works of art they created on their visits. We were the only two people walking around this wonderful large gallery space of light oak hardwood floors and high white washed walls flooded in natural light from a ceiling of skylight windows. The art exhibit depicted the solitude, and natural beauty of one of Georgia’s largest barrier islands of marshes, beaches and maritime oak forest. I had to smile at the background sound in this peaceful light filled gallery of children laughing and talking in summer art camp behind closed classroom doors off the gallery.  (I think there is a poem or something in the contrast.) My fav artist in the exhibit was Paula Eubanks and her fascinating 3-d constructions using photos and paint that creative an interesting narrative of Ossabaw Island

Lyndon House Arts Center had a little gift shop where we met a fiber artist who is part of a local artist group that sell in the shop. My friend bought some fun colorful ear rings and we enjoyed chatting with the artist. She told us we needed to check out a place up in Clayton which is in the mountains north of where we live and so we added it to the list. One thing I am learning is we have art around here in great abundance. I think many, many people have a drive to be creative and that is wonderful. I hope we continue to have a growing creative population with venues for all to be shared, both the noteworthy and the beginners alike. Where has your creativity taken you lately?

Photos of Ossabaw Island

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