Johnson Center to host Art Talk

Published 3:00 am Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Johnson Center for the Arts is known for bringing innovative exhibits to town. The two exhibits now open at the gallery fall right in line with the art center’s reputation.

“Together Again for the First Time” features the artwork of Ted Metz and his wife, Robin Metz, who are exhibiting together for the first time. Sculptor Randy Gachet’s “Subterranea” provides viewers with a different way of looking at the rubber that meets the road.

The Johnson Center will host an Art Talk and Reception for the artists at the gallery from 6 until 8 p.m. tonight and the public is invited.

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“All three artists are Alabama State Council on the Arts Fellowship winners,” said Vicki Pritchett, Johnson Center executive director. “They are an impressive group. This is a great opportunity for the community to come out, meet these artists, view their artwork and hear them talk about their art and what inspires them.”

The “Together Again for the First Time” exhibit is in the upper gallery and features her whimsical paintings and his hand-built sculptures.

“Robin Metz’s paintings are colorful and delightful,” Pritchett said. “You can’t view her artwork without smiling. Ted Metz’s hand-built, tin sculptures are a retrospective of antique tools. He uses metal and glass to give the tools another dimension.”

Pritchett said the couple often plays off each other’s talent and focus. For the Johnson Center exhibit, they have collaborated on pottery work that is on display in the Tile Gallery.

“Some of the pottery, Ted throws and some of it is hand-formed,” she said. “Robin hand-painted and etched the pottery. It’s really neat pottery and very impressive.”

Gachet’s sculptures are on display in the lower gallery and they are more than interesting, Pritchett said. “They are amazing.”

Gachet’s sculptures and installations deal with the retrieval and transformation of rubber tire remnants and other jettisoned material found on the freeways and highways that course through the Birmingham area.

“It is amazing what Randy can do, artistically, with steel-belted radials found on the roadside,” Pritchett said.

The Johnson Center is proud to spotlight three Alabama artists who are different in their approach to art but are uniquely talented individuals.

“We are excited and honored to have them at the Johnson Center Thursday night, and we have a great opening planned,” Pritchett said. “‘Together Again for the First Time’ and ‘Subterranea’ are amazing exhibits. The art talks will be interesting and entertaining. We’ll have the Everett Band playing all that jazz and we’ll serve light refreshments.

“Football will be over so we invite everyone to come on down to the Johnson Center for a night of entertainment and enlightenment.”