Reception to be held for state artists

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 9, 2009

When the Johnson Center for the Arts announced the “Celebrating Contemporary Art in Alabama: The Nature of Being Southern” exhibition Aug. 14- Nov. 8, it caused quite a buzz among local art enthusiasts.

Georgine Clarke, visual arts program manager with the Alabama State Council on the arts, hailed the exhibition as “a celebration of excellence like no other.”

“This is an opportunity to view the best of creativity – art made with passion, knowledge and understanding of process and materials,” Clarke said. “It is a celebration of excellence like no other.”

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When the arts center announced an Artists’ Reception for the 41 participating Alabama artists, from 5:30 until 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, at the Johnson Center, it created a real stir.

“An artists’ reception like no other.”

Wiley White, Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center development director, said the Johnson Center Artists’ Reception is indeed generating a lot of interest.

“It’s very exciting and encouraging to see the community support displayed for these artists and for the Johnson Center,” White said.

“We are expecting a big turnout for the reception on Saturday as a show of appreciation for the talents of these Alabama artists and for their participation in this exhibition.”

“This is the first time that such a large number of Alabama artists have exhibited together,” White said. “All of them are recipients of Alabama State Council on the Arts Individual Fine Art and Craft Fellowship Awards, which are very prestigious and highly sought after recognitions.

Five of the artists are Alabama Masters which is a step above the Fellowship awards.”

The artists will come to Troy from all across the state and many of them will bring their spouses and some of their clients.

“This is an opportunity for artists and art enthusiasts from across the state to visit the Johnson Center for the Arts and also the Cultural Arts Studio where we have the Smithsonian traveling exhibit, ‘New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music,’” White said.

Having such a prestigious group of artists in Troy is further validation that the visual arts are alive and well in Troy and Pike County. “With events like this, we are making a powerful statement about the arts in Troy and Pike County,” said Richard Metzger, Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center executive director.

“We have been very fortunate to be able to bring outstanding exhibitions to the Johnson Center and, for us to be able to bring not only the art but the artists to the Center, is an indication that we are doing things the right way.”

Metzger said the public is invited to the Artists’ Reception and encouraged to visit both The Nature of Being Southern and the New Harmonies exhibits.

The Artists’ Reception is not a formal event so everyone is encouraged to “come as you are” and enjoy a great arts event.

The Johnson Center is located on East Walnut Street in downtown Troy. There is no admission charge to the Center.