JCA to host reception for trio of artists

Published 7:47 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2022

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The Johnson Center for the Arts will host a reception honoring exhibiting artists Mike Benton and Enid Probst and Donna Pickens from 6 until 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The public is invited.

Benton grew up in Union Springs and now lives in Troy. He has long been familiar to the area as a singer and musician and more recently as an artist.

Benton is an award-winning artist at TroyFest and his paintings are featured on the covers of three historical novels.

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As a member of the Bullock Art Guild, Benton is well known and recognized for his work in charcoal and pastels, several of which have garnished blue ribbons at county fairs. He was featured as artist-of-the-month by Artist Daily.

Benton has extended his pallet to include acrylics, oils and watercolor.

The local artist loves county cooking, seafood and is kind to small animals.

The Enid Probst-Donna Pickens exhibit is titled, “Journey of the Soul.”

Pickens created large scale public sculptures in the Atlanta area before moving to Montgomery in 2004. There, she was Assistant Curator of Education at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

Andrea Pack, JCA, assistant, said Pickens’ work has been shown in regional and national juried exhibitions and has received awards in several Alabama shows.

Internationally, she has exhibited in Mexico, Argentina and seven major cities in Germany.

Donna Pickens now lives in Asheville, N.C. Inspired by the large arts community, she hopes to continue creating her own work and encouraging others to explore their creativity by offering art classes for children and adults.

Pack said Enid Probst’s art reflects interest in merging classical and contemporary themes and also contrasting materials, textures and luminosity.

“Enid Probst works with stone that she collects throughout Alabama,” Pack said. “The beauty of nature, scenes of everyday life and spiritual expression are her inspirations.”

Originally self-taught Probst refined her understating of mosaic art by training with master mosaic artists in the United States, Italy and Mexico.

Her work can be seen at several public installations in the River Region, including a wall mosaic for Jackson Hospital.

She has received several artist-in-residences from both the Montgomery museum of Fine Art and the Jule Collins Smith Museum in Auburn.

Everyone is invited to the artists’ reception for Mike Benton and Enid Probst and Donna Pickens. Both exhibits will close on December 30.

JCA hours are 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is free.