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Local artists selected in southeast art competition

Ten local artists out of 187 across the southeast have been selected to display their work at the Southeast Regional Exhibition.

Almost 700 pieces of art were submitted by 187 Southern artists for a juried exhibition set to open in LaGrange Feb. 21 at both the LaGrange Art Museum and LaGrange College’s Lamar Dodd Art Center.

Local artists Sarah Swanson, Lori Harrell, Henry Jacobs, Elliot McHugh, Ashley McHugh, Adrian Alsobrook, Alyssa Freeman, Steve Morgan and Thea McElvy will have their art displayed and for sale at the third biannual competition.

“This event lets them list on their resume that they exhibited their work at an art museum,” said LaGrange Art Museum Executive Director Laura Jennings. “That elevates their status. The Callaway Foundation gives $10,000 to both us and the LaGrange College’s Lamar Dodd Art Center to buy some art from the show. So, they know that their art might possibly be purchased, and then become part of the permanent collection for either of these two art museums.”

The juror for this year’s competition was Curlee Raven Holton, executive director of the David C. Driskell Center and senior artist-in-residence in the Department of Art at the University of Maryland. As a printmaker and painter, Holton has exhibited his artwork throughout the U.S. and abroad for more than 25 years. He is also the founding director of the Experimental Printmaking Institute at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.

“I think it is a great testimony to the artists who are producing in our community,” Jennings said. “They are competing with the best practicing artists in the southeast.”

Jennings encourages art lovers in the community to support these artists by purchasing their work. Buyers work directly with the artist to make purchases.

“Three of my favorite paintings at my house were purchased from these exhibitions,” Jennings said. “I highly recommend upgrading your personal collection with a purchase from one of these artists.”

The Southeast Regional traces its roots to the LaGrange National Competition, which began in 1964 when a competitive show known as the Gardens Art Festival was organized and pponsored by Callaway Gardens, LaGrange College and the Chattahoochee Valley Art Association, which is now the LaGrange Art Museum.

The exhibits will open Friday, Feb. 21 from 6  p.m. to 9 p.m. at both the LaGrange Art Museum and LaGrange College’s Lamar Dodd Art Center. Jennings said many of the artists will be at the opening.

The exhibit will run until April 18.

“It’s a mix of photography, sculpture and paintings,” Jennings said. “We are hoping people will go to both receptions.”

For more information, contact the LaGrange Art Museum at (706) 882-3267 or go to lagrangeartmuseum.org.