Augusta will live up to its Garden City designation this weekend as the Morris Museum of Art opens an exhibit of English garden watercolors, nicely timed to coincide with the annual garden festival produced by Sacred Heart Cultural Center.
The exhibit, Golden Afternoon: English Watercolors from the Elsley Collection, includes about 40 watercolor paintings depicting the most famous gardens of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, painted by the foremost garden artists of the time. According to Museum Director Kevin Grogan, the collection recalls the golden age of the English garden and “captures images of some of the most beautiful garden designs created at the turn of the last century.”
The works on display were assembled over the years by English-born horticulturist John Elsley, now a resident of Greenwood, S.C. He will talk about his collection at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 28, in the Morris Museum auditorium, and a reception will follow in the galleries. The cost of the event is $5 for museum members and Sacred Heart Garden Festival ticketholders, and $10 for others.
To accompany the exhibition, the museum has published a 48-page book featuring introductory essays by Grogan, Elsley and Alan MacTaggart, the chairman of the Augusta State University art department, plus artist biographies, descriptions of the gardens and color illustrations. Many of the beautifully sculpted gardens no longer exist as such, but the watercolors offer an intimate glimpse into a golden era in the history of landscape design.
SACRED HEART’S garden festival opens with a patrons’ preview party Thursday, April 26, and continues Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. A $25 three-day pass offers admission to the landscape and floral exhibits and garden market and lectures at Sacred Heart, plus tours of selected private gardens.
A one-day pass at $10 includes everything except the private garden tours. See www.sacredheartgardenfestival.com for additional information.
ALSO ON THE calendar for Thursday, April 26, is an Art Now talk at Morris Museum of Art. Game theorist, designer and philosopher Ian Bogost will discuss his technological creations and the ways he blurs the lines between art, philosophy, literature and video games.
His work was recently featured in Wired magazine and on The Colbert Report cable television show.
The 6 p.m. talk will be followed by a reception with food and drinks. Music will be performed by Sure Eel. One of Bogost’s installations will be in the museum’s education gallery on the first floor through May 14.
FIRE HOUSE GALLERY opens its fifth edition of 20/20 Vision with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 28. The exhibit spotlights work by contemporary university printmakers. The aptly named gallery is in a rehabbed firehouse in Louisville, Ga. For directions and more information, see galleryafire.com.
If you miss the opening, the show will be there through May 26.
HERITAGE: NATURAL AND CULTURAL is the title of a juried show at the Madison Morgan Cultural Center in Madison, Ga., through May 19. The exhibit, staged in conjunction with the Madison Artist Guild, includes more than 50 regional artists, many from the Augusta area.
Information on the exhibit, and Madison’s annual spring tour of homes and gardens, can be found at mmcc-arts.org.
THE SERIES OF SPOTLIGHT shows by Augusta State University’s senior art students continues during April and May. Jennifer Ackerman has a reception April 27 for a show titled In the Forest They Convene, on exhibit through May 4 at the Mary S. Byrd Gallery on campus. Heather Dunaway will offer a show called Spinning Compass, and Anna Herndon a show titled Psych et Natura, both at Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art April 28-May 31, with a reception May 4.
Another May 4 reception will celebrate Cat Pope’s showing at Oddfellows Gallery on Eighth Street.
Regina Brejda has a show titled Grounded, opening April 29 and running through May 11 at Reed Creek Nature Park; and Maleeha Ahmad is showing at Le Chat Noir through April 29. Nick Harris has a show titled Pain Runs Deep, on exhibit through April 29 at Piccadilly Plaza on Washington Road, and Ernest Anderson offers one titled The Way I See It … So Far at Oddfellows Gallery through May 11.
LOOKING AHEAD: Midtown Market will take an exotic turn with its artist of the month for May. Annemarie Kipar lives in Bali, Indonesia, where she embroiders and embellishes Ikat fabrics, European chintz and Tibetan double brocades to create wall hangings. She will be the featured exhibitor at the First Thursday celebration May 3.
CONTINUING: The Biennial Exhibition of artists at Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art includes works by Ethan Brock, Jackson Cheatham, Shishir Chokshi, Chad Cole, Dorothy Eckmann, Ingrid Hofer, Melanie Miller Longshore, Lillie Morris, the Southern Observatory artists, Rosanne Stutts and Laura Humphrey.
Murmurations by Amelia Grace Brooks continues in the Creel-Harison gallery on the third floor.
CALL FOR ARTISTS: Artists Row has announced plans for Guitars with Artitude, asking artists to explore the guitar as a canvas or material element in creating a new work. Completed works will be exhibited in various business locations a month before a gala and auction Sept. 15 during the Arts in the Heart festival.
Artists are asked to submit a written proposal. For details, call (706) 513-0916. The event benefits Artists Row’s scholarship and community outreach fund. Submission deadline is May 31.
NOTABLES: Artist Kath Engler exhibited in the LaGrange National exhibit at the Lamar Dodd Art Center, LaGrange College, and will have two sculptures included in Red Clay Survey 2012 at Huntsville Museum of Art in Alabama, opening May 19. She also has a show at Mason-Murer Gallery in Atlanta.
• Jennifer Onofrio Fornes and her mother, Judy Onofrio, are featured in a dual exhibition at Sherry Leedy gallery in Kansas City.
• Susan Johnston recently showed four works from her Recapitulation Series at the Haydon Art Center in Lincoln, Neb., and has a painting titled Kitchen Icon in a regional exhibit at the Renaissance Center near Nashville, Tenn.