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Quinlan Members' Exhibition draws large crowd

Winners of annual art contest announced

POSTED: October 31, 2013 1:00 a.m.

Quinlan Visual Arts Center recognized local artists for their skills and creativity during the 66th annual Members’ Exhibition opening reception last week in Gainesville.

Earning awards were: best in show, Carol Christie; first place, Dana Ross; second place, Chris Hammond; and third place, Durward Pepper.

Christie won the best in show prize for her abstract painting “Dreamscape.” The Roswell resident is a self-taught painter known for her contemporary florals and abstract expressionism.

“I’ve always dabbled in art since I was a little kid,” Christie said. “It was just one of those things that I knew I was meant to do.

“Winning was very validating, especially because of the judge, who has a lot of credibility. It gives me a lot of confidence.”

Christie’s piece is part of an exhibition showcasing work from about 200 Quinlan member-artists in what has become the center’s longest-held tradition. Submitted works included abstract paintings, folk art, woodworks, ceramics and traditional paintings. The exhibition coincides with the “Inspired Georgia: 28 works from Georgia’s State Art Collection” tour.

“The exhibition is a chance to honor the artists that make it all happen,” Quinlan Director Amanda McClure said. “Without them, we wouldn’t have been successful.”

Karen Paty, director of the Georgia Council for the Arts, judged this year’s Members’ Exhibition.

“I was struck by the breadth of media, types of work and the remarkable technique exhibited by many of the artists in this exhibit,” said in a juror’s statement.

Christie and the other award winners and honorable mentioned were recognized at the opening reception Oct. 24.

On her way to the reception, Christie jokingly told her daughter and a friend she was going to win best in show, but she arrived late and didn’t find out she had won until near the end of the event.

“It’s actually a pretty funny story,” she said. “I was an hour and a half late, and I was getting ready to leave when they told me that I won best in show. It was shocking and I was extremely honored to win.”

This year’s Members’ Exhibition was a considerably larger event than previous years because it coincided with the “Inspired Georgia” exhibition and The Traveling Show, both of which helped bring more than 350 people to the reception, about 150 more than last year.

The reception included artwork from the two exhibitions as well as performances by the contemporary dance group gloATL who are part of The Traveling Show, which also includes public art organization Living Walls.

“We really raised the bar this year,” McClure said. “It was an event that involved all of the senses.

“It starts that conversation about appreciating different kinds of art.”

The Members’ Exhibition is on display until Dec. 8. For more information visit www.quinlanartscenter.org or call 770-536-2575.


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