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Trio of local artists featured in Gold Dome gallery
Works by Northeast Georgians included in state Capitol exhibit
Ruth Money’s painting “Autumn in Georgia” was selected out of hundreds of other paintings to be considered for a special spot in the executive offices at the state Capitol.

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For the next six months, all eyes in the state Capitol will be on Northeast Georgia.

Twenty-eight artists, including Gainesville resident Ruth Money, were selected for inclusion in the inaugural exhibition of “The Art of Georgia: Celebrating Georgia’s Landscapes and People.”

“I feel honored to be included,” said Money, who’s “Autumn in North Georgia” oil painting was selected.

“I think it’s a pretty big deal.”

The rotating exhibit, which will hang in the executive offices in the state Capitol, is a partnership between the Georgia Council for the Arts and the governor’s office.

Money wasn’t the only Hall County artist to be selected for inclusion in the state Capitol exhibit.

“They chose a piece from Ann Alexander, who’s an artist here. As well as a piece from GeorgeAnn Moore, who is a friend of mine from the Georgia Art League,” Money said.

“(Moore) did an ink watercolor of the (state) Capitol. Mine is an oil painting that I created from photographs I took near Big Canoe.”

Alexander, Money and Moore are all artist-members of the Quinlan Visual Arts Center.

For Money, this prestigious showing highlights that she should have followed her instincts more than 60 years ago.

“I’ve always been on the fringes of art. I remember wanting to major in art in college,” Moore said.

“This was 1949. At that time, women were sort of put on a track of teacher, secretary or social worker and not much else. I couldn’t quite visualize how I could make a living out of college as an artist and that didn’t seem fair to my parents, so I became a social case worker. Looking back, I wish I had pursued art.

“A couple of times, I went so far as to take college art courses. I already had degrees in other things, but I would take courses in colleges wherever I was. When I lived in Chattanooga, Tenn., I was a docent in the art museum there for over 10 years.”

She didn’t follow her heart as an undergraduate student, but her daughter made sure Money didn’t give up on her interest and remain on the outskirts of the art world.

“(My husband and I) moved here seven years ago,” said Moore of her relocation to Lanier Village Estates in Gainesville.

“My daughter, Ann Goble, is an artist here. She seemed to realize that her mother might need an outlet, so she gave me paints and said, ‘Mother, you’ve been needing to paint for a while and you’re going to start now.’”

In an interesting reversal of roles, Goble even went so far as to arrange painting lessons for Money. By the look of things, her initiative has paid off. The mother-daughter duo has held joint showings of their work, and Money regularly teaches classes at Gallerie 110.

“Maybe I have some talent, but I’m pretty well convinced that talent is maybe 10 percent of it and passion and education is the rest,” Money said. “I really am convinced of that.”

However you wish to describe the catalyst, Money’s work will be on display at the Capitol through January.

Every six months, for the next two years, the exhibit will be switched out to highlight artists in a different region of the state. Northeast Georgia was first. Southwest Georgia will be next. The other regions are metro Atlanta, Southeast Georgia and Northwest Georgia.

“The work of these artists illustrates what makes Georgia distinctive and our communities vibrant,” said Karen Paty, Georgia arts council director.

“The spirit and diversity of our state is successfully captured through the eyes of these talented artists. Each piece of art selected to hang in the Capitol is unique, and I believe that everyone who views the exhibit will find elements of the exhibit that resonate deeply with them.”

Alexander was out of town and could not be reached for comment.

The other 25 artists in the show represent various cities, including Dahlonega, Clarkesville, Blairsville and Toccoa.

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