The Artside: Awards and exhibits abound during fall art season

As Erica Pastecki, the amazing artist who also happens to be my friend, would say – there’s a lot of artsy goodness going on around town right now.


First, a shout out to two members of the Aiken Artist Guild who were recognized at the 2017 South Carolina State Fair Fine Art Exhibition in Columbia. Deborah Holtzscheiter and Susan Picket received merit awards on Oct. 8.

Holtzcheiter received the Hal P. Moore Award of Merit in the professional division for her painting, Boy vs. Donut, and Picket received the Michael J. Slattery Award of Merit in the amateur division for her painting, The Blue Checkered Quilt.


The Brown Sugar Stitchers Quilt Guild of Atlanta will have works on display at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History in November and December.

This diverse group of African-American quilters will be making its fifth visit to the museum, and the quilt exhibit has become an anticipated event each year. There will be an opening reception with members from the quilt group from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29.


The Jessye Norman School of the Arts will be offering swing dance classes on Fridays through Nov. 24. Mario Lett of Lett’s Dance teaches the classes. To learn more, call the Jessye Norman School at (706) 722-8341.


The Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta has several exhibits on display in October.

A team of potters led by Shishir Chokshi from Tire City Potters as well as Robert Amato will have works on display in the main gallery.

Amato’s work includes acrylic and oil paintings on stretched plastic. Inspired by the mixed media works of Jasper Johns and Alfred Jensen, Amato has used a variety of mediums before experimenting with oils and acrylics on stretched plastic using a hardened brush to apply the paint, according to the AHCNA.

Also included in the main gallery are a collection of communal works from Tire City Potters.

In the AHCNA’s balcony gallery is the Silent Poetry exhibition. Shirley Ann Olson, a native South Carolinian and art teacher, paints on canvas, wood panels, gourds and just about wherever she can put a brush.

The artist has said that she “looks at everything in life and sees it as a painting,” according to a news release.

All of the exhibitions are on display at AHCNA through Nov. 3.


First Thursday at Midtown Market will be from 5 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 2. The event will raise money and awareness for The Jud C. Hickey Center for Alzheimer’s Care. The featured artist will be Dan Dyches, and Fred Gehle will sign his book of interviews with World War II veterans.


It’s a season of fundraisers for arts organizations.

On Sunday, Oct. 22, the Augusta Mini Theatre Arts and Life Skills School hold its 16th annual Alumni and Friends Chefs Showcase at 2 p.m. at the Robert Howard Community Center in Hephzibah.

Twenty-five chefs, restaurants and caterers will participate in the event. Among those participating include 3rd and 27th Catering, French Market Grille, DeShawn’s Seafood &Chicken, Tastefully Yours, Dent’s Creations, Liquid Sunshine, Stewart’s Mobile Ribs-N-Things, Sandy’s Delicious Treats, Papa John’s and Sconyers Bar-B-Que.

Admission is $42 for adults and $16 for children between the ages of 2 and 18. A table of eight is $336.

The Augusta Mini-Theatre celebrated its 42nd anniversary on Oct. 8.

For more information, visit or call (706) 722-0598.

Nov. 2 is the date for the 13th annual Oysters on Telfair to benefit the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art.

The event will feature food from Becks, music with the Crosstie Walkers as well as a raffle and a silent art auction. If you go, be sure to say “hi” to Erica Pastecki, who is the education coordinator there.

Tickets are $75. For more information, call (706) 722-5495.

The AHCNA has a Diner En Noir event on Nov. 9, complementing its Diner En Blanc event earlier this year.

Guests should arrive dressed in black and bring their favorite appetizer to share. The center will provide tables, chairs, tablecloths, tea, lemonade and water, and guests will provide their own picnic dinner and any adult beverages. Guests are encouraged to decorate their tables. Prizes will be given to the best decorations.

Tickets are $25 for AHC members and $30 for nonmembers. There are a limited number of tickets. Call (803) 441-4380 for more information.