ABAC To Unveil Painting by World Famous Georgia Artist March 1
TIFTON –When Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College unveiled its historic front campus in a 1:30 p.m. rededication ceremony on March 1, a unique painting from a world famous Georgia artist will be a part of the festivities.
ABAC commissioned Steve Penley to create the painting for the Stafford School of Business in the newly renovated Lewis Hall. Penley will personally unveil the piece in a 3 p.m. ceremony in Lewis Hall as a part of the rededication activities, which also include tours of Tift Hall and Herring Hall.
Today’s activities also feature a 6:30 p.m. free concert open to everyone in the center of campus and fireworks over Tift Hall at 8:30 p.m. to celebrate the college’s 105th birthday. Other Celebrate ABAC weekend events include the “Gee Haw, Whoa Back” rodeo at 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
“I am looking forward to all the events today and this weekend but I am particularly pleased with this ABAC signature piece that Steve Penley created,” ABAC President David Bridges said. “I look forward to seeing it hanging in businesses and homes across the state and country.”
In addition to commissioning the work of art itself, ABAC will present limited edition, signed and numbered prints of the piece to contributors who donate to the Stafford School of Business at ABAC at the $500 level and above.
Business School Deans Dill and Susan Driscoll said funds from the Penley prints will enhance student enrichment experiences including the support of national and international internships, a professional speaker series, networking opportunities, student community life, and other necessary educational supplements that better position ABAC students for promising futures.
“Donors at or above the $500 level to the Stafford School of Business will receive this special memento that all Georgians can be proud of, reminiscent of their investment in the future of ABAC students, the college, and the community of Georgia,” Dill Driscoll said.
“I am excited to be involved with everyone at ABAC and to create such a meaningful piece that represents their long-standing impact on the state and the pride they have for what they do,” said Penley. “Georgia is such a big part of my life, and no matter where I’m traveling in this country, it is always great to come home. I think it’s the greatest state in the country and to be associated with any institution that educates my fellow Georgians is an honor.”
Born in 1964, Penley was raised in Athens and Macon. In 1983, he began studying art at the University of Georgia before continuing his studies at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Best known for his iconic portraits, Penley has become one of America’s most popular artists emerging from the south.
Penley’s signature painting techniques incorporate a unique style of bold color, strong brush strokes and vivid imagery. An international breakthrough for Penley’s art was heralded by the selection of his work for “True Color: Meditations on The American Spirit, An Artist’s Response to 9/11.”
In 2004, Penley was selected as the official artist for the G-8 Summit on Georgia’s Sea Island. He received an official commendation from the Georgia State Senate in 2005.
Penley’s 2008 solo exhibition at the new World of Coca-Cola followed an exhibit by Andy Warhol and the release of Penley’s third book, “The Reconstruction of America”. Penley also collaborated with legendary UGA football coach Vince Dooley to chronicle the exciting history of Bulldog football.
In 2010, Penley released “Ronald Reagan and The American Ideal” with a forward by Newt Gingrich, a book that not only celebrates Reagan’s call to return America to its founding principles, but also illustrates fundamental American ideals in bold colors.
Penley’s paintings have been acquired by many distinguished corporate, public and private collections, including Coca-Cola, King & Spalding, Houston’s Corporation, The Federal Reserve Board, Washington, D.C., Mercer University, Robert Mondavi, The Booth Western Art Museum, The Georgia Museum of Art, Twelve Hotels, The Georgia Music Hall of Fame, Frank Luntz, Neil Cavuto, Kaiser Permanente, ESPN Zone, Sean Hannity, Air Tran/Southwest Airlines, and Chick-Fil-A.