Byas: Middle Georgia Art Association serving artists and the arts

Special to The TelegraphJune 20, 2014 

It was supposed to be a short conversation last week with Mae Thurston about two offerings at the gallery on Ingleside: “Tea Time,” a themed exhibition focused on tea (i.e., iced, pots, cups, parties, bags and leaves) that opens with a reception this evening; and, “DynOmite,” a solo exhibition by local artist DeWayne Kendrick themed after the familiar catch phrase coined on the 1970s sitcom, “Good Times.”

It ended up being an informational session about the Middle Georgia Art Association, the 48-year-old nonprofit group headquartered in Macon, of which Thurston is the director.

What does Macon’s second oldest arts organization do? This membership group helps develop and promote the work of artists. It offers educational workshops and mentoring services, provides a place where artists can network, and allocates alternative spaces outside the commercial gallery systems.

Members include painters, sculptors, photographers, weavers, potters, jewelers, glassblowers and art lovers. Whether you’re an artist, artisan, collector or casual observer, you’re welcome to join.

MGAA allows anyone to participate in its offerings, but it is in one’s best interest to join the organization because members have some distinct advantages over the general public. Members get discounts on entries into the judged shows, where prizes are awarded, and they can request space at the Ingleside gallery, where each artist has a month-long solo exhibition. Also, members have the opportunity to display their work in a six-week-long solo exhibition on the walls at downtown’s Market City Cafe.

The organization hosts frequent seminars and workshops. Past seminars have focused on printmaking, painting, calligraphy and marketing. Upcoming workshops include watercolor painting, smart phone photography, painting with live models and in the round, and collage using maps. For the first time, MGAA is offering a week-long “Summer Art Boot Camp” for adults, which covers drawing and painting. And there is more to come!

Visit the website www.middlegeorgiaart.org for more information.

Beatles fans road trip

Don’t miss Paul McCartney in concert this weekend. Just days after his birthday and 50 years after his first-ever world tour -- that time with the iconic Beatles -- the legendary musician makes his one-night-only appearance at Atlanta’s Philips Arena on Saturday evening.

Contact Melanie Byas at melanie@retrowarehouse.com.

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