Floral boutique opens in old Joshua’s Cup building

A exhibition by UGA arts professor Melissa Harshman will be on display at the Macon Arts Alliance gallery through Sept. 29.
A exhibition by UGA arts professor Melissa Harshman will be on display at the Macon Arts Alliance gallery through Sept. 29.

After languishing for several years with an uncertain future, the former Joshua’s Cup on Washington Avenue debuted its new role on Thursday evening, Sept. 7, as an elegant, classically designed studio for Mary Dawson Pinson, who has been wowing her clients with breathtaking floral arrangements long enough to have tongues wagging and excitement at a fever pitch over her new endeavor.

Planning signature events and selecting exotic flowers will be an adventure under the crystal chandeliers and vaulted ceilings in the new studio, surrounded by expansive Palladian windows and the unique accessories Pinson’s clients can find in her floral boutique.

For the festive ribbon-cutting celebration, hors d’oeuvres were upstaged by Mary Virginia Gage’s artistic confections, almost too pretty to eat. Pinson was surrounded by friends and family that raised a glass to the newest addition to the College Hill complex of businesses. The relief of many men who know Pinson well was palpable – no more guessing about what the perfect flowers are for the next special occasion.

Among friends joining husband Hughes Pinson for the launch of Mary Pinson Floral Studio were Kelly Smaha, Jaime Kaplan, Jed and Julie Renfroe, Suzanne Schilling, Noreen White, Robert McDuffie and a host of Mary Pinson fans. Welcome to the neighborhood!

Taking it to the streets

Second Friday’s events, replacing first Friday’s usual schedule to accommodate Labor Day travelers, spilled out of store fronts and galleries with the addition of the Hidden Treasures Street Sale. Sponsored by the Downtown Community Association and coordinated by its vice-president, Scott Mitchell, the sale was an opportunity for downtown businesses and individual vendors to cull inventory or to rid storage space of extraneous belongings.

Diana Blair, owner of Blair’s Furniture and of the loft development of the same name, kept her doors open for week-end shoppers to take advantage of some marked down items. Lesley Volpe and Jean Bragg brought merchandise to the sidewalks along Cherry Street and manned the booths of gently used and new clothing and accessories displayed inside the event space of Travis Jean Gallery.

Galleries feature multimedia art

The galleries of the 567 Center for Renewal and the Macon Arts Alliance were open from 5-8 p.m. on the second Sunday, featuring the artists whose work will be exhibited in the galleries through the end of the month. The title of the 567 exhibit, “Interconnected,” according to fine arts director Colin Penndorf, reflects the relationship among the various works, many of which are three dimensional.

Fiber artist Marian Zielenski uses a fine quilting technique on hand-dyed fabric to create texture and perspective. Zielenski’s fabric panels have stained glass colors, which Patrick Madison uses sparingly in his hand cast art glass. Madison, who studied urban planning in college, was influenced by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, an artist who incorporated geometric glass patterns into his designs.

Sculptor Scott Tisdale’s finishes on his steel figures are burnished and reflective, glimmering in light and sinuous in design. The contrast of the sleek and coarse finishes, the small paintings and the larger than life figures caught the attention of patrons at 567, each element complementing a different element.

In the gallery at Macon Arts, Melissa Harshman’s solo exhibition required proficiency in painting, printmaking and sewing, not to mention the vision to put a puzzle of pattern and technique together that brings the viewer back for closer inspection. Harshman, an arts professor at the University of Georgia, has successfully plumbed the possibilities of combining print with textile art and other mediums; one imposing flower print is whimsically completed with a center of crocheted flowers.

Bouquets of flowers, finely stitched at their edges, are transferred to collages of other subject matter; the printmaking process produces, in some cases, a finish that resembles finely tanned leather. Harshman’s imaginative combinations of subject and texture have earned her international recognition among her peers and from exhibitions throughout the country. The exhibition will be in the gallery until September 29.

Katherine Walden is a freelance writer and interior designer in Macon. Contact her at 478-742-2224 or