LaGrange Art Museum set for big year as it celebrates 60th anniversary

Published 8:30 am Saturday, February 4, 2023

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The LaGrange Art Museum (LAM) has announced that in 2023 the museum will celebrate its diamond year. Traditionally diamonds are given as gifts for a 60th anniversary, and this year LAM is due its diamonds. 

“It always takes a team of passionate, committed community members to start something that endures,” Executive Director Laura Jennings said. “In June 1963, Joyce Jackson held a meeting of like-minded art lovers in her home for the first meeting of the Chattahoochee Valley Art Association. Six months later they had created the not-for-profit Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum now known as the LaGrange Art Museum.”

Jennings said those who are active with the museum today, stand on the foundation created by so many hardworking citizens.

“It is no small thing to meet the needs of the community by providing immersive exhibitions and art education for six decades,” Jennings said. “Sixty years is only possible because of the devotion of the Callaway Foundation. The Foundation is the reason locals and tourists can enjoy the museums, historic homes and performing arts that we have here.”

Jennings said LAM plans to celebrate its anniversary all year long with several programs planned throughout the year.

“We’ll have art teacher Bob Ross and artist Andy Warhol riding in the Mardi Gras Parade on the 11th. On April 28, we will host Denim and Diamonds, an explosively fun party at the Del’avant. We’ll also host a holiday soiree in December to toast the actual anniversary,” Jennings said.

In her years as the executive director for LAM, Jennings said the best part has been the connections she’s made.

“I’ve been here for five years but have been active with the museum most of my adult life as a board member or volunteer,” Jennings said. “I have made life-long friendships, met new friends and learned so much about art and its ability to communicate powerfully to individuals as well as to the masses. Our museum is welcoming — everyone belongs here.”

Jennings said she plans for the museum to continue to grow and evolve as the city has.

“I have ambitious hopes for the museum’s future. I would like to see our endowment grow and secure $16 million to implement Phase I of our master plan for the buildings,” Jennings said. “From moms with strollers, older folks with bad knees and those in wheelchairs, we must have a passenger elevator on the ground level entrance. The interior of the building has not had any substantive improvements since the ‘80s. With those improvements, I hope the much sought-after Cochran Collection will find a permanent home here.”