Artists exhibiting in several Augusta and Aiken shows are reflecting a well-documented trend, as our area attracts more of an active, retirement-age population. People who may have had an early interest in art are returning to their artistic pursuits as their career building and family raising require less concentrated effort.
A show by Freddie Flynt and Tricia Mayers, opening at Sacred Heart Cultural Center on Thursday, July 12, illustrates the trend.
Flynt came to Georgia for college and never left. Following a career in continuing education at Augusta State University, she explored her love of art through classes at the Bascom Center for Visual Arts in Highlands, N.C., and the Morris Museum of Art. A love of hiking, natural history and travel provide her subject matter for sketches and paintings. She also enjoys teaching art, and has been an instructor at sea, aboard the Queen Mary II and Queen Elizabeth.
Mayers attributes her love of painting to her early experiences with nature, particularly the hours spent riding her horse in her hometown of Greenwood, S.C., and frequent trips to Edisto Island. After earning a journalism degree from the University of South Carolina, she worked as a magazine editor before raising a family. She paints a variety of subjects in acrylics, ranging from landscapes and still lifes to interiors. She and her husband, Chuck, live in Columbia County.
The exhibit will open with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. in the lower level art hall at Sacred Heart. Call (706) 826-4700 for more information.
ANOTHER SECOND-chapter artist, Terry Smith, is showing his work during July at the Hitchcock Health Center in Aiken. A native of Montgomery, Ala., Smith enjoyed a long civilian career with the Department of the Army, retiring in 2008 as deputy garrison commander at Fort Gordon. As part of his retirement focus, he serves as a docent at the Morris Museum of Art and has painted in oils for many years under the mentorship of Dick Dunlap and other local artists.
SEVERAL EXHIBITS are up this month at Aiken Center for the Arts on Laurens Street, with artists of all ages represented. The ACA Student Exhibition continues in the Founders Gallery, and the Aiken Artist Guild Gallery is hosting the South Carolina Heart Gallery show. Summer camp artwork displays are shown in the Brooks Gallery and Westinghouse and Wyatt Galleries.
The South Carolina Heart show is a photographic art exhibit featuring children in foster care who are waiting for adoptive homes. The photo portraits are donated by South Carolina artists and are displayed around the state to raise awareness. And the adult student art exhibit includes works completed in classes or workshops at the center. Call (803) 641-9094 for more information.
THE MORRIS MUSEUM of Art will host special guest Jim Dunham for the Art at Lunch program July 13. Dunham, now the director of special programs at the Booth Western Art Museum, will talk about his 30-year career working in the Western entertainment business, teaching movie stars how to handle guns on the big screen. Lunch will be catered by Honey from the Rock. Paid reservations are required. Call (706) 724-7501 for information.
• Sunday afternoon, Jim McGaw will perform traditional American folk music, jazz standards and original songs on hammer dulcimer and guitar. There is no admission charge for the 2 p.m. program. The same afternoon, visitors are invited to sketch in the galleries, with art materials supplied by the museum.
• Two new exhibits open July 19 at the Morris. At 6 p.m., artist Joseph Norman will present a lecture about his series of lithographs titled Strange Fruit, and a reception will follow at 7 p.m. Norman grew up in the slums of Chicago, went to college on a football scholarship, and traveled extensively before establishing his art career. One of his first major works was a group of black and white drawings called Strange Fruit, in which fish and fruit hang from trees, as dark shapes on a dark ground. The shadowed shapes of these “strange fruit” are almost abstract, yet emotionally charged. The title comes from a song by Billie Holiday, a ballad about lynching.
• Also new at the museum is a show titled The Morris at Twenty, presenting some of the major art works acquired by the museum during the past 10 years. The exhibit is part of the museum’s 20th anniversary celebrations.
DEADLINES: Writers who have yet to complete their entries for the Porter Fleming Literary Competition may have to pull an all-nighter to make the July 13 deadline. For details, check the Morris Museum of Art’s Web page at www.themorris.org/porterfleming.html.
• The 2012 Augusta Photography Festival competition is open for submissions through Aug. 15. Details can be found at www.augustaphotofestival.org.