Several artists headed to Troy exhibit

Published 7:13 pm Friday, July 10, 2009

Forty-one award winning Alabama artists have accepted the invitation from the Johnson Center for the Arts to participate in the Center’s “Celebrating Contemporary Art in Alabama” exhibition, Aug. 14 to Nov. 8.

All of the participating artists are recipients of the Alabama State Council on the Arts Fine Art and Crafts Fellowship Awards and many have gone on to achieve the title of Alabama Masters.

“This is a very distinguished group of artists and it is extremely exciting to have so many state arts council Fellowship award recipients participate,” said Richard Metzger, Johnson Center executive director. “The Fellowship awards are the most prestigious awards presented by the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Usually, only two awards are presented each year in the categories of photography, sculpture, crafts and painting.”

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Metzger said the Alabama State Council on the Arts Fellowship awards justified all of the recipients as potential exhibitors.

“We went back to the year 2000 to extended invitations to participate in the Johnson Center’s ‘Celebrating Contemporary Art in Alabama’ exhibition and were overwhelmed and pleased that so many of these Fellowship award recipients wanted to exhibit in Troy,” Metzger said.

The “Celebrating Contemporary Art in Alabama” exhibition will be the first time that many of these Fellowship recipients have exhibited their work along side other Fellowship recipients.

“This exhibition has not been shown anywhere else and probably will not be shown anywhere else,” Metzger said. “It is unique to the Johnson Center for the Arts.”

The idea behind the exhibition was to showcase Alabama artist in Alabama.

“We’ve had exhibits of the work of artists from outside Alabama and we wanted to exhibit the incredible amount of artistic talent that we have here in Alabama,” Metzger said. “This is probably the most ambitious exhibit that the Johnson Center has mounted because of the large group of artists and because we actually built the exhibit.”

Metzger and his staff put the exhibit together with the help of Georgine Clarke, visual arts program manager for the state arts council, and Tara Sartoris, who for 25 years, was the curator of education at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

“We didn’t borrow any of the art work and we are working with Jerry Johnson at Troy University to put together a catalogue for the exhibit,” Metzger said. “This will be a very prestigious exhibit and one that should attract the interest of people all across the state because of the variety and quality of the work and because it showcases Alabama artists.”