Morris Museum gets ready for its reopening

MAY AMES, Corn Shocks, Brecksville, 1913. Oil on canvas, 23 x 35 inches. John and Susan Horseman Collection.

The Morris Museum of Art's staff is gearing up for a weekend filled with enough activity to offset the past few weeks of behind-closed-doors work. At the same time it unveils a fresh view of the permanent collection, the museum is opening a special exhibit called Regional Dialect.


Patrons attending the museum's 17th annual gala March 5 will get the first look, along with heavy hors d'oeuvres, a silent auction and dancing under the stars. Then, in the early morning hours, the staff will clear the preview party away so that the museum can open at 10 a.m., with tours and gallery talks throughout the day. Museum members get a discount on gala tickets. Call (706) 828-3825.

At 5 p.m. March 6 there will be an opening party, free to the public. At 6 p.m., Kevin Sharp, director of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tenn., and John and Susan Horseman will discuss the Regional Dialect exhibition, which includes 57 works from their collection. The show focuses on works by many influential artists of the first half of the 20th century, who were working outside the major art centers, and sought to express the American experience.

That will be followed with Artrageous Family Sunday, with costumed docents, art projects, and a performance by Tara Scheyer. Hours are 1 to 4 p.m., with performances at 2 p.m.

It will be great to have all the Morris galleries open again, but I'll miss the clever "caught with its paintings down" campaign they've been running.

- More visual arts events are coming up the first week in March, beginning with the 31st Agnes Markwalter Youth Art Competition and Exhibition in the first and third floor galleries at the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art. A reception and awards ceremony will be from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. The event is held in conjunction with National Arts Education Association's Youth Art Month. This year's theme: Going Green.

The Gertrude Herbert's Walker-Mackenzie Studio is the setting for an exhibit of works by Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School rising seniors. Works will be shown in a variety of media, and a free reception is scheduled from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. March 5.

Works by Kristin Casaletto will remain on display in the main gallery through March 5, as will works by Laura Umphrey in the Creel-Harison Community Art Gallery.

- The Art Factory has announced the winners of the juried competition for Phase II of Art on the Wall. Steve Krecskay, Stephen Snyder, Leonard Zimmerman, Brian Stewart, Cyndy Epps and Joseph Hart were chosen from 28 entries. Each will paint a mural, based on the theme of water, on a 12- by 30-foot section of the wall on Wrightsboro Road surrounding the Augusta Utilities Department facility. Painting begins in March and all murals will be completed by June.

Judges were Pat Walker, professor of painting and drawing at Georgia Southern College, Jim Slagle, chair of the Visual Arts Department at Lander College, and Alan MacTaggart, chair of the Visual Arts Department at Augusta State University.

- The Art Factory has scheduled its annual fundraiser, Celebrating the Artist, for March 13 at the Old Government House. Works by well-known Augusta artists Kath Girdler-Engler and Lillie Morris will be auctioned. More than 30 area artists have donated work for a silent auction. Tickets cost $40. Call (706) 731-0008.

- At the Aiken Center for the Arts, March exhibitions include Complements, works by Louise Mellon, Tom Supensky and Gwen Power, as well as the Mead Hall Episcopal School exhibit. A reception is planned for March 4 from 6 to 8 p.m.

- In Louisville, Ga., the Fire House Gallery is showing an exhibit titled Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Prints . The show includes images of nature by Jane Marshall, Scott Stephens and Judy Major-Girardin.