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‘Tea For Three’ Exhibit Opens at Georgia Museum of Agriculture January 21

TIFTON – Three exceptional Georgia artists will showcase their works beginning Jan. 21 as part of a new exhibit at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

The exhibit will kick off with a reception on Jan. 21 at 5:30 p.m. at the Gallery of the Museum. The “Tea For Three” exhibit will feature the works of Mary Ann Cox, Dr. Vincent Keesee, and Anthony Scheffler.

The exhibit will include Cox’s brand-new line of paintings, Keesee’s paintings of rural scenes, and Scheffler’s collection of unique wood and metal teapot sculptures. A tea-themed opening reception sponsored by the Wiregrass Farmers Market will feature high-tea nibbles made by local farmers. Hot and cold teas brewed from herbs and fruit will be prepared and served by exhibit partner Hilton Garden Inn. The GMA’s bluegrass band will provide the entertainment for the event.

Cox describes her life over the last 40 years as an artistic journey. Her grandmother steered her on that path when she presented her with a box of pastels so she would stay out of her own box.  Cox studied fine arts at Georgia Southern College and Valdosta State University but taught special education classes for 16 years before finally teaching art at Irwin County Elementary in Ocilla.  Cox received the “Teacher of the Year” award for Irwin County before retiring in 2007.

Currently, Cox works from her art studio in Tifton and teaches art lessons to children and adults. Cox has won numerous art awards in shows across South Georgia and North Florida.

Cox discovered new ways to apply watercolor paint and how to “break” the rules of traditional transparent watercolor painting. She also began to question her reasons for selecting subjects for painting. Her paintings come from personal experiences and memories of special moments from her past.           

Keesee was born in Virginia and studied art at Richmond Professional Institute, now Virginia Commonwealth University, where he painted with Maurice Bonds, Milton Hull and others. After graduating, he worked in Atlanta in graphic art and design.  While there, he attended evening classes in painting at the High Museum of Art with Joel Reeves.

 Keesee furthered his education with a graduate degree in fine art from the University of Georgia (UGA) where he studied painting with Lamar Dodd, Howard Thomas and Joseph Swartz.  In 1972 he received a Ph. D. in art history from UGA.

  Keesee taught art at ABAC until his retirement in 1995.  His painting is figurative and usually reflects some aspects of the southern culture and environment.  His oil paintings show images of people and rural scenes, their humor and joy as they laugh, cry, and sing in church, or worry around an ailing man’s bed. He has also found inspiration in contemporary music and the energy of dance. 

Growing up near New Orleans’ Magazine Street and French Quarter, Scheffler was destined for a career as an artist. Largely self-taught, he developed his skills through years of furniture restoration, design, and construction, while maintaining a career in higher education. He enjoys exploring simple forms defined fundamentally by the intersection of straight and curved lines. His style has been described as architectural.

Scheffler works mostly with wood because of its universal appeal and endless variations, but will often incorporate weathered metal, anodized aluminum, and found objects into his pieces as a way of complementing and drawing attention to basic shapes.

His works include open and closed vessels, teapots, and wall sculptures. Several of Scheffler’s teapots have been acquired by the Kamm Teapot Foundation for its permanent collection. He currently lives with his wife and son on a small farm in South Georgia.

The “Tea For Three” exhibit will remain open until March 21.  Exhibit hours are 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For a special private tour, a class visit to the Gallery, or a lecture by one of the featured artists, interested persons can contact Polly Huff, Museum Gallery Coordinator from the ABAC Arts Connection, at (229) 391-5222 or phuff@abac.edu.
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