Enhancing the gilded flourishes of the interior architecture, diaphanous ivory and gold fabric draped the balconies of the Terminal Station on Nov. 12 for the Museum of Arts and Sciences' Festival of Trees gala, the signature event heralding the opening of the annual tree exhibit at the museum.
The silent auction featured paintings by regional artists, accessories for the home, gym memberships or a leisurely stay at a mountain or beach getaway. Fueled by hearty fare from Two's Company's catering, Lisa Moore and Windy Blanks were the first couple on the dance floor to swing to the strains of the irresistible Grapevine band.
Both Cherry Brewer, who interprets her travels in vivid contemporary shapes and textures on large canvases, and Daly Smith, a prolific painter whose hunting scenes appeal to the outdoorsman, donated paintings for the auction. Lee Murphey, retired attorney, replaced the tedium of law books with the thrill of the paint box about two years ago. Murphey's still life, "Jim's Back Stoop," a well-executed rendering of the potted porch garden of his friend and instructor Jim Carson was in the auction, to the delight of his admirers, including Bonnie Dowling.
COSMOPOLITAN ART IN A COUNTRY SETTING
In a slice of country at the juncture of Tucker and Price roads, Maureen Persons teaches plein air painting under old shade trees at Coulby Glen. Her studio, a tiny farm shed, has been dressed up with a jaunty green door and shutters, its track-operated door left as it was installed in 1880.
The property looks like a neatly maintained working farm, with a restored crib barn and a larger cottage, which has been updated with modern conveniences, a covered patio and extensive landscaping. Coulby Glen is the realization of Persons' vision to create a pastoral venue site easily accessible from downtown Macon and the interstate.
On Nov. 5, 13 members of the Ocmulgee Painters Society, including Persons, opened their studio sale, Deck the Walls, in the Coulby Glen cottage for shopping and seeing the restored farm on Tuesdays and Thursdays until Dec. 22.
Participating artist Charlie Causey left the career driven world two years ago to pursue his lifelong love affair with painting and frequently attends workshops led by successful painters whose work he admires.
His frustration with painting sand dunes has been alleviated with the help of a popular Gulf coast painter, whose instruction paid off. A gnarly cedar, bonsai-shaped by the wind, clings to a high dune in one of his smaller canvases -- an image any beach lover would appreciate.
COAST TO COAST COLLABORATION
Living in different cities on both coasts is just a minor detail for the four members of the New Asia Chamber Music Society's piano quartet, which performed in Wesleyan's Pierce Chapel on Monday night as part of the Macon Concert Association's regular season.
The four musicians, who have garnered impressive accolades in their young lives, are fast friends and have an infectious enthusiasm for "sharing music with music lovers."
Pianist Tzu-Yi Chen studied in Europe, following the path of the masters whose compositions she played Monday night, before graduating from the Columbus State University Schwob School of Music. The performance opened with a selection from Joaquin Turina's opus 67, Tzu-Yi's intense interpretation reflecting the Spanish composer's passion for regional folk music in the first half of the 20th century.
Nan-Cheng Chen, cellist in the quartet and co-founder of the New Asia Chamber Music Society, completed his bachelor and master of music degrees at The Juilliard School and lives in New York City. During the performance from Johannes Brahms' opus 60, number 3, Nan-Cheng's cello related the composer's brooding depression, the dissonant keys, plucked by the violist, the explanation point to Brahms' disturbing mood.
The finale for the evening, Gabriel Faure's opus 45, number 2, was a lyrical, brisk selection full of spiritual vitality, written by the composer in the years before he lost his hearing. The viola and violin dominated the second and last movements with a brisk string melody in answer to the turbulence of Tzu-yi's piano. Violinist Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu and the violist, in the third movement, played their instruments with careful delicacy.
The audience was treated to two encores by this tireless group, one of which featured the violist and co-founder of the chamber society, Wei-Yang Andy Lin, on his second instrument, the erhu.
The audience was relieved to hear Wei-Yang explain that the erhu is a two stringed, Chinese violin. Saved from embarrassing ignorance, the appreciative audience listened to sounds that resembled the lightest notes of the bagpipe on "Four Seasons Blossoms," the short composition the quartet played to end a memorable evening.
Katherine Walden is a freelance writer and interior designer in Macon. Contact her at 478-742-2224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.