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Artistic works take tour through Georgia
Quinlan Visual Arts Center is the first stop for exhibition
A handful of pieces from Georgia’s state art collection adorn the wall of the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville. The display features 28 selected pieces for the exhibit “Inspired Georgia,” which will traverse the state this year. Quinlan is its first stop on the tour. - photo by J.K. Devine

"Inspired Georgia: 28 works from Georgia's State Art Collection

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday from now until Dec. 8

Where: Quinlan Visual Arts Center, 514 Green St., Gainesville

Contact: 770-536-2575 or

Some of Georgia’s most iconic artists have pieces on display at Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville as part of a first-of-its-kind tour in decades across the state.

The Quinlan is the first stop for the “Inspired Georgia: 28 works from Georgia’s State Art Collection.” It features 28 selected works from the state collection of more than 600 works by Georgia artists collected from the 1970s to the 1990s. It boasts a variety of techniques, styles and mediums — from photography to folk art — by artists such as Benny Andrews, Lucinda Bunnen, Herbert Creecy, Howard Finster, Ruth Laxson and Nellie Mae Rowe.

The tour was designed by the Georgia Council for the Arts, in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism Division and the Georgia Humanities Council, as part of their Tourism Product Development program, which aims to promote tourism and fine arts in local communities around the state.

“Art and culture are really important for the health of every community,” Quinlan Executive Director Amanda McClure said. “The Georgia Council for the Arts and the state tourism department have shown that the arts can be an economic driver. This is just emphasizing that while also allowing people the opportunity to see work by Georgia artists.”

Quinlan, in conjunction with Main Street Gainesville, has been working on the exhibit since they first submitted the proposal in the summer.

“Being the first community to host the tour was both a blessing and a burden because we had precious little time to pull it off,” McClure said. “The best part of the experience was to see what we could pull off when we all worked together.

“We got to see all of our efforts become this really wonderful and tangible thing.”

Inspired Georgia in conjunction with The Arts Council and the North Georgia Community Foundation also brought a collaborative tour of contemporary dance group gloATL and public art organization Living Walls known as “The Traveling Show,” to Gainesville for a weeklong residency. The artisan display coincided with beginning of Quinlan’s annual members’ exhibit that will be featured in Thursday’s Get Out issue.

Living Walls, which specializes in public murals, brought Argentine mural artist Franco “Jaz” Fasoli to paint the side of the Olympic Tower at the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue. GloATL held performances and discussions at local high schools, public areas and at Inspired Georgia functions. Both groups were present at the Inspire Georgia and Quinlan Member’s Exhibition opening last Thursday night as well as at the mural reveal last Saturday.

“Both groups are working to challenge perception on art and creative placemaking,” McClure said. “They brought something contemporary and avant-garde to the show.”

Inspired Georgia will be on display at Quinlan, at 514 Green St. in Gainesville, until the city’s annual “Christmas on Green Street” festival on Dec. 8.

For hours of operation or more information, call Quinlan at 770-536-2575.