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Art abounds in areas galleries
Local colleges, nonprofit group provide space for talented artists
“Eye of the Ocean” by Pam Longobardi, devalued currency, ink, glass beads and pin pricks on paper, 20” x 24”, 2008 on display at Brenau University’s Simmons Visual Arts Center.

Artistic endeavors

Antiques market, Cumming. Open third weekend of each month: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Lakewood 400 Antiques Market, 1321 Atlanta Highway, Cumming. $3 admission good all weekend. 770-889-3400.

Brenau University Galleries, Gainesville. Simmons Visual Arts Center and Presidents Gallery, Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 2-5 p.m.; Leo Castelli Art Gallery in the John S. Burd Center for the Performing Arts, Tuesday-Friday 1-4 p.m., Sunday 2-5 p.m. Galleries are closed Wednesday through Nov. 29 for the holiday.

Quinlan Visual Arts Center, Gainesville. Art exhibits. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Fridays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays, 514 Green St. NE, Gainesville. Free. 770-536-2575, or by email.

Roy C. Moore Art Gallery at Gainesville State College, Oakwood. Located in the Continuing Education Building off Mundy Mill Road in Oakwood. Hours: Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed the week of Thanksgiving.

Ongoing exhibitions at North Georgia College & State University, Dahlonega. Bob Owens Art Gallery in the Hoag Student Center, 82 College Circle, Dahlonega. Free. 706-867-2746 or by email.

Art of Fiber, Clarkesville. Fiber art demonstrations, exhibit. Wall hangings, woven rugs, handmade paper, purses, jewelry and fiber animals. Through Dec. 31. Burton Gallery, near the corner of Ga. 197 and Burton Dam Road, Clarkesville. Free. 706-947-1351 or by email.

Art and Antique Festival, Commerce. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. first Saturdays and Sundays. Commerce Crossing, Pottery Factory Drive, Commerce. 706-335-6352.

Hall County is lucky to have two local colleges that share their art with the community.

And if you have family coming into town for the holiday next week, start your art tour at the galleries at these schools, which are free and open to the public most days — except, of course, for a few days around Thanksgiving, when the schools are closed.

But earlier next week — or, after Nov. 29 — check out various exhibits in Gainesville and Oakwood. Brenau University’s “Found Objects” exhibit goes on through Dec. 11, and features art that was gathered from discarded objects, woven or built back up into a new creation.

For example, Atlanta artist Donna Mintz took pieces of pottery, a china doll and even an arrowhead found when the waters of Lake Lanier receded and turned it into a series of small scenes atop red clay. Also, artist Loren Schwerd created art from human hair — that is, hair found near a beauty supply store in the lower ninth ward in New Orleans after Katrina. She then took the hair extensions and wove them to emulate photographs of abandoned homes in the neighborhood.

Down the road in Oakwood, the Roy C. Moore Gallery at Gainesville State College’s Continuing Education Building features “An Artistic Discovery,” a collection of top works by local high school students selected as part of the annual congressional art competition. In addition to the winners showing in Washington, the first place artist will receive $300. Second place receives $200, third place receives $100 and two honorable mention winners will each be awarded $50.

But, of course, if you have guests in town for the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving, art on display at local colleges won’t help entertain them — the exhibits are closed after Thanksgiving and open the following Monday.

In that case, check out the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville, a nonprofit gallery highlighting both local and national artists.

The exhibit now on display is the annual members’ exhibition, one of the most popular events at the arts center. The exhibit features a variety of art in different media, from oil and acrylics to sculpture and works in glass. All of the artists are members of the Quinlan, and while most are from the North Georgia area, there are some from other states, too.

The Quinlan Visual Arts Center is closed Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving, but will be open Nov. 28. Regular hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and closed Sundays.