Augusta artist Caroline Swanson's painting Symphony of Pears has been selected for display in the National Watercolor Society's 78th Annual Exhibition to be held Nov. 7 through Dec. 30 in Fullerton, Calif.
With the selection, which was made from 4,025 entries, the artist was invited to submit three more pieces of her work to be judged by the society's selection jury. If these three paintings show the same consistent quality as Symphony of Pears, Ms. Swanson will be chosen as a signature member of the society.
"With this acceptance, I have the opportunity to secure signature membership in this prestigious organization, the second-oldest watercolor society in the United States, and one of the most sought after signature memberships," said Ms. Swanson, who also will be the featured artist at the Augusta Art Exchange Gallery for September. Signature member status means "you're a voting member of the NWS and can hold office," said the society's exhibition director, Mary Ann Chater. "And you can sign the initials NWS after your name."
MORE MARSALIS - Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and his Lincoln Center Septet, who have performed with the Augusta Ballet two years in a row, won't be back for the 1998-99 season. But Augusta Ballet choreographer Peter Powlus said the group, which includes Augustan Wycliffe Gordon, is interested in coming to town the next year. Mr. Marsalis and the ballet collaborated on 1997's Bittersweet Saga of Sugar Cane and Sweetie Pie at the Imperial Theatre and a modified encore performance in June of this year. Mr. Powlus is optimistic about chances of the musician's return to the Garden City. "We're going to try and put together a whole new project," he said.
SAY WHAT? -- Don't be deceived by Opera News' listing of the Augusta Opera's opening production of the 1998-99 season. Die Lustige Witke is indeed being performed Sept. 16, 18 and 19 at the Imperial Theatre, as the national magazine published by the Metropolitan Opera Guild says. That's German for The Merry Widow, as it is being billed in town.
NEW BLOOD FOR SYMPHONY -- In addition to new executive director Sharon Gruber, two fresh faces can be seen in the Augusta Symphony's administrative offices. They are: Holly Fowler, director of marketing, and Kelly Blake, marketing associate. Ms. Fowler comes from Dalton, Ga., where she was the marketing/major gift director for United Way. Ms. Blake is a recent public relations graduate of Georgia Southern University.
Development director Alex McClain and business manager Martha Robinson have remained through the personnel turnover.
HURRY UP - The Augusta Chronicle is preparing its annual arts preview, but time is running out for submissions. Area arts groups should send scheduling information by Tuesday to Kent Kimes at The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928. You can send information by fax to 722-7403 or send e-mail listings to feature[at]augustachronicle.com. Please include a contact name and telephone number.