Usually, when the Tubman African American Museum wants to showcase a diversity of artists, the artists in question are themselves African-American.
But Sundays new event, Full Spectrum, represents a different sort of diversity for the Tubman. This time, the Tubman -- in partnership with the Middle Georgia Art Association -- is showing the diversity of art created by Middle Georgia artists.
For us, this show is about a couple of things, said Jeff Bruce, the museums curator. We want to support artists from this community. We need to get back to doing that. We used to do that a lot, but then we started thinking regionally and nationally, losing sight of creativity locally.
We also wanted to diversify. We want to reach outside the black community. ... (The Middle Georgia Art Association) also wanted to diversify. They needed to reach out of their comfort zone. So this was a partnership that made a lot of sense.
Mae Thurston, president of the Middle Georgia Art Association, agreed. For her organization, it was the chance to have 17 artists (including herself) have their work displayed in a museum. The 38 pieces of art that constitute the Full Spectrum show include paintings, photographs, stained glass and sculptures.
The goal was to create diversity and encourage people to visit the museums in our area, she said. It allows our artists to display their works in a museum, some for the first time.
For many of the artists, having their work displayed in a museum is a career highlight.
(Being in a museum), theres something about it in my mind, said longtime artist Martha Adams Thompson, who paints landscapes and streetscapes. Its a little bit more of an honor to have it displayed in a museum.
For a young artist such as Walter Price, having his abstract paintings shown in a museum has proven to be an inspiration.
This is the first big step in my career, said Price, who has been painting for the past seven years. Its definitely a thrill. Its motivating me to paint right now. Its a great accomplishment, and its only going to get greater from here.
Longtime Macon artist Martha Tisdale said having such a show at the Tubman not only promotes local art, but also can attract art lovers to the city, which in turn can show off Macons other attractions such as its history and architecture.
It can bring people here, she said. Weve got a great heritage here. Its every bit as good as Savannah -- we just dont have the same following. ... We needed tourists, and weve got stuff to show them, too.
Bruce said the show will run through Feb. 18. The museum plans to alternate shows on an annual basis between the Middle Georgia Art Association and the Contemporary Arts Exchange.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.