TroyFest celebration kicks off Tuesday

Published 9:16 pm Friday, April 15, 2011

A town and gown event will bring the community together Tuesday for what promises to be the biggest kickoff event ever for the TroyFest Celebration.

Things will get underway at 4 p.m. when the Johnson Center for the Arts hosts an artist’s reception for former Trojan Mary Ann Casey. Then at 6:30 p.m., the Troy University Concert Band, under the direction of Raymond H. Smith and Dr. Larry Blocher, will present its annual spring concert.

Richard Metzger, Johnson City executive director, said he is excited to welcome Casey back to Troy. Her exhitition will be on the upper level gallery.

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“The exhibit will offer something for everyone,” Metzger said. “Mary Ann is an outstanding artist and people of all ages will enjoy her ‘Behind the Images: Alabama Stories’ exhibit. And, she has many friends here in Troy who will want to take this opportuity to visit with her.”

Metzger said Casey will share the stories of the people in her portraits.

“Mary Ann developed a personal love and deep sense of reverence for each person that she came to know as she researched and painted,” Metzger said.

“Hearing the stories of these people will take us beyond ourselves into the triumphs of the human condition.”

Also in the upper level gallery at the Johnson Center for the Arts is the TroyFest Student Art Competition Exhibition. The competition is open to students in all schools in Pike County, kindergarten through twelfth grade.

The Charles Henderson High School Senior Art Exhibit is also featured in the upper level gallery.

The lower level gallery features Projekt: Recon, a site-specific collaborative work by Troy University art professors, Greg Skaggs and Sara Dismukes. Projekt: Recon showcases installations in Copenhagen, Halmstad, Gothenburg, Oslo and New Orleans.

The artist’s reception at the Johnson Center will close at 6 p.m. and everyone will be invited to stroll to the square for the Troy University Concert Band’s spring concert.

“The Downtown Concert will feature great music, including the ‘British Eighth March,’ William Schuman master work based on the early American tune ‘Chester,’ the ‘Hebrides Suite,’ featuring folk songs of the British Isles, selections from the ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ and many other classics of the band repertory,” Smith said.

“The concert will last about an hour and admission is free. We invite everyone to come enjoy an evening of great band music and help us get this year’s TroyFest off to a great start.”

Catherine Jordan, Troy City administrative assistant, said everyone is encouraged to make plans to attend both the artist’s reception and the downtown band concert on Tuesday.

“What a great way to spend an evening in Troy, Alabama,” Jordan said. “The events are free and family-friendly so we expect to see people of all ages at both events. The band concert is the first ‘Brown Bag’ event that we’ve had in the late afternoon and that will make it more convenient for people to attend.

“We will have free hotdogs and drinks available, but if you would like to bring a picnic to spread, there will be places to do so. And, the downtown restaurants will be open for those who would like to visit them or get takeouts from your favorite restaurant to enjoy on the square during the concert. We want everyone to come out and enjoy an evening of fun and fellowship while taking advantage of the arts opportunities offered.”