Annie Greene honored for artistic contributions by governor

Published 8:00 am Saturday, March 4, 2023

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On Thursday, Troup County’s Annie Greene was one of ten recipients of the Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities.

According to a press release from Georgia Council for the Arts, Greene and nine other members of Georgia’s arts and humanities communities were awarded this honor following a competitive selection process with nominations submitted from around the state.

The recipients represent a diverse group of individuals and organizations that have contributed to and supported the growth of Georgia’s thriving creative industries through community involvement, pioneering programs and long-term financial commitment.

“When I found out that I had got this award, I couldn’t help but shed a tear or two,” Greene said. “I knew it was one of the outstanding awards that you have had to really worked hard for. I have served on the board to nominate people so I know how hard it is to receive it award. This is a very high award, and so I was very proud and overwhelmed.”

Nominating Greene for this prestigious award was the LaGrange Art Museum.

“The best thing that happened to me professionally in 2022 was the selection of Annie Greene as a recipient of the Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities,” Executive director, Laura Jennings said.” When I got the news, I cried tears of joy and called Annie right away then she was moved to tears, too. This very competitive award is a big deal.”

Upon choosing who to nominate for the competition, Jennings said Greene was a clear choice.

“The LaGrange Art Museum turns 60 this year and Annie has been with us for most of that journey. She has made long-lasting contributions to Georgia’s and LaGrange’s cultural heritage both as an artist and art educator,” Jennings said.

Now entering her ninth decade, Greene is an educator, painter, author and yarn artist. In 1955, Greene began her career as an educator serving students from elementary to college. It was during the transition of the integration of schools in Troup County in 1970, Greene picked up her art medium — yarn.

She developed her yarn art medium to teach students how to create realistic scenes when the schools did not have other supplies available.

Greene’s work is distinguished by the use of colorful knitting yarns outlined in black crochet thread. Her paintings frequently reflect culturally and socially relevant images of her life as an African American in the rural South.

Now being recognized for her contributions to art, Greene said she felt flabbergasted and honored.

“Knowing the type of people and places nominated for this award, I felt very honored to be able to receive it. I never thought I would be able to be nominated let alone win. It never dawned on me,” Greene said. “I’m deeply grateful to Laura, the past directors of the LaGrange Art Museum and LaGrange as a whole because of the encouragement they’ve given me.”