Fifteen days of Warhol underway at Johnson Center for the Arts

Published 10:00 pm Monday, November 3, 2008

Pop artist Andy Warhol coined the phrase, “ Fifteen minutes of fame.”

In keeping with that “notion,” beginning Saturday, Nov. 1, the Johnson Center for the Arts will present “Fifteen Days of Andy Warhol.”

The last 15 days of the Prints of Andy Warhol exhibition will end on Nov. 15, bringing to a close an extremely successful grand opening exhibition at the Johnson Center for the Arts.

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“The response to the Andy Warhol exhibition has been outstanding,” said Richard Metzger, Center executive director. “As of October 30, we’ve had more than 1,000 students view the Warhol exhibit and tour the Johnson Center for the Arts. In addition, we’ve had 900 individuals from the local area and from as far away as Birmingham and Dothan view the exhibit.

“Those in our area who have not had the opportunity to visit the Johnson Center for the Arts and the Warhol exhibit are encourage to do so. It would be a shame for, on November 17, people to say, ‘I wish I’d seen that.’”

The Warhol exhibit includes 33 large prints of Warhol’s most popular works including, his tomato soup cans and portraits of John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali and Geronimo. The exhibition of such a large collection of Warhol’s work was the first ever in Alabama.

“Those who have been to the exhibit have been equally impressed with the Johnson Center for the Arts facility,” Metzger said. “The craftsmanship is remarkable. You don’t see buildings constructed like this anymore. For it to be preserved for use as a center for the arts shows the commitment that the community has to the arts and to historical preservation.”

Metzger said it’s not just the Warhol exhibit that is impressive.

“Around every corner in the Johnson Center for the Arts, you’ll find a treasure or a sweet surprise,” he said. “Around one corner you might meet family or friends in the portraits of Jim Campbell. At another turn, the ‘Mementos’ of Pam Allen and the multi-media exhibit of Sara Dismukes and other local artists. The Johnson Center for the Arts is a remarkable place.”

Metzger gave much credit for the overwhelming success of the Grand Opening exhibits to the Center’s docents and other volunteers.

“They are the cornerstone of our educational outreach program,” he said. “Not only have they been available to explain the Warhol exhibit and help visitors understand the Pop art culture, they are knowledable of the other exhibits as well.”

The Johnson Center for the Arts has found its niche as a physical center for the arts in Troy. Metzger said the storied old building has found new life as a center for the arts and will improve the quality of life for all Pike County for many years to come.