Tubman, Middle Ga. Arts Association partner on new exhibition

pramati@macon.comJanuary 20, 2013 

Usually, when the Tubman African American Museum wants to showcase a diversity of artists, the artists in question are themselves African-American.

But Sunday’s 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 museum’s 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), there’s something about it in my mind,” said longtime artist Martha Adams Thompson, who paints landscapes and streetscapes. “It’s 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. “It’s definitely a thrill. It’s motivating me to paint right now. It’s a great accomplishment, and it’s 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 Macon’s other attractions such as its history and architecture.

“It can bring people here,” she said. “We’ve got a great heritage here. It’s every bit as good as Savannah -- we just don’t have the same following. ... We needed tourists, and we’ve 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.

The Telegraph is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service