September’s calendar is jam packed with art events, beginning with a triple bill Thursday, Sept. 6. Sacred Heart Cultural Center will have an opening reception for North Augusta artists Elizabeth Moretz-Britt and Elizabeth H. Jones from 5 to 7 p.m. in the art hallway; Donna Whaley will be the featured artist at Midtown Market’s first Thursday party from 5 to 8 p.m., and the Aiken Center for the Arts will host a gallery reception from 6 to 8 p.m. honoring several exhibitors.
Moretz-Britt’s work is well known in the Augusta area. Born in Utah, she grew up in Augusta, attended Queens College in Charlotte, N.C., and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia. She has studied in France and Italy and at the Scottsdale Artist School with Milt Kobayashi, and counts among her influences the work of the Impressionist and Fauvist painters.
Jones has been interested in art since childhood. During her career at the Medical College of Georgia, she designed the School of Nursing seal and designed and lettered the school’s calendar of events. She is the vice president of the North Augusta Artists Guild and enjoys painting flowers, still lifes, pets and local landscapes.
Whaley’s show at Midtown Market emphasizes her pet portraits and includes some of her drawings of local historic structures as well. A graduate of Richmond Academy, she went on to study at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Fla. The Greater Augusta Arts Council is the cup charity for the First Thursday celebration. In addition, work by members of the Aiken Artist Guild will be on display nearby at Tim Conway Photography studio and Summerville Art and Framing.
SEPTEMBER exhibits at the Aiken Center for the Arts include shows by Jane Popiel and the Atlanta Collage Society in the main galleries, Raymond Kent in the Aiken Artist Guild Gallery and the ACA summer camp artists in the Brooks Gallery.
Popiel attended commercial art school in Cincinnati and studied architectural rendering at the Ft. Lauderdale School of Art. Her career includes 25 years of drafting and design work with major architectural and interior design firms in Florida. After moving to Aiken in 2006, she studied with Nanette Langer, Will Fahnoe and David Mascaro, and in 2008 began studying oil painting and drawing with Al Beyer at USC Aiken. Among her many awards are first place in the USC Aiken student art shows in 2011 and 2012.
Founded by a few artists meeting in a Dunwoody, Ga., coffee shop in 2006, the Atlanta Collage Society has grown to include some 75 members in four Southeastern states. The juried traveling exhibit on display in Aiken is titled Paper Chase and includes some 60 compositions created with a wide range of materials. According to Augusta artist Lillie Morris, whose work is included in the exhibit, the artists were asked to submit work containing one or more historical elements of the type Picasso and Braque used in pioneering the collage medium.
Kent is another recent addition to Aiken’s art community, having moved from Port Orange, Fla., in 2005. He studied with Bertha Kirby in Port Orange, concentrating first on acrylics but later expanding his interest to watercolors and pastels. His favorite subjects are elements of the natural environment and local landmarks.
FOLLOW UP First Thursday openings with First Friday in downtown Augusta, where Gallery on the Row will open a show titled The Heart of Augusta. Gallery artists will display works that reflect aspects of life in Augusta, offering a salute to the annual Arts in the Heart of Augusta festival set for Sept. 14-16. Other Artists Row galleries and shops will be open late.
GWENDOLYN MCDONALD, a mixed media and collage artist from Lilburn, Ga., will be the speaker for the Aiken Artist Guild’s meeting Sept. 10 at the ACA. The 6:30 p.m. meeting is open to the public, and more information is available at www.aikenartistguild.org.
THEY’RE EVERYWHERE, including here: Augusta artists Tom Nakashima, Edward Rice and Philip Morsberger are featured in a group show titled Commentary: Exhibition of Southeastern Artists, staged by Hodges Taylor Art Consultancy during the Democratic Convention in Charlotte, N.C. The show is open at Hodges Taylor Gallery by appointment through Sept. 14.
NEXT WEEK: South Carolina artist and author Jim Harrison will be the Art at Lunch speaker Sept. 14 at the Morris Museum of Art. Call (706) 724-7501 for details. That evening, the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art will open the annual national juried competition, A Sense of Place, as well as a show by Leonard “Porkchop” Zimmerman, called Love Stories.