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‘A Joyous Exchange’ opens Thursday at Johnson Center

The Johnson Center for the Arts will host a reception celebrating the opening of the center’s latest exhibit, “Art of Collaboration: A Joyous Exchange” featuring Pam Allen, Jerry Johnson and Diane Orlofsky from 5 until 7 p.m. Thursday. The public is invited and admission is free.

Vicki Pritchett, Johnson Center executive director, said at 6 p.m. the artists will participate in an ArtTalk and will discuss their ideas for “A Joyous Exchange” and how it developed into an amazing and joyous collaboration.

Pritchett said she is excited about the opportunity to have both an ArtTalk and an artists’ reception as one event.

“Jerry, Pam and Diane are extremely talented artists and ‘A Joyous Exchange’ is an exhibit that will be enhanced by the ArtTalk,” Pritchett said. “The exhibit in itself is a joyous expression of their work. But, after hearing them share their ideas and the processes of their work, the exhibit will take on even greater meaning. We hope that everyone who appreciates the arts will join us in celebrating the opening of ‘A Joyous Exchange.’”

Johnson and Allen, who are colleagues in the Troy University art department, were having lunch together and were discussing Orlofsky’s book, “Meditations.” Out of that lunch meeting came the idea for “A Joyous Exchange.”

“Within minutes of our conversation, we were discussing the possibilities of working collaboratively,” Johnson said. “It was originally considered that I might simply generate illustrations that would visually enhance the meditations. There was such a rich spiritual voice throughout the pages, that I became too inspired to illustrate and proposed rather to illuminate.”

Orlofsky said Johnson’s artwork seemed a logical joyful extension of the written word.

“Jerry and I have always been intrigued by ‘the possible,’” Orlofsky said. “Ours has been an aleatoric dance of layers and symbols, memories and materials, significant heart-songs and endless possibilities – pure artistic collaboration. A joyous exchange.”

For Allen, painting has always been a solitary activity.

“I never really thought about the parallels my work might have with others until I was asked to join this exhibition with Jerry and Diane,” Allen said.

The parallels of the three artists create an amazing body of work that is like no other exhibit the Johnson Center has showcased, Pritchett said.

“‘Art of Collaboration: A Joyous Exchange’ is a display of life and its intricacies that are interwoven into who we are as humans,” Pritchett said. “Opening night will be a joyous occasion and one the community will not want to miss.”

The exhibit will run through July 25. However, opening night on Thursday will be the one opportunity to visit with the artists.