Hill: Great things are happening here

January 3, 2014 

One week ago I was standing in the lobby of the Grand Opera House before the Gregg Allman concert when a man from New Orleans struck up a conversation. He looked more likely to be found on a golf course than at a rock concert. He and his wife had traveled to Macon for the first time specifically to experience Allman live.

He said, “You guys seem to have a great little music thing happening here.”

It was so great to be able to say, “We do!” and expound not only on the pop scene but also the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings, the new Macon Pops Orchestra and the concerts of the Macon Symphony Orchestra, Macon Concert Association, Music and the Arts at Vineville, plus those hosted by midstate colleges and universities.

He had already heard of Bragg Jam but he didn’t know that the Macon Film Festival is now concentrating part of its programming on films about music. And he had no idea about the theater and art scenes here.

This man from New Orleans had the same reaction that most culturally experienced out-of-towners do. As the new year begins, let’s not forget: we have a great little arts thing happening here.

The fine art scene takes the spotlight this week. Tonight is First Friday so you may enjoy free exhibit openings at four downtown Macon art galleries. From 5-8 p.m., visit the gallery at Macon Arts Alliance for “Capturing the Dream King” with works by Monica Stevens. Walk the short block to the SoChi Gallery for the opening of “Indie Pop Art” featuring works created by Warner Robins artist Ryan Neal, also from 5-8 p.m.

The 567 Center for Renewal opens “To the Point,” an exhibit of pencil works by artists from Middle Georgia and metro Atlanta, including Johnny Barlow, Amy Kathryn Heard, Kari Waltz, Craig Hamilton and Debra Yaun. The opening and talk by three of the featured artists will be held from 6-9 p.m. Each of these exhibits continues throughout the month.

It is the final weekend to see “All Creatures Great and Small” at the Museum of Arts and Sciences. It’s a special exhibition of works of animals made by self-taught American artists on loan from the Georgia Museum of Art’s permanent collection. It’s also the final week for the Tubman African American Museum’s exhibit “Ulysses Marshall: Excavation of Lost Souls,” with works of paint, collage and found materials.

We have a great little arts thing happening here, don’t we?

Contact J. Cindy Hill at jcindyhill@gmail.com.

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