Classic Center Art: A lot of attention has been focused on Maureen Kelly’s “Nest,” the public art installation recently unveiled within the sunny new atrium of the Classic Center—which, if you ask me (you didn’t), is remarkable only in that the city chose to dish out $150,000 for it—but the sculpture is just one of dozens of artworks acquired through the expansion. Three new gallery spaces under the direction of Didi Dunphy, a wise choice for a curator, will feature biannual exhibitions of high-caliber local and regional artists.
In “Inhabit,” a collection of large-scale paintings centering on people and their connection to where they live, images of a laundromat and subway in New York City by Claire Richmond Dunphy complement the everyday Athens neighborhood scenes by Jennifer Hartley (also on display at Ciné through Tuesday, Mar. 19). The portraits of glamorous people appropriated from fashion advertisements for sunglasses by Hooper Turner balance depictions of unabashed rural folk musicians painted by Art Rosenbaum, UGA’s first Wheatley Professor in Fine Arts.
In “Here & There,” a photography exhibit exploring the nature of place, the immeasurable, wind-shifted Abu Dhabi desert images of UGA Professor of Interior Design Thom Houser are contrasted with the steadfast, iconic Athens monuments of Georgia Museum of Art PR Specialist and musician Michael Lachowski. Photos of plants over-exposed to the brink of disappearing by Rinne Allen complement the layered, large-scale images of sumac and thistle by Jim Fiscus and Chris Bilheimer. Whereas the eerie black-and-white landscapes in “Spirit Places” by Michael Marshall, chair of the photography department at UGA, offer hazy impressions of memory and the experience of place, the black-and-white landscapes of “Innerspace” by UGA Associate Professor of Art Michael Oliveri utilize an electron microscope to capture otherworldly scenes of molecular-scale subjects.
In addition to the new gallery spaces, there are also over 30 works of art displayed throughout the building, including pieces by Mary Porter, Terry Rowlett, Karekin Goekjan, Jamie Calkin, Don Smith and Greg Benson. Each year, the Classic Center Cultural Foundation makes a purchase to add to its collection, focusing on works created by former or current Athenians.
Public Art Proposals: The Athens Cultural Affairs Commission (ACAC) has already moved on to planning its next major public art installation, this time at the newly expanded Athens-Clarke County Library. Proposals are currently being accepted from local artists and art teams residing in Athens-Clarke and surrounding counties for projects enhancing the bricked plaza area bordering the property and the front wall that tapers to the ground along Baxter Street. The commission intends to find artwork reflecting the library’s value to the community, and ideas that allow for the involvement of neighborhood middle and high school students are preferred. The all-inclusive budget is $25,000. Proposals, which will be collected until Friday, Apr. 5, must be submitted electronically through the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government’s (ACCUG) website: www.athensclarkecounty.com.
Call for Applicants: The ACAC is also currently seeking one candidate to fill a three-year volunteer position beginning in May. The board strives to foster the development and promotion of performing, visual and cultural arts in the community by working cooperatively with the ACCUG on how to best incorporate an arts element into as many aspects of local planning and development as possible. Applicants must be ACC residents and registered voters, have expertise or demonstrated interest in one of the arts, and available for meetings every second Monday of each month. The deadline is quickly approaching: this Friday, Mar. 15, at 5 p.m. For more details and to submit an application, visit www.athensculturalaffairs.org.
MFA: The Georgia Museum of Art will host the Lamar Dodd School of Art’s “Master of Fine Arts Degree Candidates Exhibition,” Mar. 16–Apr. 22, a show representing the culmination of the candidates’ academic studies and transition into the professional art arena. While the annual exhibit has traditionally been held at the museum—a custom dating back to the 1950s and the friendship between Lamar Dodd and the museum’s founder, Alfred Holfbrook—this year marks its official return following the museum’s expansions, which broke ground in 2009. MFA candidates include photography students Adam Forrester and Clay Jordon, printmaking students Danielle Peters and Elliot Walters, interior design students Kaitlin McShea and Nicole Lea Williams, sculpture student Rachel Debuque, ceramics student Clara Hoag, and drawing/painting students Jamie Bull, Mei Ling Cann, Stacey Elder, Brock Gordon and Christine Roman. A panel discussion about the works, “MFA Speaks,” will be held Thursday, Mar. 21, at 5:30 p.m., and the official opening reception will be held on Friday, Mar. 22, at 6 p.m., in conjunction with the museum’s free quarterly open house, “90 Carlton: Spring.”
Down the Line: Peter Murray, the founding director of Yorkshire Sculpture Park, an open-air gallery exhibiting international contemporary sculpture on an 18th-century U.K. estate, will be this year’s speaker at the Georgia Museum of Art and Willson Center for Humanities and Arts annual co-sponsored lecture. In “Museums without Walls: Art in the Landscape,” Murray, who was awarded the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2010, will discuss land art in European, Japanese and North American sculpture parks. The lecture, held at GMOA on Wednesday, Mar. 20 at 5:30 p.m., will be followed by a reception.
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