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Colorful reflections of the land

When the sun goes down Saturday, it will not set on the Troy Fest.

Instead, it will bring the curtain up on yet another outstanding Troy Fest event - an art exhibition entitled "Art and Architecture" which will open at 6:30 p.m. at The Emporium. A reception is planned from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. and the public is invited. The show will remain on display Sunday, April 6 from 1:30 until 3:30 p.m.

The exhibition is a part of Troy Fest and will feature South Alabama artists and architects.

Bobbie Swisher, publicity chairperson for the sponsoring organization, the Troy Arts Council, said the reception will honor the 2002-2003 Patrons of the Arts.

"At 7 p.m., we will present special awards to individuals who have contributed to the advancement of the arts in Troy and Pike County," Swisher said. "Awards will be presented in two different ways - as professional artists and as volunteers in promoting the arts."

Swisher said awards will go to three individuals, two professionals and one volunteer.

"The arts council plans to present these awards annually and has chosen specific criteria for making the decisions," she said.

"Arts and Architecture" will feature seven Alabamians, three architects and four artists.

According to Pat Duke, TAC exhibits chairperson and coordinator of the exhibition, said the show was conceived as a way to feature both architects and artists who do architectural renderings.

The artists featured are Chuck Ingram, Jack Deloney, George Harris, Richard Schloemer, Earl P. Smith, Pamela Smith and Tim Vaught.

When he was a junior in high school, Ingram, met an architect on a construction site and decided then and there that he wanted to make architecture his life's work.

He earned a degree in architecture from Auburn University and practices his "trade" in his hometown of Troy.

Ingram's speciality is public and commercial buildings. He designed the new Bush Memorial Baptist Church sanctuary and the addition to First United Methodist Church and several facilities at Troy State University.

Ingram said his most challenging work has been the Golf Pro Shop at Prattville, which was designed for the Retirement Systems of Alabama, because it demanded exceptionally detailed drawings.

Although Ingram has the practical knowledge to facilitate the final product, he is often the one who suggests artistic touches to "dress up" a building.

Around South Alabama, Jack Deloney has widespread name recognition.

Prints of works of the Southern watercolorist can be found in homes and businesses throughout the area. Deloney's art depicts the fading Southern scene and is popular among people of all ages and from all walks of life.

His original works hang in corporate, private and museum collections throughout the nation and abroad.

Deloney's mastery of the difficult medium of watercolor has earned him critical favor and patronage by discriminating collectors, Duke said.

Harris is a self-described regionalist painter. The main objective of his art is to build a life work representative of a certain region in the American South, primarily the Black Belt of Alabama.

Harris said he is possessed by the oldness, the richness and the resonance of the land that he calls home. He is working on a series of paintings that is the result of years of sketching and photographing the rural antebellum churches and old burial grounds that dot the Black Belt.

After 30-plus years as a surgeon Dr. Richard Schloemer is making a transition to the arts, including pottery, ceramics and black-and-white photography. He also finds time for a little classical guitar on the side.

His ceramic and pottery items are functional or sculptured and glazed with homemade glazes. He uses the slab, coil and hand thrown techniques. He creates funny-faced bowls, mugs and plaques and painted dishes, jewelry boxes and animal flower pots and bowls.

Schloemer's photographic subjects are people, animals and landscapes and he often enhances the black and white photographs with hand coloring.

Dr. Earl P. Smith was a professor in the department of art and classics at Troy State University from 1985-1994. Since that time, he has been a consultant on African studies and makes presentations to the Southeast Regional Society for African Studies at various sites. He has also developed an interactive CD on the Art of West Africa.

Smith produces watercolor paintings of interesting homes, farms and cabins. He travels to Mexico and other foreign countries to bring variety and new energy to his work. He will exhibit architectural paintings of Troy, West Virginia, Mexico and Switzerland.

Pam Smith has taught art for 22 years, 12 of those at Charles Henderson High School.

She teaches about `160 students a year and they are introduced to a variety of mediums, including drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, pottery and sculpture, based on their level of study.

Because Smith believes it is important to make the community aware of what is happening in the school's art program, she has formed many partnerships through local businesses and service organizations, which provide service-learning opportunities for the students. The students share their talents, so both benefit from the success of the outcome.

Smith will exhibit seven photographs that include sites she has visited from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to Maine and from Alcatraz in San Francisco to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Tim Vaught has been drawing for as long as he can remember. From an early age, he developed a fascination for etchings and lithographs, which led him to pen and ink.

He became a painter due to several people including the late Ed Walter, art professor at Troy State University.

Vaught has spent much of his life driving across the South and he now paints the images that crowd his mind.

He grew up in Texas but drove back and forth to his grandparents' home near Brundidge several

times a year. When he moved to Troy, he drove all over Pike and Montgomery counties and his travels created "snapshots" in his mind. In 1994, he picked up a brush and began to capture the rural

landscapes on canvas.

Vaught considers himself a Southern landscape artist and his colorful reflections of the land he knows and loves will be his contribution to the "Arts and Architecture" exhibition on Saturday and Sunday, April 5 and 6 at The Emporium, located at 116 W. Walnut Street Troy.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Troy Arts Council with support from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment of the Arts.