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Augusta, Georgia, is an excellent art destination for those interested in the world of Southern US culture. The city hosts the Morris Museum of Art, one of the most important institutions in the States to showcase regional, historical art from the 19th century onwards; and a number of other artist-run galleries featuring the work of local painters and photographers. Read our guide to Augusta’s ten best art galleries.
The Department of Art of Georgia Regents University is one of the top education institutions in Augusta that a student interested in the arts can aspire to exhibit in. This is not only for the quality and respectability of the faculty’s programmes, but also because the department has a fully-fledged, in-house art gallery, the Mary S. Byrd Gallery, that might be the first to showcase their emerging talent. Displaying works by the very future of the local art scene, Mary S. Byrd Gallery is the place to go to take a look at where regional art is going, and what there is to expect from its development. All exhibitions are free of charge and open to the general public.
Downtown Augusta is home to a host of contemporary art galleries, all located very close to each other – in fact, most of them are found down Broad Street. These galleries participate in Artists’ Row, a special project launched twenty years ago to revitalise this part of the city. Artists Row is a collaboration between galleries to offer art events — exhibitions, workshops, art classes, etc. — in order to stimulate public engagement with the arts, as well as supporting the local art community. Jim and Kristin Tar, the owners of Art On Broad, have jumped on the Artists’ Row bandwagon with their gallery in 1997. Art On Broad represents over 70 artists, including painters, sculptors, craftsmen and jewellers.
Art On Broad Inc 1028 Broad St Augusta, GA, USA, +1 706 722 1028
Of all the galleries on Broad Street, Artistic Perceptions is the oldest: artist Wanta L. Davenport opened it in 1990, and celebrated the gallery’s 26th anniversary last February. Davenport is an established local painter, who originally founded Artistic Perceptions to showcase her personal work. In the following years, however, she joined the efforts of the neighbouring galleries to make of Broad Street and its surrounding area the centre of the city’s art life and community. To this end, she started hosting exhibitions of artworks by fellow artists within Artistic Perceptions’ walls, a mission she has never stopped pursuing since.
Artistic Perceptions, 551 Broad St, Augusta, GA, USA, +1 706 724 8739
Not only is OddFellows one of the latest galleries to have joined Artists Row, but it is also one with a very distinct and strong personality. Indeed, the gallery represents a number of artists characterized by unique and unconventional talent. Leonard Zimmerman for example, who goes by the pseudonym of Porkchop, is known for painting whimsical scenes featuring funny characters with a style heavily influenced by his graphic design studies; and Margaret Ann Smith paints quasi-surrealistic urban scenarios filled with bending streets and buildings. The gallery was founded by photographer Syd Padgett, who is currently serving as Artists’ Row’s president.
OddFellows Art Gallery and Framing 1036 Broad St Augusta, GA, +1 706 513 0916
Tire City Potters deals exclusively in pottery. It was founded in 2001 by artist Shishir Chokshi, in a two-storey garage that was once occupied by a tire company – hence the name. After experiencing a period of financial trouble, Chokshi started offering custom framing services along selling his pots and vessels, successfully bringing the business back on its feet. Featuring more of a workshop or studio ambiance than a gallery, Tire City Potters puts on display the beautiful, original creations of Chokshi himself and a number of other painstaking regional craftsmen.
Tire City Potters, 210 10th St, Augusta, GA, USA, +1 706 294 3871