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Helen art gallery ends the year all calm and bright
Connie Gerdts earns solo exhibit; HAHC Pottery Guild shows work
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With only 58 left until 2016, the Helen Arts & Heritage Center has opened its final exhibit for the year.

“All Is Calm, All Is Bright,” features the work of Helen artist Connie Gerdts as well as unique clay creations from the HAHC Pottery Guild members. It will be on display through New Year’s 2016.

The holiday exhibit offers an array of handcrafted work, all from the hands of multitalented local artists.

For Gerdts, painting and drawing have been an integral part of her life for the past 55 years. She creates much of her work in her E’lan Studio, located conveniently next to her Helen home.

Gerdts, a longtime member of several art organizations including the Quinlan Visual Arts Center, the Sautee Nacoochee Center and Helen Arts & Heritage Center, started out as artist after learning about oils through numerous workshops and classes. Then her interest changed.

Embracing Impressionism, then pure abstract with heavy texture, Gerdts moved on to mixed media with heavy impasto, experimenting extensively along her journey. She often adds layers of liquid transparent acrylic paint in her collage applications, adding both dimension and texture. She allows her paintings to follow their own direction up until the final detail stage.

Gerdts’ paintings have won many awards and can be found in corporate and private collections throughout the United States.

The HAHC Pottery Guild, managed by Hilton Hill, works at its leisure, creating not only the decorative and functional but fun and whimsical pieces.

“Our potters are not only knowledgeable and experienced in their craft but incredibly imaginative and create pieces which are both unique in design and eye catching,” HAHC president Nancy Ackerman said.

Hilton, an experienced potter, encourages the public to visit the gallery and consider choosing quality locally handcrafted artwork for gifts this holiday season.

The gallery is open from noon to 4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 25 Chattahoochee Strasse in downtown Helen. It is closed Wednesday and Sundays.

Admission is free. Free parking is available in the rear area of the center.

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