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Sautee exhibit captures essence of mountain life

POSTED: July 7, 2010 11:30 p.m.

Enjoying Appalachia doesn’t have to mean tubing down the Chattahoochee or winning watermelon seed-spitting contests. In fact, it doesn’t even require a hike up the famed trail.

Instead, a hike through the galleries at the Sautee Nacoochee Center will showcase all that is Appalachia with a display of the region’s artistry.

The latest exhibit at the galleries at the Sautee Nacoochee Center celebrate the art and culture of Northeast Georgia with "Celebrating Appalachian Life," beginning Friday and running through Aug. 15.

The Center and Center Too galleries and hallways at the Sautee Nacoochee Center will be filled with an array of Appalachian arts and crafts. Paintings, basketry, wood art, pottery, fiber art, jewelry, glass art and rustic furniture will take the main stage.

Jim Thomas, gallery director, said the theme was meant to focus on the inspiration many artists draw from the region.

"Every time we have a show, people remark on the beauty of the area," said Thomas.

Hundreds of works will be on display either featuring scenes of the mountain region or incorporating local materials.

"A majority of the wood turners used local wood and some of the pottery has scenes carved into them that are regional," he said. "We even have an artist doing a contemporary version of the popular face jugs."

All of the artists have been juried, Thomas said, and have previously exhibited at SNCA. He said artists were given the theme and asked to produce a body of work that represented Northeast Georgia. Works were selected that were the most indicative of the theme.

Thomas said the show is just a way to honor those artists whose muse is Appalachian life.

The top award winners from the 62nd Quinlan Exhibition will be the invitational artists. Peter Loonam, who won Best of Show, and Connie Reilly, who captured the First Place award, will both exhibit their unique styles of paintings in the South Hallway.

Thomas said he hopes everyone will walk away with an understanding of the quality of work produced by Appalachian artists, as well as an appreciation for the landscape itself.


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