Augusta's artistic diversity will be evident in the next couple of weeks, with events that spotlight art, pottery, garden arts, contemporary painters and international influences.
Ceramics students at Augusta State University are showing their creations under the tent near the main entrance on Walton Way today and Friday. The annual Mad Potters Show and Sale takes place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days. While you're on campus, venture over to Washington Hall to check out the artwork by graduating seniors in the Mary S. Byrd Gallery .
THURSDAY NIGHT at the Morris Museum of Art , abstract expressionist painter Laura Spong , whose work represents a personal spiritual quest, and Alex Mabe , professor and clinical psychologist at Georgia Health Sciences University, will be featured in a program called Art as a Window to the Mind: The Art of Finding Yourself. The program will explore the psychological implications behind the artist's painting, with a focus on finding one's identity through the process of creating art.
The event, open to museum members and invited guests, will begin with the lecture and conversation at 6 p.m., followed by a reception at 7 p.m. Call (706) 724-7501 for reservations.
FRIDAY NIGHT, artist Justin Van Leuvan will be at Tire City Potters on 10th Street from 6:30 to 10 p.m. to chat about his exhibit of paintings, not pots. (See gallery owner Shishir Chokshi 's pots next door). Van Leuvan is showing oil paintings from his new series: Peacock, Roots, Windows and Stages. He works in a nonfigurative abstract expressionist style exploring color variations and optical illusion.
The Sacred Heart Garden Festival has added a mid-week event with the Nola Falcone Lecture Series. Landscape architects Mary Palmer Dargan and Hugh Dargan will discuss Timeless Design on Tuesday, and Ryan Gainey will present From the Garden to the Table on Wednesday. The garden festival gets under way with a patrons' preview party and live auction April 28, followed by three days of landscape and garden exhibits and tours of private gardens. For tickets and schedule information, see www.sacredheartgardenfestival.com.
THERE ARE SEVERAL events planned next weekend, beginning with an opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. April 30 at the Fire House Gallery in Louisville, Ga., for the fourth edition of 20/20 Vision: The Art of Contemporary University Printmaking.
At the Aiken Center for the Arts , Australian pianist Gil Sullivan will perform in a benefit concert April 30. Sponsor tickets cost $75 and include a preview party from 6 to 8 p.m. Concert-only tickets cost $25.
Art by Cynthia Cox will open at the center May 1, with the annual Aiken Artist Guild juried exhibition beginning mid-May.
MAY DAY EVENTS: Former Augustan Christopher Kuhl will open an exhibit at the new Augusta Library on May 1. He will be on hand from 1 to 2 p.m. to talk about his work.
Born in Tacoma, Wash., Kuhl moved to Augusta in 1969 when his father was stationed at Fort Gordon. After graduating from Aquinas High School, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts from Notre Dame University and is now based in Marietta, Ga.
A painter and photographer, Kuhl has traveled extensively and draws on his experiences to create works that express the sense of sacredness attached to specific geographic locations ranging from North Africa to South Carolina. He has exhibited in the United States and abroad, including France, Japan, Canada, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.
His work has been commissioned by the New Yorker magazine and Atlantic Monthly , and his cultural writing has been published by Art Papers, Bloomsbury, Horizon and Americas , among others. His exhibit at the Augusta Library is his first in Augusta. He describes the show, Walk-About, as "a collection of paintings on canvas, wood panel and paper from various years -- a sentimental journey to the present."
- The same afternoon, Social Canvas returns to the Morris Museum of Art . Augusta artists will create original artwork inspired by live music from 1 to 4 p.m. Performers will include the Mixed Motionz break-dancing crew and The Favors .
- A May Day celebration featuring art by John Fort and poetry readings by Laurel Blossom and Starkey Flythe will be from 2 to 5 p.m. May 1 at 703 Buncombe St. in Edgefield. Call (803) 637-9802 for more information.
- A pottery expo is being planned for May 28 at the MACK in McCormick, S.C., to celebrate the region's rich history of artisans working in clay. There will be exhibits, demonstrations and a "dig site" for children. Artists interested in participating should visit www.the-mack.org.
ARTISTS ELSEWHERE: Philip Morsberger is showing work at Hampton III Gallery in Taylors, S.C., through May 21. Tom Nakashima is part of a group show titled Ink and Imagery: A Regional Printmaking Invitational, at Blue Spiral Gallery in Asheville, N.C. Both artists are former Morris Eminent Scholars at Augusta State University.