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Helen center art exhibit features natures creatures
Ann Williams

All About Animals

When: Exhibit opens 5 p.m. July 14

Where: Helen Arts & Heritage Center, 25 Chattahoochee Strasse, Helen

Contact:, 706-878-3933

Images of both pets and wildlife will be on display in the gallery at Helen Arts & Heritage Center’s newest art exhibit, All About Animals, opening July 14.

Featured artists Jennifer Benson and Ann Williams will greet guests and share their artwork.

“Anyone living in Northeast Georgia will most likely agree that we live among a variety of wild creatures. An appreciation for nature is one of the greatest attributes we can pass along to future generations,” Center President Nancy Ackerman said.

“Many of our artists enjoy incorporating animals into their work and this exhibit will highlight the many animals we love, both domestic and wild. Many of our local artists render their versions as still life portraits of loyal pets or animals captured in their natural surroundings and some of us like the fun and whimsical side. These perspectives can be seen through a variety of media forms such as photography, painting, drawing, pottery fiber arts and more.”

The exhibit opens at 5 p.m. A reception honoring the work of local artist Josef Mahler is set for 6 p.m., free and open to the public.

“We invite everyone to join us for refreshments as we honor our valued local artists and their work,” Ackerman said.

Mahler, a native of Germany, recently painted a mural representing the scenic view as seen from the home studio of late artist John Kollock.

“We are doubly honored to feature the life of John Kollock and the contributions that helped make Helen what it is today and the work of Josef Mahler, whose mural will stand as a visual reminder of how our Bavarian Village was born,” Ackerman said.

Featured artist Williams is multitalented in many forms, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, pen and ink. Her work has been exhibited often at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville, Sawnee Association of the Arts in Cumming, and the Helen Arts & Heritage Center, and has earned numerous awards in juried shows.

Benson lives in Mount Airy, where she is owner of Jennifer Benson Glass Art. She continues to work in higher education and create glass art and artisan pieces.

“I love how the glass medium is such an excellent metaphor for the human condition. Just as we can only reach our potential when faced with the fire of life’s trials and tribulations, fused glass must be fired in the kiln to become what it never could be without it,” she said. “The real beauty and potential of the glass is only revealed through the fire.”

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