Hart’s early years were spent in rural Tanganyika (now Tanzania), where her parents had fled from Nazi Germany. Her childhood was a mix of European and African cultures. Inside their home, she was surrounded by European books, furniture and art. Outside were the herds of zebras and lions of east Africa that provided material for her drawings.
At age 15, she moved to Germany to study art, encountering urban life for the first time. Finding that she had no affinity for the prevailing abstract expressionist style, she turned to the study of illustration, later working as a graphic designer and illustrator in Europe and New York. In 1988 she returned to oil painting, studied at the Art Students League 1990-1994, and won honors from the Salmagundi Club, Catherine Lorilland Wolfe Art Club and other prestigious organizations. In 2007, she and her husband moved to Hendersonville, N.C.
The works on exhibit in Return Passage stem from a trip she made back to Africa in 2003. Drawing on both childhood memories and imagination, she creates complex, enigmatic compositions, weaving together African people, animals and landscapes. The show will be at ASU through Nov. 11. See more of her work at www.veronikahart.com.
THE SANDHILLS WRITERS Series continues with a poetry reading by Cornelius Eady at 1 p.m. Oct. 20 in the JSAC Coffee House at Augusta State. Eady has published numerous poetry books including The Gathering of My Name, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The program is open to the public at no charge, and there will be a book signing and reception afterward.
Another literary event is scheduled Oct. 25 in Aiken, where author John Lane will speak at 8 p.m. at the Etherredge Center at USC Aiken. Lane first visited the Aiken campus in 1995 as part of a poetry tour. Since then, he has also become noted as an environmental essayist and chronicler of the American landscape. The program is open to the public at no charge.
AIKEN CENTER for the Arts will stage its annual Taste of Wine and Art event Oct. 20 from 7 to 10 p.m. The event includes foods from Aiken restaurants and caterers, fine wines and beers, and a silent auction of dinner gatherings, event packages, destination getaways and more. Call (803) 641-9094 for information.
AIKEN ARTIST GUILD members will present Art in the Alley, a clothesline art sale, at the West Side Bowery’s garden Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Original artwork and fine art prints will be hung on clotheslines for viewing.
TINA SIMONTON is exhibiting Forgiving Grids at the Fire House Gallery in Louisville, Ga. Simonton holds degrees in both architecture and painting, and her work reflects both interests. She uses puzzle pieces painted with leaf designs to portray the chaos and complexity of nature. See more at www.galleryafire.com.
YOU CALL THAT ART? Augusta State University and the Morris Museum of Art have teamed up to present a two-part lecture series titled High and Low: What Is Excellence in the Arts?
Part 1 is scheduled for noon Friday, Oct. 21 in University Hall room 170 at ASU. Artist and author Franklin Einspruch will address the aesthetic debate over what qualifies as artistic excellence.
Part 2 will be at noon Friday, Oct. 28 in the auditorium at the Morris. Artist Art Rosenbaum, ASU professor Michael Schwartz and others will discuss what constitutes high and low art. Both programs are open to the public at no charge.
LOOKING AHEAD: Oysters on Telfair, the popular fall fundraiser for the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, is scheduled for Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. The evening includes an oyster roast, down-on-the-bayou fare, music and an auction of small works by more than 50 regional artists. Tickets are $65 or $50 for members of the Contemporaries group. Call (706) 722-5495 for reservations.
• Oct. 26 is the deadline for the Aiken Artist Guild’s Celebrate Creativity workshops to be held Nov. 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Aiken. The event benefits the guild’s scholarship program for USC Aiken art students. Workshops will cover such topics as watercolor florals, boosting your creative spirit, how light affects color, photographing your art, pastels and pastel products, and painting local landscapes. For registration information, call Mary McCullah at (803) 178-0709.
• War Stories – Augusta Area Veterans Remember World War II, produced by videographer Mark Albertin for the Augusta Richmond County Historical Society, received the Award for Excellence in Documenting Georgia’s History from Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
The 70-minute video, which premiered in Augusta last fall, includes comments from 23 World War II veterans Albertin interviewed over a three-year period as part of the national Veterans History Project. The Aiken County Historical Society will host two free showings for the public at 2 and 4 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Aiken Community Playhouse, 126 Newberry St.