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Band of artists splashes color for Green Street parks

POSTED: April 17, 2009 11:06 p.m.
SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

Anne Brodie Hill sits in the gardens at the Hall County School Board offices Friday afternoon and works on a landscape painting as she and other plein air painters celebrate the new gardens in anticipation of official opening ceremonies Tuesday.

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Area artists have settled in for two days of painting at the new Gardens on Green, next to the Hall County Board of Education building on Green Street in Gainesville.

The two-day art event is a precede to the main show on Tuesday, when the gardens officially open to the public.

The garden is a community service project of the Hall County Master Gardeners and will serve as a teaching tool for students and the community, Hall County Master Gardeners President Lori Carson said.

"The very first garden that was installed is named the winners garden because every plant that has been put in there has won an award," Carson said. "And the second one is a native plant garden, and then the children’s garden will be the next part."

Starting Friday and continuing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, artists will paint the gardens in the plein air style of painting, setting up outside with a canvas on an easel and painting what they see.

On Tuesday, paintings may be submitted to a silent auction that equally benefits the artist, the Quinlan Visual Arts Center and the Hall County Master Gardeners. The auction starts at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, and will be followed by an event marking the official opening of the Gardens on Green Street.

The event will also certify the next class of Master Gardeners, include performances by the West Hall Middle School a capella choir and soloist Jerry Johnson and a keynote address by the Rev. Bill Coates of First Baptist Church in Gainesville.

There will also be presentations by Junior Master Gardener groups from the World Language Academy and Chicopee Woods Elementary School.

Carson said Kathy and Lee Lovett helped raise the money to buy the plants, and George Winstead, also a Master Gardener, created the design for the gardens. But along with securing the plants, the Master Gardeners also volunteered dozens of hours to put it all together.

"And they’re getting ready to start on the children’s vegetable garden there," Carson said. "It’s a demonstration garden for the whole community. Everything will be labeled so you can walk through and see what the plants are.

Eventually, Carson added, the plan is to bring county school kids to the gardens on field trips, where they can plant and tend to their vegetables and learn how they grow.

"They will have days they can actually dig and plant," she said. "It’s just there for the community and the children."



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