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Art show lets teachers express their artist's voice
0603Quinlan-Judson Duke diane
“Diane” by Judson Duke, Gainesville State College and University of Georgia
‘Vanguard: A Juried Exhibition Honoring Georgia Art Educators’
What: Exhibit of pieces by art educators throughout Georgia; also opening are works by the Portrait Society of Atlanta; “Family Matters,” sculptures by Vanessa Grubbs; and “Transitions,” portraits by Charles Y. Walls
When: Opening reception 5:30-7 p.m. today; exhibit runs through Aug. 16
Where: Quinlan Visual Arts Center, 514 Green St., Gainesville
More info: 770-536-2575

Art educators inspire and elicit most of the art we see from day to day.

Their students create masterpieces after learning the most basic and complex techniques from their paintbrush-, pencil- and clay-wielding coaches.

For its next exhibition, the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville is honoring those leading the classroom and molding future artists with a special show, “Vanguard: A Juried Exhibition Honoring Georgia Art Educators.”

This unique exhibit will showcase the artwork of art educators across Northeast Georgia.

“This is the first time we’ve done this,” said Paula Lindner, assistant director of the Quinlan. “We offer juried exhibitions every year. However ... our executive director wanted to spice things up this year, and invite Georgia art educators to their own juried exhibition.”

Overall there are about 60 participants representing the University of Georgia, Gainesville State College, public schools and other institutions, Lindner said.

“We have everything from large-scale paintings to ceramics,” said Delores Diaz, vice president of the board of directors for the Quinlan. “We have some videos, drawings, wood sculptures ... It just runs the gambit.”

Diaz, a retired art educator who teaches part-time at Gainesville State College, said she knows the hard work and dedication it takes to teach, which helped inspire this exhibit.

“I know how important is for art educators to have a venue for their work,” Diaz said. “As educators, their time is consumed with teaching and so my goal was to provide a venue for them to exhibit their work and receive some recognition. Even though they may produce work they really don’t have the time or energy to promote themselves.”

Judson Duke, one of the participants in the Vanguard exhibit and an art teacher for five years, said he considers being an artist linked to being an art educator.

“The best part of it for me is that I get to be around art and I get to talk about art every single day,” Duke said. “And that’s the greatest asset of both being an artist and teaching young artists as well.”

Duke, who specializes in graphite, colored pencils and oil painting, entered four pieces in the exhibit. He considers art a form of entertainment and shares his passion with his students at Gainesville State College.

“Art to me is the reaction to the accumulation of experiences,” Duke said. “It’s how I make sense of the world around me.”
For Duke, the role of the educator is crucial.

“I think art educators are sort of on the front line of defense as far as the progression of the artistic elements,” he said. “We’re the ones training the next generation of artists.”

With the entries in the show ranging from jewelry to large sculpture to mixed media, “it’s going to be an eclectic show for sure,” Lindner said. “We’re really excited.”

For Diaz, this show offers a lot of new opportunities she hopes to continue with in the future.

“We hope that it’ll be one of our premier exhibits,” Diaz said. “We’re going to have artwork representing art educators from the public school levels all the way up through college. So we have a wide range of cutting-edge type artworks that will be displayed.

“We’re very pleased to be able to offer this for the educators, to give them recognition for what they do,” she said.

The Quinlan’s Vanguard exhibition begins June 3 with a reception tonight from 5:30 to 7. The show runs through Aug. 16.

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