Seeing artists as they see themselves



JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Johns Creek Arts Center Program Director/Curator Althea Harris has brought together some interesting art shows, but her latest one, “Now You See Me: Contemporary Self-Portraiture,” asks a lot from the contributing artists.

Harris is a conjurer, getting the artists to submit self-portraits so that we in some way we can peek into the artists’ souls.

“I wanted to see what sorts of art they would produce, and it is certainly as diverse and individualistic as I could have hoped for,” said Harris.

Indeed, the artists worked in a range of media, including oil and canvas, photography, acrylic, pottery and more.

Arts Center board member Kathy Ortwerth said the submissions just “fill the rooms with energy.”

“The works are so obviously personal. They really reveal their inner self, but in so many different ways,” Ortwerth said.

K. Joy Ballard Peters, who won “Best in Show,” works mostly in appliqué, which involves ornamental needlework and sewing various pieces of fabric in different shapes and patterns to form a larger pattern. It can include all sorts of additional media blended in the art.

“I have things in the piece that represent important parts of my life,” Peters said.

Harris said the judges like her work because it was a representation of her whole life, symbolic of the fabric that makes up any life. The pieces give the whole.

Harris said this is a “fun” exhibition.

“Of all the shows we have done, I have enjoyed this one the most,” she said. “I really got to know all of the artists.”

Harris also noted the Arts Center is casting a wider net, pulling in more artists from the Atlanta area.

“I am pleased we drew younger artists from the University of Georgia and the Savannah College of Art & Design.”

She said the organization is beginning to spread its wings.

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