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Governor Chooses Georgia Museum of Agriculture as Host for Georgia Art Collection

TIFTON—Governor Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal have announced that the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will be one of nine Georgia organizations selected for a stop on the statewide tour of Georgia’s State Art Collection.

 “The traveling exhibit is an opportunity to use the state art collection as a springboard for additional arts and culture activities that serve to celebrate and increase awareness for the local cultural community and to increase tourism,” Governor Deal said.  “Sandra and I hope that this collection will inspire visitors and local citizens to learn more about Georgia’s artistic heritage.”

Sponsored by the Georgia Council for the Arts in partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development Tourism Division and the Georgia Humanities Council, the exhibit is an extensive, vibrant chronicle of work created by Georgia artists from the 1970s to the 1990s. Each piece in the collection was juried by a panel of experts.  The 28-piece exhibit will be stationed in the Gallery at the Museum from Sept. 12 through Oct. 28, 2014.

Polly Huff, the Museum’s Assistant Director and Curator, and Elaine Auger, Facilities Coordinator at the Museum, were co-writers on the grant which resulted in the selection of the Museum as one of the sites.

“The Collection is a state asset that serves as an educational tool, preserves the state’s artistic heritage and disseminates knowledge about the art and artists of Georgia,” Huff said.  “Paintings, photographs, pottery, fiber, sculpture, jewelry, and folk art are all a part of this state treasure.”

Huff said the exhibit includes original works from Georgia artists such as Benny Andrews, Lucinda Bunnen, Herbert Creecy, Howard Finster, Ruth Laxson, and Nellie Mae Rowe.  Andrews spoke at ABAC in 1994 as a part of the Tom M. Cordell Distinguished Lecture Series.

Communities were invited to apply to host the exhibit through a competitive application process and the selected communities were announced at the recent Governor’s Tourism Conference at Stone Mountain.  On behalf of the Museum of Agriculture, Huff and Auger accepted the honor of hosting the exhibit from Governor and Mrs. Deal.

Other locations for the exhibit include the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville, the Monroe Arts Guild, The Currahee Artists Guild, Paradise Gardens in Summerville, the Dogwood City Art Gallery in Tallapoosa, Arts Clayton in Jonesboro, the Dublin Laurens Arts Council, and the Camden County Fine Arts Academy in Kingsland.

The exhibit will open with a community-wide reception featuring local food and local music hosted by the Wiregrass Farmers Market. Supporting events will include a preview and reception for downtown businesses and guests hosted by the Tifton Downtown Development Authority which is partnering with the Museum of Agriculture on this project as well as master classes for ABAC art students and guided tours for local art teachers and their students.

The Museum’s operating hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. For more questions about Georgia’s State Art Collection exhibit, interested persons can contact Huff at phuff@abac.edu or Auger at eauger@abac.edu.
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