JCA holds reception for Casey

Published 9:51 pm Monday, October 25, 2021

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For Mary Ann Casey, the artist’s reception at the Johnson Center for the Arts on Thursday night was a coming home of sorts.

“It was so comforting to be back among people that I love and in a place that feels like home,” Casey said. “I was among people who have supported me, encouraged me, nourished me and comforted me. It was good to be home again.”

Former Trojan and now an Auburn based artist, Casey’s “Dimensions” exhibition is featured in the Johnson Center’s Gibson Family, Kirk and Tile galleries.

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“Dimensions has been, and is, a big attraction,” said Brenda Campbell, JCA director. “We had a packed house for Mary Ann’s reception and everyone was very impressed by her work, just as we have been.”

At the reception, Casey talk individually with those in attendance and then presented a short artist’s talk about the “Dimensions” exhibition.

Casey said, simply, “I am a part of this.”

She explained that her thoughts, her feelings, her desires, her very being are all a part of her artwork.

“All of my life, I have loved African music and the African people,” she said. “I love children and the flowers and the colors, all of this.”

Casey spoke of the lilies in her work.

“Lilies are resilient, like we are as people, as we have to be as people,” she said. “And, we all want the same things, no matter where we are in this world.  The young girl on the horse has surrendered in her reach for freedom. Don’t we all seek to be free?”

For Casey, art is about people and stories and what lies beyond what is on canvas, beyond the paper mache bowls she creates.

“A bowl represents the gathering of friends and the surrounding of families, the circle of life,” she said. “And, the mother and a child hold each other physically and also spiritually.”

Casey’s people are expressionless and for a reason.

“I don’t know what the people are thinking,” she said. “Do we ever know what others are thinking? We can only imagine. We cannot really know. I can’t. Can we?”

Casey’s “Dimensions” may be viewed during the hours 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The student art show, “Art the Size of a Dollar Bill” sponsored by Troy Bank and Trust, is featured in the lower gallery during the same hours.

Admission to the Johnson Center for the Arts is free.