'Georgia in Bloom' festival to blossom in Madison
By Kathryn Purcell
With spring comes many things -- budding flowers, waking animals and, well, new art shows. Madison is no exception.
This year will see the inaugural 'Georgia in Bloom,' an spring-themed art show centered in Madison.
"'Georgia in Bloom' will be the first bona fide spring festival of art in this community," local artist, Madison Artists Guild president and Pantheon Art Gallery director Peter Muzyka said.
The festival is slated to open on Friday, March 21 and to come down on Sunday, May 11. A formal reception for the festival will be held on Friday, April 11, at which time awards will be given to winning artists.
"It allows people around town to see the art before the awards," Muzyka said, of the time frame of the festival and date for the reception. "It also leaves it up through the Tour of Homes, so it gives a lot of other visitors a chance to see the work."
As many as eight venues around town, including Pantheon Art Gallery, Town 220, United Bank and the front of the old Piggly Wiggly building, will house the art works.
Further, Perk Avenue Cafe and Coffee House will host a poetry section of the festival, while the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art will house a display of student art sent in by area art teachers. The student art aspect of 'Georgia in Bloom' will open in early April.
Currently, there are 38 artists from all over the area -- from as close as Madison, Rutledge and Lake Oconee to as far as Greensboro, Athens and Monroe -- and over 100 pieces of art in the festival. Local artists include Chris Cook, Babs Johnston, Blue Chilton, Cameron Hampton, Carol Fox, Greg Strelecki, Jean Boles, Joan Ekstrom, Karen Strelecki, Lewis Smith, Lindy Burnett, Margaret Agner, Martha Lower, Mary Leslie, Molly Lesnikowski, Monica Haden, Peg Harvard, Suzita George and Neal Worthington, among others, according to Muzyka.
Further, 'Georgia in Bloom' will boast a variety of media when it comes to art, everything from paintings and drawings to fabric art and sculptures. In fact, several of the works are interactive. Muzyka noted that a few of the pieces of fabric art can be walked on, while one sculpture is actually constructed around a functioning bicycle.
The festival was designed to be inclusive, Muzyka said. The only reason for the art works being juried is to determine which of the pieces will be awarded.
"The only art not to be included is non-theme art," Muzyka said.
After a communications blitz, according to Muzyka, he is excited to have so many area artists participating, and to have so many quality pieces of art in the festival.
"We had some mighty fine art works come in -- expressive, not to mention beautiful," Muzyka said.
For more information on 'Georgia in Bloom,' visit www.petermuzyka.com/pantheonartgallery/georgiainbloomartfest.html.