The Artside: Photos, mosaics to draw attention

Photographer Colleen Morgan will be featured in a solo exhibit opening Thursday, Aug. 7, in the Aiken Artist Guild Gallery within the Aiken Center for the Arts. The opening reception runs from 6 to 8 p.m. and is free to the public.


The daughter of noted wildlife artists Danny and Mundina O’Driscoll, Morgan has been using a camera since she could hold one. On her Web site, she notes that she grew up just outside Lexington, S.C., on 45 acres of farmland, surrounded by the natural world that inspires much of her work. Spending weekends with her parents at art shows and festivals introduced her to different aspects of art.

She explored pen and ink, colored pencil, photography, poetry, writing, and music and dance, eventually settling on photography when her father gave her a Canon Rebel digital camera for her 16th birthday. In her photographs, she tries to capture the beauty in everyday life and celebrate things that are often overlooked or forgotten.

Her work is featured in the book, Signs of Life, and her photograph titled Peeling Staircase won third place in last month’s AAG member show. See more of her work at www.colleenmorganphotography.


MIDTOWN MARKET is ramping up its First Thursday event beginning Aug. 7 and featuring Tina Goldsmith as artist of the month. Goldsmith creates mosaic works that range from small heart stones to large framed mirrors and wall décor. She also conducts popular Nippin’ and Sippin’ mosaics classes.

The event runs from 5 to 8 p.m. and will include music by Chris Hardy, hors d’oeuvres and libations. Soul City Sirens, Augusta’s roller derby team, will be the featured organization. Shops at Midtown – near the branching of Kings Way and Central Avenue – will be open during the evening.


GEORGIA ARTISTS WITH DISABILITIES, a touring juried exhibit brought to Augusta each year through the Walton Foundation for Independence, has issued a call for entries for its 30th annual exhibit.

The event is open to all Georgia artists with disabilities, including professional, nonprofessional and group art projects.

Entries must be original works and may include drawing, painting, weaving, photography, printmaking, sculpture, woodcarving, jewelry, needlework, fabric design and metalsmithing. Entry forms must be received by Monday, Aug. 11. For guidelines, contact Vicki Greene, or call (706) 823-8584.


NOTABLES: Popular Southern artist Jim Harrison was honored by the South Carolina Legislature with a resolution designating “Harrison Crossroads” in his hometown of Denmark, at the intersection of U.S. Highways 321 and 78.

Rep. Baraki Sellers and Sen. Brad Hutto sponsored the effort to create the resolution, praising Harrison as a “nationally and internationally acclaimed artist” and as “one of the Palmetto State’s chief art treasures.” A full-time artist for more than 50 years, he has works in numerous private, corporate and museum collections. He has received the Order of the Palmetto Award and an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the University of South Carolina. See more at

• The upcoming issue of Southern Poetry Review is dedicated to Starkey Flythe, well-known Augusta writer who died last fall. The issue will include one of Flythe’s poems and a poem by Edgefield, S.C., poet Laurel Blossom. Copies may be purchased from Tony Morris in the Department of Languages, Literature and Philosophy at Armstrong State University in Savannah, Ga.

Alice Twiggs Vantrease reportedly charmed the audience with a reading of her memoir/short story, Strom Thurmond’s Tea Party, on the Tales from the South radio program broadcast out of Little Rock, Ark. The July 15 show is now available as a podcast on Hint: It’s not about contemporary political issues.

Elizabeth Williamson, the executive director of the Aiken Center for the Arts, has announced two new staff appointments. Jillian Decker is the center’s first education director. She holds a master’s degree in arts education from Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in art history from Pennsylvania State University. Mandy Drumming has been promoted to exhibitions coordinator. For the past year, she has worked in the gallery store and has been responsible for the design and installation of exhibits. She has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of South Carolina Aiken and earned a master’s in the history of decorative arts from the Smithsonian Associates/Corcoran College of Art and Design.


LOOKING AHEAD: The Jessye Norman School of the Arts will stage a benefit concert Aug. 25 featuring Lawrence Brownlee, tenor; Leah Partridge, soprano; Damien Sneed, piano; and special emcee, Jessye Norman herself. The performance begins at 5 p.m. in the Maxwell Performing Arts Theater on the Summerville campus of Georgia Regents University. Tickets cost $40 for adults and $20 for students under age 25 with ID. For more information, visit or call (706) 284-3021.


WESTOBOU FESTIVAL has posted its Oct. 1-5 schedule, to include several visual arts components. Currents, an exhibit of works by SCAD alumni, will be staged at the Old Richmond Academy Building. Voice Off, featuring work by Judith Barry, will be at the Mary S. Byrd Gallery; and Thinking Inside the Box, ceramics works by Clay Artists of the Southeast, will be on display at the Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta.

The festival will also feature musician Amos Lee with Allen Stone, Patrick Davis, and the Ramblin’ Fevers; the Complexions contemporary dance company, the Westobou Wheel and the Color Run. See more at