The Artside: Art is good news whether shared by its creator, others

In almost 30 years of writing for The Augusta Chronicle, I’ve had more than one person tell me that they think the news media only covers bad news. And that’s not true in the slightest. There’s plenty of good news on these pages. I’ve written plenty of it, and I like to think that I’ve done some good by writing about it.


On Aug. 30, I had the chance to put a smile on someone’s face, and it really didn’t take much effort on my part.

If you’ve read this column more than once, chances are you’ve seen me post about Regina Brejda and 4P Studios, That Place Coffee and 600 Broad. All of these sites have regular art exhibitions, and she’s booked them through the end of 2018.

Regina also hangs the art of other artists in That Place Studio, which is her day job. She has a consignment system, and while the artists might not get a solo exhibition, they have a place to show and sell works. It might not be something she’d hang in her own home, but she likes to give artists a chance because someone else might like their work. I knew this about Regina so when a woman from my church told me her dream was to have her own art gallery one day, I made a connection between two like-minded people.

Karen Gueits is an artist who has been painting in acrylics for many years, but she’s never sold a painting, and to my knowledge, she’s never even displayed her work until now. I met with her and Regina at 4P, and Karen consigned 11 pieces; many of them figures of women. There’s a gorgeous one of two wild horses. I got to name that one. They were all untitled when Karen brought them in. So the horse painting is now called Wild and Free.

She kept telling Regina, “I was just playing around when I did this” when she was describing several of her pieces.

I told Regina that Karen’s experimentation is better than anything I could possibly do with a well-executed plan and an art degree. I have neither of those so don’t expect anything of mine to hang on a gallery wall.

Karen told me how she cried happy tears on her drive. She couldn’t believe the opportunity and was so grateful.

Did I perform brain surgery and save a life? No. Did I find a cure for cancer? No. Did I bring about world peace? No. But I had a hand in helping someone else smile and brightening someone else’s day. Maybe it’s not huge, but making someone’s day brighter is something all of us have within our power to do.

There’s always beautiful art to see in the Augusta area. There are lots of free parties this weekend related to art exhibits.

You might be able to see Karen’s works if you go to 4P Studios, which will have a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8.

The solo exhibition this month is by Nico Gozal, who paints on silk. Some of his work was featured in the recent $200 and under exhibition at the studios.

At That Place Coffee, Gail Wheeler’s work will be shown. There will also be a reception at That Place Coffee from 6 to 8 p.m.

There’s a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7, at the Arts &Heritage Center of North Augusta (AHCNA) for two new exhibits.

The first is in the main gallery, which is a collection of photographs from the Augusta Photo Festival group titled Photo Walk Finds. The center also will have an exhibit by CASE, the Clay Artists of the Southeast. The theme of CASE’s work is Anything Goes. These two exhibitions will be on display through Sept. 28.

Also on Sept. 7, there’s a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. at Sacred Heart Cultural Center to celebrate the opening of Randy Akers’ show.

“Randy Akers is a visual artist working on Skidaway Island, Ga. He has shown at the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, the Philadelphia Art Museum, Florida A&M University, Marietta / Cobb Museum of Art, the LaGrange Art Museum and the Foundry Art Centre among others. Akers received an Arts Residency at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in 2015,” according to a news release.

Lastly, at Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, they will celebrate the opening of two shows with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8. The 37th Annual Juried Fine Art Competition, A Sense of Place, will be in the main gallery, and Wilma Becker: Fragments of Time and Place will be in the Creel-Harison Community Gallery.

Both exhibits will be on display through Oct. 13.