The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

November 16, 2012

Local artists visualize the ‘Heart of Athens’ in new calendar

— Twelve local artists are offering a new way of looking at familiar landmarks.

Art on the Square and Spirit of Athens are teaming to present a 2013 art calendar, “Heart of Athens,” with 14 original artworks.

“It has been so exciting dealing with all the local artists, but then getting to see their works all together has been amazing,” said Lisa Milby of Art on the Square.

The calendar, priced at $18, will be available for purchase at this weekend’s Christmas Open House on the Square. Proceeds will go to benefit Spirit of Athens downtown revitalization efforts.

The paintings will be hung in The Lifelong Learning through Dec. 17 for those who wish to view them or purchase them.

The inspiration for the calendar comes from an Oxford, Miss., calendar, “For the Love of Oxford,” which featured the watercolors of two of that city’s residents.

“We had thought of asking just four artists to work on our calendar, but thought it would be too much to ask of just four people on such short notice,” said Milby. “But then, we wanted, also, to get more people involved because we have so many good local artists. There was no jurying process so it gave our local artists the opportunity to show their works.

“What we’re doing is unprecedented. We’ve had so much cooperation. I just loved working with the artists and we’ve been able to pull this thing together in a month.”

Diane Lehr, president of Art on the Square, said each artist chose her own landmark as a subject.

“Lisa ‘gently’ suggested topics, but others supplied their own,” said Lehr. “For instance, one is of the old Hatfield Drive-in. That was before my time in Athens, and the artist chose a whimsical rather than architectural style. I’m sure for many it holds happy memories and was a very nostalgic place. So that’s what the calendar is – a combination of history and nostalgia.”

These are the featured artists and their chosen landmarks:

• Founders Hall — Gail Bergeron

• Limestone County Courthouse – Whitney Tomlin

• St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church – Lisa Milby

• First Presbyterian Church – Alissa Rose Clark

• “Moonlight on the Square” – Carole Hunt Forêt

• U.G. White and LuVici’s – Sonya Gordon

• Lake Ida – Angela True

• First United Methodist Church – Rita Campbell

• Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives – Karen Middleton

• College Inn – Lynn Weatherford

• Hatfield Drive-in – Tina Swindell

• Little Red Schoolhouse – Jennifer Rosso

• Crème Delight – Vicki Camp

• Limestone Drug – Gail Bergeron

“I am so grateful for this,” said Lehr. “It’s such a great opportunity for the public to have this calendar for a keepsake.”

Milby said the calendar will be produced and printed by the same publisher that did the Oxford calendar.

“We are using an out-of-state printer, but they are used to doing this sort of thing and can turn it around fast,” said Milby.

The calendar is printed on a high-quality, heavy paper so that individual pages might be removed at the end of the year, matted and framed for hanging.

“As with all Art on the Square projects the goal is to enhance the quality of life of Athens,” said Milby. “We feel this is so important to attract new citizens, new industries and new tourists to our area.”

Lehr said it is important to support downtown rejuvenation efforts.

“We want our downtown to thrive and we feel thriving arts are a part of that,” said Lehr.

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