Each September the old welcomes the new as the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art hosts A Sense of Place, an annual juried competition showcasing contemporary art against the backdrop of its grand old historic building. The show opens with a reception Friday, Sept. 14, beginning at 6 p.m.
Now in its 32nd year, the competition attracts entries from across the country. Nancy Solomon, the director of Atlanta’s prestigious Solomon Projects, served as the juror for the show, narrowing the field from several hundred to the 38 works that make up the final exhibition.
Solomon brings an experienced eye to the task. Her Atlanta gallery is dedicated to new and experimental solo presentations by emerging and mid-career artists. She holds a degree in art history from Columbia University’s Barnard College, and worked at the Lisson Gallery in London. She served on the editorial advisory board for Art Papers, and received the Georgia Women in the Arts Award, among other honors. During the reception, she will conduct a gallery talk and reveal the three outstanding works she has selected for cash awards.
The reception will also honor one of Augusta’s popular contemporary artists, Leonard “Porkchop” Zimmerman, whose show titled Love Stories will be on view in the Creel-Harison Gallery on the third floor of the art institute. Zimmerman’s whimsical, robotic figures draw on pop culture imagery to present sometimes amusing, sometimes perplexing and often deeply felt human emotions.
THE WEEKEND includes the Arts in the Heart of Augusta festival, where more than 90 fine art and crafts booths will line up on Broad Street. Look for paintings, photography, mosaic and glass art, jewelry, pottery and ceramic arts. There will be a young artists market as well.
ARTZILLA, a three-day live painting event and art auction, will be staged in front of Sundrees Market on Broad Street during Arts in the Heart. Nine artists will be given canvases to paint, and they will do so during festival hours. Silent auction bids will be taken, with part of the proceeds going to the Gertrude Herbert and the rest to the artists. Participants include Carrie Brooks, Aaron Crawford, Jason Craig, Hannah Elliot, Jay Jacobs, Chris Murray, Blaine Prescott, Brian Stewart and Zimmerman.
THE ARTS AND HERITAGE CENTER of North Augusta on Thursday, Sept. 13, will open an exhibit of work by Clay Artists of the Southeast, with a free reception from 6 to 8 p.m. The show is titled Bon Appetit, and each of the ceramic objects has some relation to that theme.
THE MORRIS MUSEUM of Art will host South Carolina artist Jim Harrison for a lunchtime talk Friday, Sept. 14, and later that evening, the museum’s Southern Soul & Song concert series launches its 10th season with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder at the Imperial Theater. Follow that up with operatic soprano Laquita Mitchell Sunday, Sept. 16 at the Morris.
FIRE HOUSE GALLERY in Louisville, Ga., will hold an opening reception Saturday, Sept. 15 from 7 to 9 p.m. for artist Valerie Aranda’s exhibit of portable murals and drawings. Visit the gallery Web site at www.galleryafire.com to see a video clip of her Louisville mural project.
Also on Saturday is a closing reception for a Budding Artist exhibit in Good Books Café at Goodwill on Washington Road. The works were created during a summer camp for foster children under the direction of sculptor Kath Girdler Engler. The reception will be from 1 to 3 p.m.
MOVIE FANS have choices to make next week. Augusta State University opens its film series Monday, Sept. 17, with The Artist, an Academy Award-winning gem. Tuesday night there are two options. The Morris Museum launches the Southern Circuit Film Series with Small, Beautifully Moving Parts. After the 6 p.m. screening, co-writer/co-director Annie J. Howell will be on hand for discussion. A couple of blocks away, the Augusta Library continues its run of movies about artists with Pollock, starting at 6:30 p.m.
LOOKING AHEAD: Thursday, Sept. 20, is the date for Perfectly Aged, Historic Augusta’s annual benefit auction, as well as an opening reception for artist Joe Sanders at Augusta State University. The Morris Museum of Art will open an exhibit of photographic portraits of Southern artists by Jerry Siegel on Friday, Sept. 21.