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Annual juried art show premieres today

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

Seventy works by Georgia artists will be on display throughout the month of February during Arts Clayton's eighth annual Juried Show and Competition. The exhibit, which will premiere today at 5:30 p.m., will feature two- and three-dimensional art by new and established Georgia artists.

"This year's exhibit is different from previous years because of the higher number of 3-D artwork than in previous shows," said Karen Powers, gallery manager of Arts Clayton. "That brings an element of interest to the show. It's a little more interactive."

The 70 pieces selected for this year's competition came from more than 150 entries from around the state. According to Powers, 20 of those entries are three-dimensional works.

Courtney Fort, gallery assistant for Arts Clayton, said many of the three-dimensional works were made out of "re-purposed items." Old pieces of wood, brick, marble, cardboard, and used farm equipment were twisted, melted and reshaped to create artistic statements.

"There's a mask made from the disks of an old tractor," said Fort. "There's a piece made from pick axes and a saw. It definitely does inspire people to create more art."

"Red," a piece by Dustin Cramer of Jonesboro, features a life-size dog formed from layers of stacked wood. "Redeemed," a piece by Carl Poucher of Carrollton, is a configuration of twisted metal farm tools. "Counting the Days Until You Return," by Steve Pritchard, features hundreds of hash marks etched and burned into a circular pattern on a piece of wood.

Powers said the two-dimensional art featured in the exhibit shows a wide variety of depth in both subject matter and medium.

"Company," by Michael Sawecki of Hampton, illustrates a quiet scene of children hiding under blankets, while "Blue Mood Jazz Night," by Pamela Gartrell of Union City, illustrates a festive night at a jazz club.

"First to Fight," by Marc Stewart of Newnan, shows a Revolutionary War solider heading into battle.

The pieces will be critiqued by judges representing the Atlanta Contemporary Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia and the High Museum of Art. The best-of-show winner will have their artwork purchased by Arts Clayton and added to the gallery's permanent collection. There will be $300, $200, and $100 cash prizes for the first, second, and third place winners, respectively, as well as several honorable mention awards.

The winners of the exhibition will be announced today at Arts Clayton, during the Juried Show and Competition's Opening Reception. The free event will feature food and refreshments from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

For more information, call Arts Clayton at (770) 473-5457 or visit www.artsclayton.org/gallery.