Two exhibits to end on Friday

Published 9:47 pm Monday, July 21, 2014

Two of the most popular exhibitions at the Johnson Center for the Arts will come down on Friday. Everyone is encouraged to view these exhibits for the last time or for the first time.

The upper level gallery features the artwork of Troy artist Mary Susan Berry and the lower level gallery exhibit is Troy photographer, the late Holman Johnson’s work. Johnson’s photography exhibit is back at the Johnson Center by popular demand.

An artist’s reception for Berry was held Sunday afternoon and a large crowd gathered to celebrate the artwork of a native daughter.

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“Susan’s exhibit has been very popular throughout the entire exhibition,” said Wiley White, Johnson Center development director. “People would come in say they wanted to see ‘Susan’s show.’ These exhibits, Susan’s and Holman Johnson’s depict Pike County but in different ways. Susan is a painter and Holman Johnson was a photographer. Both looked at Pike County through the eyes of an artist.

“Susan went about the Pike County countryside and all around Troy painting scenes and many things that most of us don’t notice,” White said. “She painted the backs of stores, old barns and houses. She painted people and places. She painted Pike County in a way that is familiar and then not so familiar.”

White said people reacted emotionally to Berry’s paintings.

“They would stand and look and remember this or that and it was an emotional experience for them,” she said.

Holman Johnson preserved Pike County with film and flashbulbs and, in so doing, he preserved decades of Pike County history.

“He, like Susan, looked at the world in a different way,” White said. “Holman Johnson showed us Pike County from a different point of view. He would climb telephone poles to get the angle he wanted for a photograph. Holman Johnson photographed places he believed to be important. Many of his images might be some of the few, if any, of places in Pike County.”

White said the Berry and Johnson exhibits fit together like a pair of comfortable old shoes.

“Viewing these exhibits is like a walk back in time,” she said. “Anyone who loves Pike County will love these exhibits.”

The Johnson Center is open form 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and until 3 p.m. on Saturday. But the Berry and Johnson exhibits will come down Friday. Admission to the Johnson Center is always free.