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A decade of creativity

Visual Artists Alliance celebrates ten years

HOGANSVILLE – This weekend the Visual Artists Alliance of LaGrange celebrated 10 years in the community with an exhibit at The Suffering Artist in Hogansville, which is owned by VAAL member Sarah Swanson.

The gallery contained a variety of art styles ranging from the impressionistic swirls of paint and emotion that characterizes Jaasiel Barrientos’ work to nostalgic portraits by Sandy Cox.

“I think it is supposed to be something very inclusive, doesn’t really matter what your skill level is,” VAAL President Thea McElvy said. “If you come up and say, ‘I am an artist,’ and you want to put art in and you are paying your dues, then who are we to say that you are not top notch?”

The group works together to organize shows like the one at The Suffering Artist and the annual show at the LaGrange Art Museum, but the artists from the group seemed to agree that the most important part is the community it fosters among the artists.

“I think there are more friendships now because more people discuss how to price their art and ask for critiques of works,” McElvy said.

The art at the show represented the work of a range of skill levels, but they all sought similar goals.

“Just looking past bare bones presentation, and just looking at what lies underneath it (inspires me) because as an artist you see something more than what is just in front of you, and you portray how you feel,” artist Jessica Morgan said.

According to McElvy, VAAL is becoming an increasingly diverse group of artists with ceramics like those by LaGrange College Professor Austin Wieland, woodturning pieces like those by Bob Horn and even photography.

“I am one of the few photographers (with VAAL), and I do love paintings, so I am learning a little bit from them (the other artists),” artist Lori Harrell said. “I like it and I like to feel like I bring something to the group because of the way that I see things.”

To learn more about The Suffering Artist and future exhibits visit the group on Facebook or call (706) 577-5521.