Art with roots

Published 10:56 pm Monday, November 7, 2011

New exhibit ‘brings artists home’

The Johnson Center for the Arts will “bring the artists home” in “The Roots Exhibit,” which opens Thursday at the arts center.

A “Meet the Artists” reception will be from 2 until 4 p.m. on Sunday and the public is invited.

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Richard Metzger, Center director, said “The Roots Exhibit” will feature the artists of Pike County in one of the most exciting exhibitions to date at the Johnson Center.

“The artwork started coming in Monday and it’s exciting to see the diversity of the show,” Metzger said. “It was good to see friends and people whose names I have heard mentioned so favorable but have never had the opportunity to meet. I’m very impressed by the works of these Pike County artists.”

Metzger said that it is amazing to see the tremendous amount of homegrown talent.

“The idea behind the ‘Bringing the Artists Home … The Roots Exhibit’ was two fold,” he said. “One was to bring together in a communitywide show many of the Pike County artists that are so well-known and respected for their artwork. We also wanted to showcase their work during the holiday season when people will come home to visit. After dinner is done, we hope that our residents will take this opportunity to visit the Johnson Center with their guests so they all can see the vast amount of talent we have here in Pike County.”

Metzger said “The Roots Exhibit” can stand up in any gallery in the United States.

“It will not take second place in any gallery,” he said. “It’s that good.”

The artists were selected by a committee of artists from the area and selection was based on a certain level of quality. Most of the artwork will be for sale.

Participating artists are Pam Allen, Mary Susan Berry, Walter Black, Dew Black, Neal Brantley, Jim Campbell, Mary Ann Casey, Mollye Daughtry, Sara Dismukes, Kristy Drinkwater, Sallie Fenn, Joe Gilchrist, Ann Gilchrist, Larry Godwin, Sylvia Helms, Sandra Hicks, Judie Hooks, Merle Jernigan, Beverly Leach, Jennifer Lindsey, Curtis Monroe, Betty Sue Mathews, Mary Page, Lise Patterson, Duane Paxson, Phoebe Porter, Bill Porter, Jo Rape, Sergei Shillabeer, Greg Skaggs, Kathy Panhorst Smith, Pam Smith, Lucy White Stewart, Jennifer Sullivant, Ruth Walker, Jane Whaley, Bob Whaley, Joan Word and Paula Yancey.

“The Roots Exhibit” will run through January 4, and will enhance, not replace, the art center’s annual Christmas Tree Extravaganza.

“The Christmas trees will be in the main gallery and at other locations throughout the arts center,” Metzger said. “There will also be trees at The Studio for the holiday season. But, we will not light the Christmas trees until December 6 because I join the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center board of directors in believing that Christmas comes after Thanksgiving. There are things that we need to be grateful for so the Thanksgiving holiday is very important.”

Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend the “Meet the Artists” reception Sunday afternoon.

“These are not just artists. They are friends and neighbors and you will be impressed by the work they do,” Metzger said. “It is fantastic.”