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36th Annual Art in Gadsden exhibit now open

A great group of artists, admirers, donors, and volunteers gathered to attend the 36th

Annual Art in the Gadsden Juried Exhibition at the Gadsden Arts Center and Museum. The event was highly anticipated and remains one of the continuing staples of Gadsden County’s artistically cultural capital. This exhibit plans to be open from June 7 to August 24, presented by Black Fig and Thomas, Howell, Ferguson P.A. and possible with funding from the Impact Fund.

Formalities began with a Flash Sale earlier in the day at 10 a.m., and lasted for the first two days of the show; the downstairs Art in Gadsden exhibit was open for any and all alike to consider a purchase of the over 100 fine artworks by 77 local artists, some with a span of over three decades of involvement in Gadsden Arts. A gallery copy list of all artworks on display was on hand to shift through to locate individual prices, and with assistance from staff, were available for an easy purchase. Prices of displayed artworks ranged from $150 to $9,800, with all other otherwise placed in the intermediary.

The Gadsden Arts Museum and Center opened its doors preliminarily at 5 p.m. in the evening for the Art in Gadsden conference.

 Admission was free of charge for children and museum members, and $5 for nonmember adults.

Shows on the second floor to enjoy while consuming included Debbie Gaedtke, The Ways of Water; Present Tense Part III, made possible by Art Bridges; selected artworks from Thorton Dial Sr., from the Gadsden Arts Permanent Collection; and Gadsden Art Artists’ Guild’s Third Exhibition of 2024. Many who gazed inspiringly at the views were artists, interns, and appreciators who spent the evening conversing on technique, influences in their personal lives and their artistic journeys hitherto unknown.

Music was presented by the local duo, Hot Tamale, who presented classic hits in an acoustical style and who played many deep cuts from acclaimed musicians such as those of the musical group The Beach Boys.

The Awards Ceremony began at 6:30 p.m. As all convened for the multiple speakers, time was taken to appreciate those who worked so diligently in curating, coordinating, and creating the special atmosphere which lives and thrives in the halls of Gadsden Arts. This staff was recognized by Grace Robinson, Executive Director of Gadsden Arts. This included Ashley Williams, Exhibitions and Collections Curator, who herself planned placements of all pieces of the Art in Gadsden Exhibit; Melanie Joyner, bookkeeper of Gadsden Arts; Kaiyla Thompson, Museum Educator, under whose leadership the educational aspect of Gadsden Arts has been thriving; Brittany Rollins, marketing coordinator and who additionally headlines visitors services; and Scout Owen, development assistant to Grace Robinson who helps in whatever capacity, such management of all events.

A special thanks was given to Becky Reep, Museum Shop Manager, who has been involved with Gadsden Arts every week for the past thirty years. Becky Reep has been an invaluable part of the Museum, assisting and greeting in numerous and countless ways.

“Whenever I get the security call in the middle of the night, I think ‘Oh, Becky’ll be out walking

at 4:30, I can ask her to swing by!’ Every single time we need extra help or need something special, Becky is there for us, and there for me,” said Grace Robinson.

Mrs. Reep was gifted for her committed dedication with flowers and artwork.

Another special thanks was given to Quincy Mainstreet for assisting to co-ordinate with Gadsden Arts during past events, and for facilitating the current renaissance that the Quincy Courthouse Square is currently having, with opening of several new businesses, shops, and restaurants within the past fiscal year.

Erin Wolfe Bell, director at the Thomasville Center for the Arts and who judged all of the pieces, was unable to attend the proceedings, but left personally tailored notes for all of the artists recognized during the awards ceremony. Award Sponsors for the 36th Annual Art in Gadsden included Full Earth Farm, Lines, Hinson, and Lines, Iron Oak Wealth Management, and Doug Crowley Insurance Services.

Representatives from these sponsors presented recognitions for the four-tiered placements and honorable mentions, which were the following:

Best of Show – Joyce, by Cathy Hathaway

First Place – Black Bear Girl, by Sarah Painter Hayes

Second Place – Nature in the Raw, by Yoshiko Murdick

Third Place – Sitting Chair, by Dorothy West

Honorable Mentions – Woodpeck Canopy, by Meredith Maloney; Porkchops and Pancakes, by Janice Ecinja McCaskill; Before the Harvest Begins, by Jimmy Nicholson; and My 3 Kids, by Joel Thorton.

Ruben Dario Uribe