Last chance to purchase JCA ornaments

Published 3:00 am Friday, December 19, 2014

The Johnson Center for the Arts will be closed Dec. 22 through Jan. 4 in preparation for the new exhibitions that open Jan. 6.

However, the arts center well be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. today and Saturday so those who have not had an opportunity to visit the current exhibitions and the Center’s Pop-up Store will have a last chance.

“The Christmas tree display is in the Upper level Gallery and Susan Berry’s Nutcracker display is in the Tile Gallery,” said Vicki Pritchett, Center executive director. “Dr. Doug Hawkins’ European Masters exhibit is in the lower gallery. The Christmas trees are beautiful, the Nutcrackers are delightful and the European Masters exhibit is one not to be missed.”

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Pritchett said the Center’s 2014 Christmas ornaments by Mary Ann Casey are still available and are some of the most unique ornaments the Johnson Center has offered.

“Mary Ann’s ornaments are fashioned out of hand-cut ceiling tin and barn tin,” said Wiley White, Center development coordinator. “She paints each ornament with a Madonna and Child motif in acrylic and then seals the design. A tiny metal cut heart, stamped and fired with the word ‘Hope’ is affixed to each ornament.”

Casey, a Rehobeth native, paints with her heart.

“While I love to paint the Southern Experience, I know that art transcends race, nationality and language,” Casey said. “Pain is pain, love is love, loneliness is loneliness and war is war. Art transcends time, space and people. Many of my images are women familiar to me but I don’t really know them.”

Casey’s hope is that her artwork will empower, “for the viewer to have a companion in his crossroads.”

“I want those who view my artwork to realize that we all have within us this tremendous capacity to be more than we ever imagined,” she said. “We can walk through the tight valley of high walls that close us in, the walls of prejudice, jealousy, greed, social standing and abuse.”