Exhibit draws big crowd

Published 11:30 pm Monday, January 16, 2012

Mack Gibson, chair of the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center Foundation, never tries to hide his excitement about the arts in Troy and Pike County.

But, when “the arts” include a local artist, he gets “just plum giddy.”

Gibson said he couldn’t be more excited or prouder than he was Sunday afternoon when the community came out in support of the opening reception for “Brass Rubbings” from the collection of Ann Williams of Troy and “Selections from the Louise Hauss and David Brent Miller Audubon Collection.”

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“I love to see people from our community featured at the Johnson Center,” Gibson said. “Ann has been so generous in sharing the brass rubbings she did when she was in Europe. When you get people from the local community involved in what we are doing at the Johnson Center and in the arts, you know that you are doing something right.”

Richard Metzger said, too, that the attendance at Sunday’s reception is an indication that the arts are moving in the right direction.

Although many of those who attended the reception were first and foremost interested in Williams’ brass rubbings, they found the Audubon exhibition to be fascinating as well, Metzger said.

“The brass rubbings are a rare opportunity for those of us, who will never get to travel to England, Scotland or Germany, to see the architecture, the tombs and the iconic figures of ancient history,” he said. “The “Brass Rubbings” exhibit is on the lower level of the Johnson Center and works well with the brick walls and alcoves there.

“We also have a mold that Ann has made available to us. Visitors to the Johnson Center can do a rubbing that can be framed and hung in their homes or offices.”

The Audubon collection is featured in the main gallery and those who attended the reception took advantage of the opportunity to see both exhibits.

“The Audubon Collection is fabulous,” Metzger said. “We are very fortunate and pleased that the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art in Auburn was agreeable to loan it to us. It is an outstanding collection of American ornithology. James Audubon (1785-1851) dedicated his life to documenting every bird in North America. And, that he was able to do so in such great detail without the use of a camera is amazing.”

Metzger said both exhibits are positive and strong and he was pleased that the community showed its support by its participation.

That bids well for future exhibits at the Johnson Center. The Audubon Collection will close on March 7 and the “Brass Rubbings” on April 19.

Four painters from Montgomery will be featured in March and two local artists, the late Jean Lake and Pugh Windham, will be featured in April.