Johnson Center to hold reception

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, June 13, 2012

“From country to contemporary” kind of describes the two new exhibits at the Johnson Center for the Arts. But only if bluegrass is considered country. And contemporary does walk a fine line.

The Johnson Center for the Arts in Troy will host a reception for “String Notes and Brush Strokes” and “Art of the State” from 4 until 6 p.m. Saturday and the public is invited.

“‘String Notes’ is an exhibit of paintings, drawings and clay figures of the Henderson Bluegrass Festivals and other pickin’s, by Margo Russell of Andalusia,” said Morgan Drinkard, arts center interim director. “‘Art of the State’ features works from college professors from across Alabama. Three Troy University art professors, Sara Dismukes, Russell Everett and Beverly West Leach, are among the featured artists.”

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Drinkard said that Father’s Day weekend is an opportune time for families to visit the arts center and view two “incredible” exhibitions.

“We have a lot of bluegrass pickers in our area and those who attend the Henderson Bluegrass Festivals might see themselves in one of Margo’s paintings,” Drinkard said. “Margo will attend the reception and will be available to answer questions about the process of her paintings. She will also bring a bluegrass band, The Tennessee Firearms, with her and they will play during the reception. Everyone should really enjoy them.”

The “String Notes” exhibition includes about 35 pieces. Some of the pieces are borrowed from collectors and some are recent works.

“‘String Notes’ is a colorful and exciting exhibit. Seeing the process – through the drawings and then the paintings – makes you really appreciate Margo Russell’s art,” Drinkard said. “The exhibit is sponsored by KW Plastics and we greatly appreciate their support. Without their dedication to continuing education and the cultural enrichment of our community, we would not have been able to house this exhibit at the Johnson Center.”

Drinkard said the “Art of the State” exhibition on the lower level of the Johnson Center is also impressive.

“Some of the most innovative Alabama art comes from faculty members at the state’s colleges and universities,” she said. “The Tennessee Valley Museum of Art is highlighting that work in the ‘Art of the State’ traveling exhibition, which celebrates contemporary visual art.”

Drinkard said the Tennessee Valley Museum has done a wonderful job capturing the creative talents of the work of the 13 contributing artists.

“We are honored to have these works on display, especially those featuring Troy University professors,” she said.

Sara Dismukes is an assistant professor of art and design. Her piece, “Two Cups” is a painting in gouache and watercolor on paper.

Russell Everett is an adjunct professor of drawing. His “Equus Knot” is a metaphorical portrait about a woman whose personality has been completely overwhelmed by an addiction to her occupation.

Beverly West Leach is a lecturer of art and design and has a hand-colored woodblock print titled “Formation Arch.”

“String Notes and Brush Strokes” and “Art of the State” will be displayed at the Johnson Center for the Arts, 300 East Walnut Street in Troy through July 27. The gallery is open 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Admission to the gallery is free.