VAAL opens its annual show

Published 7:09 pm Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Visual Artists Alliance of LaGrange opened its annual show at the LaGrange Art Museum Friday evening. The show features works by local artists in a wide variety of mediums.

VAAL focuses on helping local artists by providing exposure through shows like the one at LAM and by providing a community in which they can learn and grow their skills.

“Everybody who has been here for a while has grown and evolved, and we have 13 new members, so there are lots of new works and new styles and works (of art),” VAAL President Thea McElvy said. “I couldn’t be more pleased.”

LAM has partnered with VAAL for years, and recognizes the group as a major part of the visual artist community in Troup County.

“I think the show turned out great,” LAM Board President Andy Porter said. “There is a great representation of the culture here in Troup County.”

That culture goes far beyond one show though.

“I think they are crucial for having a place for local artists to get together and collaborate,” Porter said. “To see each other and learn from each other (is vital).”

That ability to collaborate is perhaps one of the most valuable aspects of VAAL to the artists involved.

“I think it has plugged me into the community here a little bit more,” said Austin Wieland, a ceramics artist and professor at LaGrange College. “We are still pretty new to the area, so before we moved here we didn’t really know the artist community. This has really opened us up to a lot of artists in the area, and we’ve met a lot of great people here.”

Wieland and his wife relocated to LaGrange so that he could work at LaGrange College. VAAL has become increasingly active and the artists in the group are already preparing for a 2018 show. The Visual Artists Alliance of LaGrange’s art show and the Revolutionary War art exhibit will both be open to the public through Oct. 30.