The Artside: Test your artistic taste at Undercover Artists auction

Should art be judged simply on its own merits? Does knowing something about a painting’s maker or its history give it more value? There will be an opportunity to test your artistic taste when the Undercover Artists Show opens at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 18, at Julian Smith Casino.


More than 100 small paintings created by talented artists, community leaders and local personalities will be up for bid at silent auction, but the artists’ signatures will be covered until later in the evening.

Before the names are revealed, each painting must attract bidders on its own. This is the seventh year for the popular fundraising event hosted by the Walton Foundation for Independence. Call (706) 826-5809 for ticket information.


THE MORRIS MUSEUM of Art has opened a new exhibit, Mortal Coil: Photographs by Jennifer Onofrio Fornes. An art professor at Georgia Regents University Augusta, Fornes is a mixed media artist who says she uses photography as a memory trigger that provokes the thought, taps a nerve or perpetuates an idea.

USC Aiken professor Tom Mack, writing in The Aiken Standard about Fornes’ recent exhibit at Aiken Center for the Arts, described images in which “a shrouded figure – the artist herself [is] wrapped in gauze from head to toe like a mummified corpse …” In the photographs, he continues, “the central figure set against a black background expresses the full range of meaning contained in that one resonant word ‘coil.’ The figure stirs, thrashes, winds herself up in rings and spirals – each twist and turn frozen in the camera’s eye. It is as if we were witnessing the struggles of the individual to cast off her ties to the physical world …”

The artist will talk about her work at 6 p.m. April 23 in the Morris Museum’s auditorium, with a reception to follow. The exhibit will remain at the museum through June 23.



Kristin Casaletto and Tom Nakashima are two of nine artists included in the exhibit, “Joseph Campbell: Nature, Myth and Art,” at the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts in Carmel, Calif. The event includes art, installations, films and discussions in several locations in Carmel and the Monterey Peninsula. Casaletto also has work included in the 34th Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition in Peoria, Ill., and will be showing at Town 220 Gallery in Madison, Ga., April 28-July 25.

• Friday, April 19, the MAC on Main Gallery in downtown Thomson, Ga., will host a spring gallery opening from 6 to 8 p.m. featuring art inspired by American roots music. The theme for the show was chosen in celebration of the Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition, “New Harmonies,” on view at the McDuffie Museum in Thomson through May 11.

Rosalind Avrett is staging an exhibit titled Enigma in the JB Whites Building at 936 Broad St. There will be a closing reception from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, April 20.

• Thursday, April 19, also marks the start of the 10th annual Olde Towne Artisans’ Fair at North Augusta’s Living History Park. There will be a free preview reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday, and the fair, featuring arts and crafts and live music, will continue Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 4 p.m. For more information, visit

• The Mad Potters will set up their white tent April 24-27 at Georgia Regents University’s Summerville Campus for one of the student art organizations’ popular pottery sales.

• April 26 is the deadline to submit nominations for the Greater Augusta Arts Council’s annual awards. Nominations are sought in the categories of individual artist, arts professional, media, arts volunteer and corporate sponsor. The awards will be presented at the GAAC annual meeting June 20. Details and a nomination form can be found at


SATURDAY, APRIL 27 will bring a couple of art-and-music combos to downtown Augusta.

Westobou Festival will present Blue Porch Revival, featuring music by Mama Says, art by Rich Menger and “eats” by Kitchen 1454. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Old Academy of Richmond County, 504 Telfair St., and tickets cost $25.

A few blocks away, the Morris Museum of Art will host a Saturday Special Social Canvas from noon to 4 p.m. with Americana tunes from Athens-based band Corduroy Road, JAMP (the James Brown Academy of Musik Pupils) and electronic music by Sure Eel. Local artists will create original paintings inspired by the music, and everyone can join the art-making at creativity stations. There is no charge for this one.