A low-slung brick ranch sits quietly among the wooded hills of serene Glenwood, as do its low-key neighboring houses. But the bright red door at the entrance, framed by plants in electric blue pots, hints at the artistic and vibrant family life within.
The home is a creative collaboration between its owners, Beth and Jason Thrasher. And on a recent weekend, like many artists in the Athens community, they opened their home to the public to benefit local public radio station WUGA.
“I was talking to someone about these events, and things like Rabbit Box, and he summed it up by saying these experiences are all about COMMUNITY,” Gwen O’Looney said on a recent cool fall afternoon at a house on Pulaski Street. The home belonged to artist Maria Dondero and her husband, Clyde, and, though I had never met them before, I was making myself quite comfortable in their kitchen.
“What it Means,” a watercolor portrait of Patterson Hood by artist Jackie Dorsey, captures the intensity of someone who could pen the lyrics, “We want our truths all fair and balanced/ As long as our notions lie within it/ There’s no sunlight in our asses/ And our heads are stuck up in it.”
The work is part of “Sound Check,” a series of portraits of local musicians Dorsey created to express her gratitude for the Athens music scene. The show is currently on display at Hendershot’s, and a meet-and-greet was held for the artist on a recent Sunday night. Friends and family, including the staff of Aurum (where Dorsey is also showing paintings this month along with her mentor Kie Johnson), stopped in to celebrate. Two musicians portrayed in the show, Sam Burchfield and Wrenn, played an acoustic set afterwards.
The first-ever Transpectacle, organized by artists Nack and ARM of Crispy Printz, was a full day of live painting and live music this past Saturday at the Jittery Joe's Roaster. Spectators watched as a handful of artists painted murals onto large 8-foot-by-8-foot boards, while other vendors offered their handmade items to take home.
Photo Credit: Joshua Jones
The home of painter Yvonne Studevan and her husband Russell is elegant and traditional, complete with earth toned walls, a stone fireplace and leather chesterfield chairs you can sink into. Hardly bohemian, it is remarkably different from many of the Athens area artists’ homes featured in WUGA’s Artist In Residence Series in the past. Yet, like all of them, the house, which was on tour last Saturday to benefit the station, reveals the artist’s unique vision and testifies to her craft, passions and beliefs.
The Farmington Depot Gallery kicked off fall for the rest of us this week, breathing life back into the Athens area arts community after another long, hot, quiet summer. “Within: New Work by Kipley A. Meyer,” a collection of abstract works created out of wood, hardware, milk paint and wax, opened at the space Friday night. Box fans strained to cool off guests, generally losing against the thick Georgia humidity. But that didn't deter people from coming out and celebrating with Meyer.
Sewing machines and sergers hummed furiously last week, as a group of girls in T-shirts and jeans stitched, pinned and appliquéd in a mad dash to be ready for a fashion show. A week later, these same girls, made up and creatively attired in elegant dresses and stylish outfits, cooly and confidently walked the runway between dining tables at the Athens Country Club.
The girls are members of the Young Designers Sewing Program. The 4–12 graders meet twice a week after school from August to May to design and sew garments in preparation for an annual fashion show.
The 2016 Bulldog Inn Annual Bi-annual has been postponed until later this fall. Launched in 2010 as a venue for experimentation and alternative art, the one-night event transforms ordinary bedrooms into multi-faceted installations dreamed up by local artists.
Originally scheduled for Friday, Apr. 22, the event was later moved to Wednesday, May 11 in hopes of accommodating more artists. Due to growing construction in Athens, however, the iconic motel on Commerce Road is currently occupied by long-term residents, making it impossible to reserve enough rooms.
One of the first things you notice at the Greater Bethel A.M.E. Church is the deference with which people treat each other. Titles are used and strangers are welcomed.
On a recent Saturday, its congregants opened their doors wide to welcome the larger community as people came from the far reaches of the Athens area to pay their respect to one man: folk artist Harold Rittenberry. Or Mr. Rittenberry, as he is always referred to in the modest but powerful church on Rose Street.
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