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Brenau University putting the spotlight on area artists
Ben Truesdale holds up a painting for positioning while Jody Wall helps. The artwork is part of the President’s Summer Art Series in the Simmons Visual Arts Center on the Brenau University campus. - photo by Tom Reed

Brenau University President’s Summer Art Series

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays from May 9-31

Where: Sellars Gallery at the Simmons Visual Arts Center, 200 Boulevard, Gainesville

How much: Free


 Opening reception

When: 6 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Sellars Gallery at the Simmons Visual Arts Center, 200 Boulevard, Gainesville

How much: Free

Gainesville has a lot of talent to offer. And Brenau University is taking advantage of that fact.

Local artists are being put on display for the President’s Summer Art Series at Brenau University.

Each of the artists — Alice Paris, Ann Alexander, Joyce Hornor and Rosemary Dodd — were personally selected for inclusion by Brenau president Ed Schrader.

"Brenau has a rich tradition in the arts primarily because of the support for the arts by the Gainesville community," Schrader said.

"And one of the main reasons for this support is Gainesville’s wealth of local artistic talent. In this exhibition, we will showcase some of our Gainesville treasures — art and artist."

The exhibit will be on display from May 9-31 in the Sellars Gallery at the Simmons Visual Arts Center, 200 Boulevard in Gainesville.

The showing will open with a reception for the artists in the gallery at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

"This is the inaugural exhibition," said Jody Wall, Schrader’s chief of staff, "but this is a series that we’d like to see become an annual event."

Although the women are all Gainesville residents, their artistic points of view are pretty diverse.

The show includes pieces like Dodd’s jewel-toned family portrait and Hornor’s signature baskets and bird nests set against a black background.

"I was inspired by spring," said Alexander, whose work features cherry blossoms, dogwood flowers and magnolias in Oriental-themed containers.

"Flowers are a favorite subject of mine.

"In the South, each season brings a different kind of excitement. It is a constant challenge to paint the moment on canvas."

Her paintings can be found in places like the Quinlan Visual Arts Center here in Gainesville and the Watson Gallery in Atlanta.

Hornor also portrays still-life, but her works for the show feature puppets — which she collects.

Hornor likes to highlight the marionettes in her paintings with a pinpoint of light — a technique she learned studying under Roseta Santiago.

"She’s the one who inspired my style," Hornor said.

"I’m intrigued by how the pinpoint of light can play off an object."

Paris also enjoys experimenting with lighting, as well as including a variety of subjects in her portfolio.

"It’s fun to be creative when you’re painting," Paris said.

"I never know what I’m going to paint. It just depends on what’s going on."

When it comes to painting, Dodd also likes to define her own boundaries.

Her mixed media "Wind in my Face" painting is one of the largest in the Brenau show. It spans multiple canvases and includes a variety of components, including: poems, clock parts and vibrant paint choices.

"I’m not out of the box," Dodd said, "I just don’t know what the box looks like."

After the opening reception, the president’s exhibit will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. It will also be open during those hours on Saturday, May 26, which is the 4th Annual Brenau Barbecue Championship.


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