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Creative lessons: Art by local teachers included in Atlanta show
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"Ties That Bind" by Gainesville High School art teacher Joe Emery. - photo by For The Times

‘The Appreciation Show’
What: Art exhibit at The Art Institute of Atlanta
When: Through Feb. 27; gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Art Institute of Atlanta, 6600 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, 100 Embassy Row, Atlanta
More info: 770-394-8300,

A bronze sculpture and a painting recently landed two local high school art teachers in an Atlanta art exhibit.

Joe Emery’s bronze sculpture and Michael Valley’s large-scale painting are part of The Art Institute of Atlanta’s latest exhibit, "The Appreciation Show," part of the Atlanta High School Art Invitational. Emery teaches at Gainesville High School and Valley teaches at East Hall High School.

"The piece I entered was a cast bronze piece and it’s a figurative piece," said Joe Emery, longtime art teacher at Gainesville High School. "When you look at the front of the sculpture you’ll see this bronze face, and then when you walk around to the back of the sculpture you will see this tile — there is a box back there behind the piece and there’s glass tiles back there and suspended above the glass tiles are three dried flowers going across the top and then there’s two on the base and ribbons kind of connect them."

The 2-foot bronze piece, "Ties That Bind," is one in a series Emery is creating about dreams.

"This one is about my brother," he said. "And so the flowers and ribbons ... represent my immediate family of my mother, my father, my sister and I and my brother."

The bronze face of the sculpture represents his brother, he added.

Valley’s piece, "Breakthrough," placed first in the juried show, which featured paintings, drawings, mixed media, sculpture and photography. It was judged by faculty members from The Art Institute of Atlanta.

"I have a master’s (degree) in arts and I always try to push the paint limit," said Valley, of his 4-by-6-foot painting. "Its contrast of chaos and order to try and define the painting."

The show represents a mixture of styles and techniques from across the state.

"(The exhibit) is a real mixture of work," Emery said. "Cast pieces, cast metals, there’s some welded metal pieces there, there’s oil paintings, water color, drawings — it’s a real mixture."

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