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Johnson Center hosts reception for local artist’s exhibit

The Johnson Center for the Arts will host an artist’s reception for Troy artist Avont Anderson, from 6 until 8 p.m. tonight. The public is invited.

Anderson is the 2019 Jean Lake Scholarship winner. The award is presented annually by the Troy Arts Council. With the prestigious award, comes the opportunity for an exhibition at the JCA the following year. However, because of COVID-19 restrictions, Anderson’s exhibit is being held in 2021.

Brenda Campbell, JCA director, said it is exciting to have a talented, young, local artist exhibit at the Johnson Center. Anderson is a graduate of Charles Henderson High School and has attended the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design.

“Avont Anderson’s exhibition, ‘This Is Us, Unapologetically’ is a showcase of his amazing talent and his insight,” Campbell said “We look forward to introducing his work to an even wider audience tonight.”

Anderson is a quiet, soft-spoken young man whose work says volumes about his talent.

“Receiving the Jean Lake scholarship gave me confidence that others might like my work,” he said. “The artwork for the Jean Lake Scholarship was work that I had done in the Advanced Placement art class at Charles Henderson High School. Portraits are what I do because they are expressive in a way that no other art is. To me, that is.”

Anderson said he is a young black man in the heart of the South with a dream to create art appreciating Black culture.

“More importantly, the beauty, resilience and excellence of the people,” he said.

Anderson’s colorful and vibrant portraits are done in graphite, charcoal and colored pencil, “because they blend well, and in amazing detail.

Campbell said it is not possible to look at Avont Anderson’s portraits and then walk away.

“Avont’s portraits bring you back, again and again,” she said. “We look forward to showcasing his amazing artwork tonight at the Johnson Center for the Arts. Avont will be available to talk with guests about his work as they view ‘This Is Us, Unapologetically’ and also at the artist’s talk.”

Everyone is invited to the reception for Avont Anderson. His work is exhibited in the lower gallery of the Johnson Center. An exhibition of Mose Tolliver’s artwork is also in the lower gallery. Masks and social distancing are required. Refreshments will be served.

“This Is Us, Unapologetically” will close on April 10. JCA hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and until 3 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free.