Augusta is getting the arts in focus this fall with several events spotlighting the art of photography.
Portraits of Southern Artists by Jerry Siegel opens Friday, Sept. 21, at the Morris Museum of Art. Organized by the Morris as part of its 20th anniversary celebration, the exhibit includes 33 black-and-white portraits of important Southern artists, all of whom have works in the museum’s permanent collections.
The museum has scheduled an opening reception Friday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. Siegel will discuss his work at 6 p.m. in the museum auditorium and a reception will follow. The event is free for museum members and $5 for others. Call (706) 724-7501 for reservations.
Siegel has been photographing some of the South’s prominent artists for more than 15 years. Museum director Kevin Grogan said that in addition to showcasing the work of one of the South’s leading contemporary photographers, the exhibit also offers personal glimpses of artists who created some of the works in the museum’s collection. The show includes such artists as Art Rosenbaum, Benny Andrews, Bo Bartlett, Boyd Saunders, Charlie Lucas, Edward Rice, Ida Kohlmeyer, Jonathan Green, Lamar Dodd, Philip Morsberger, Radcliffe Bailey and others.
Born in Selma, Ala., in 1958, Siegel studied at the Art Institute of Atlanta, and while maintaining a commercial photography studio, he found a personal passion for traveling the South and photographing what has become his Portraits of Southern Artists project. His photographs have been exhibited at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Atlanta, Montgomery Museum of Fine Art and Columbus Museum, among others, and he is represented in numerous public and private collections.
JOE SANDERS, the chairman of the art department at Columbus State University, will be at Augusta State University on Thursday, Sept. 20, to open his exhibit titled Printed Matter. Sanders describes the show as an exhibit of innovative printmaking, featuring selections from three series.
Memory Projects includes a mixed-media wall installation of printed objects as containers for memory; Targets camouflages ordinary objects with pattern; and Critical Conditions portrays organic forms using combinations of digital media, woodcut, papermaking and images inspired by 19th century nature illustration.
Sanders will offer a lecture Thursday from 3:30 to 4:30 in University Hall, room 170. A reception will follow, beginning at 5 p.m. at the Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art in Washington Hall.
ALSO ON THE calendar for Sept. 20 is a reception for artist Judy Hensley at the Savannah Rapids Regional Visitor Information Center. Guests are invited to meet the artist from 2 to 5 p.m. and look for the hidden bug in each of her acrylic paintings.
ROUNDING OUT a culturally busy September, the Zimmerman Gallery on Broad Street will open its annual, and quite popular, Whiskey Painters of America exhibit with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 27. The Whiskey Painters limit their membership to 150 invited artists, and the annual exhibit includes only small-scale paintings. Gallery owner Lou Ann Zimmerman will be glad to tell you about the organization’s interesting history as you browse the display of miniature works.
Also on Sept. 27, members of Contemporaries, the group that offers those ages 21-40 co-membership in The Morris Museum of Art, Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art and Greater Augusta Arts Council, are invited to attend Porkchop on the Porch, a gathering with artist Leonard “Porkchop” Zimmerman at the Gertrude Herbert, where his robotic paintings are currently on exhibit, along with the national juried exhibition, A Sense of Place.
• The Augusta Public Library Headquarters will have a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. honoring John Mulhouse, whose photographs and writing will be on display there as part of the Augusta Photo Festival. He will also speak about his photographs of the Augusta area on Nov. 3 at 10 a.m. in the library auditorium. See more about Mulhouse and his work at www.cityofdust.blogspot.com.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 28, the Morris Museum of Art’s contemporary artist lecture series, Art Now, presents Anthony Goicolea. He will talk about his work at 6 p.m., and at 7 p.m. there will be food and drinks and music by Dr. Bread.
Goicolea works in a variety of media including multilayered drawings on Mylar, sculptural installation, photography and videography, often creating complex staged landscapes and narrative tableaux. Examples of his videos will be shown in the museum’s education gallery, adjacent to the auditorium, Sept. 18-Oct. 21.
ON SATURDAY, SEPT. 28, the Aiken Center for the Arts will have a Fall Arts Fling, offering a morning of free mini classes for adults. Instructors will be on hand to demonstrate watercolor, acrylics, clay work, weaving and drawing. For reservations, call the arts center at (803) 641-9094.
SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM DAY, also on Sept. 28, offers free admission to museums across the country. Visit www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday to download an admission ticket or search the list of participating museums.
In the Augusta area, the list includes the Ezekiel Harris House, Augusta Museum of History, Morris Museum of Art and Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History. The Madison Morgan Cultural Center and the Aiken County Historical Museum are also participating.
LOOKING AHEAD: The 2012 Westobou Festival opens Wednesday, Oct. 3, with a salute to the visual arts said to include painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, sound and light, in curated projects and installations. The projects will be concentrated at the Old Academy of Richmond County on Telfair Street.
Site-specific projects by Karen Rich Beall, Janet Biggs, Claire Corey, Cao Guimaraes, Lonnie Holley, Scott Ingram, Jackie Sumell, Stephen Bitiello and Joe Walters will complement a thematic group exhibition featuring work by Louise Belcourt, Holly Coulis, William Christenberry, Drew Galloway, Ashley Kauschinger, Vivien Maier, Vee Speers, Katherine Taylor, Dayna Thacker, Angela West and others.
The Oct. 3 opening will conclude with a performance by vocalist and loop artist Julia Easterlin performing with Atlanta digital artist Bean Worley, after which the exhibits will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily through Oct. 7. See www.westoboufestival.com for more information.
AND, IF YOU plan to be in the Knoxville, Tenn., area in October, you can catch an exhibit featuring the work of Augusta artist Kath Engler. There will be an opening reception Oct. 5 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville, and the show will continue through Oct. 26.