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Collage artists elevate found pieces into fine art
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Rolls of paper and wire were combined with other material and applied to canvas in Arlene Brass' piece, "Highwire Act." - photo by Michelle Boaen Jameson

‘Collage at the Q,' ‘Back to the Earth,' ‘Soulful Expressions' and ‘Nature. History. Art.'

Where: Quinlan Visual Arts Center, 514 Green St., NE, Gainesville
When: Opening 5:30 tonight; pieces on display through Feb. 10
How much: Free
More info: 770-536-2575

When it comes to creatively gluing things down, the only experience many of us have is with macaroni and wallpaper.

But there is a group from Atlanta that has elevated the act of gluing, assembling and arranging into a fine art.

You can check out their work tonight at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center for the opening of "Collage at the Q." The Atlanta Collage Society, a group of collage artists that have been collaborating since 2006, is exhibiting 93 works by 31 of the group's members.

The works vary in size, style and of course medium and promises a variety of texture and color, as well as imagery.

From abstract to landscapes, the pieces have been carefully assembled with everything from found objects to fine papers and natural material to create complex 3-D works of art. Some so intricate and tiny, it takes close inspection to take in the details while others only can be appreciated on a grand scale with a step back.

Barbara J. Dunham, president of the society, said the group has been preparing for the exhibit for nearly a year and hopes it allows more people to see collage in a different light.

Fine art collage takes the same amount of study and training as any other fine-art medium such as watercolor, oil or pastel, Dunham said. "It is judged by the same standards of color, composition, balance, rhythm and harmony, but it does enjoy the freedom of incorporating multiple materials such as paper, cardboard, plastics, found items and other ephemera."

Dunham said this process allows artists to "repurpose or recycle ordinary items in to works of art."

And several of the works give new life to old objects, from buttons and postcards to instruments and camera parts. But collage isn't a recent art form; it has been around since the early 1900s.

"Collage comes from the French term "coller," or to glue down," Dunham said. "So this art medium is the "coming together" of disparate materials (found, purchased, manipulated) to convey the artist's message."

Dunham said collage was first used by Picasso and Braque in the early 20th century and "was the first new medium in hundreds of years."

In conjunction with the Atlanta Collage Society exhibition, local artist Leigh-Anne Gross will be featured in the George and Anne Thomas Gallery with a collection of works from "Nature. History. Art." Gross describes her art as a study of "constant exploration of relationships and how those relationships ultimately create who we are."

Her 3-D sculptures contrast geometric and organic shapes while pushing the boundary of negative and positive space.

If you hunger for more, Atlanta artists Melody Trivisone and Dawne Raulet will be exhibiting their recent works. Trivisone is an encaustic artist, a process that combines found objects, wax and paint to form organic impressions. Raulet, a University of Georgia graduate, will focus on both figures and landscapes. Her artwork has been exhibited at the Bascom-Louise Gallery, Lagerquist Gallery and the Stalls of Bennett Street.

It all begins at 5:30 tonight at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville.

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