During the next couple of weeks, Augusta will be hosting an impressive array of visual arts events, starting with the annual Arts in the Heart festival opening Friday, Sept. 20.While the festival itself is a visual extravaganza, there will be more than 100 displays to browse through in the fine arts and crafts market along Broad Street.
Rather than spotlighting a single country, this year’s festival is designated a Celebration of Community, a theme nicely interpreted in the colorful Rhian RedWolf art poster that is available for purchase. There is also an area set aside for young artists. For an overview of the arts and crafts offerings, see artsintheheart.com/
SEPT. 21 will be the first in a series of Saturday workshops at Aiken Center for the Arts. Charleston, S.C.-artist Mike Heister will conduct a fused glass workshop from 10 a.m. to noon. That will be followed by two workshops Sept. 28: Pen and ink watercolor with Nanette Langner and collage with Atlanta artist Barbara Durhan. All workshops carry a fee. For registration information call (803) 641-9094 or visit Aikencenterforthearts.org.
THE ANNUAL Whiskey Painters of America show and sale opens Sept. 26 at Zimmerman Gallery on Broad Street, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Gallery owner Lou Ann Zimmerman was invited to become a signature Whiskey Painter in 1999, and since that time, her gallery has hosted the exhibition, the only one of its type in the South.
The Whiskey Painters organization was founded in 1962 and its membership is limited to 150 American watercolorists, who submit original works no larger than 4 x 6 inches, for inclusion in the exhibition. Over the years, the small paintings have been a popular attraction for the gallery. For more, call (706) 774-1006.
PHOTOGRAPHER Greg Kinney will be the speaker for the Art at Lunch series Sept. 27 at Morris Museum of Art. He will talk about his exhibit, Formal Candids, on display at the Morris. Paid reservations are due by Sept. 25. Call (706) 828-3867.
A native of Atlanta, Kinney earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in 1969. After six years in the Air Force, he had a career as a pilot for both corporate and commercial aircraft. When he gave up flying in 1982, he established himself as one of Nashville’s leading commercial photographers. During the time he maintained his own studio, he produced the photographs that appear in the Morris exhibit, most taken in smaller communities in Middle Tennessee.
• Follow that up with a “Saturday Special” Sept. 28 at the Morris. Artists are invited to paint en plein air on the Riverwalk outside the museum’s front doors beginning at 2 p.m. Materials will be available, along with a limited number of stools and easels. It’s free for members and only $5 for others.
SEPT. 28 is also Museum Day Live, an annual event sponsored by Smithsonian Magazine, offering free admission to museums around the country.
Free tickets can be printed from www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/ticket. The tickets will provide free admission to Augusta Museum of History, the historic Ezekial Harris House, Morris Museum of Art and the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, now hosting a display celebrating the artistic life of Ellis Johnson. He and his wife, Ann, have been a significant part of Augusta’s cultural life, particularly in musical circles, for many years. The exhibit includes selections from their personal art collection as well as memorabilia from performances over several decades.
AT THE Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, Jason Lutz’s work is on display in the Creel Harison Gallery. He is best known for large-scale works that layer multiple images drawn from art history and pop culture. In the main galleries, the works on view were selected by Don Kimes, professor of art at American University in Washington, D.C., for the annual national juried exhibition, A Sense of Place.
STARTERS: Selections from the Wells Fargo Collection fills the back galleries at the Morris Museum of Art, with works on paper that serve as a nice introduction to some of the important names of the 20th century art world. As part of its sponsorship of the exhibit, Wells Fargo’s customers will be admitted free.
LOOKING AHEAD: Several new exhibits will open Oct. 2 at Aiken Center for the Arts, with a gallery reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 3. In conjunction with the 36th annual Bluebird Society Conference to be held at the center’s Brown Pavilion on Oct. 4-5, there will be a special juried exhibit of wildlife art in the Founders, Westinghouse and Wyatt galleries.
• The Aiken Artist Guild Gallery at the ACA will feature Andrew Murphy during October. Murphy is a retired custom homebuilder, known in Aiken and Beaufort, S.C., for his attention to detail in these homes, as well as incorporating his artistic ideas. After graduating from the University of South Carolina, he was owner and operator of the Bohemian Gallery in Columbia 1976-83.
His sculptures have been featured on South Carolina ETV and he has built life-size sculptures and ceramic wall hangings for the homes he built. He has been working full time as an acrylic painter for the past two years at USC Aiken and won an award in last year’s State Fair.
• The first week in October is the Westobou Festival, with five days jam-packed with music, film, visual arts and literary arts. It all begins Wednesday, Oct. 2, and runs through Sunday evening, Oct. 6.Visit www.westoboufestival.com for the schedule and tickets.