Heating up the summer with art opportunities

Athens Art League

by Holly Hollman
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ATHENS-Art opportunities are hot happenings this summer in Athens.

Athens Arts League and its artists at High Cotton Arts are offering and supporting a variety of art
experiences for all ages.

On Saturday, July 13, High Cotton will host this season’s last Art Walk on The Square. Art lovers can visit
High Cotton Arts and seven participating downtown merchants to shop for locally made art, see art
demos and participate in pop-up art classes.

“A couple of our artists created this event last year and have continued the series to promote
collaboration with downtown businesses, exposing art lovers to the art presence we have downtown,”
said Athens Arts League Board President Holly Hollman. “In our downtown area you can find gorgeous
creations in various art mediums from paintings to silk scarves to photographs to pottery.”


Mikayla Brown

The Art Walk will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. High Cotton will host two guest artists, Mikayla Brown and
Kirsten Bonn Salem. Brown will have pottery, and Salem will have wire-wrapped jewelry and birdhouse
In addition to the participating businesses on The Square, Frank’s Good Stuff will highlight its artists,
including former High Cotton artists. Owner Frank Crafts, a long-time supporter of Athens Arts League,
said patrons who attend during Saturday’s Art Walk will glimpse some of the original art he’ll feature
Tuesday, July 16, from 3-8 p.m. during “A Night for the Artists.” There will be live music, refreshments
and original art for sale at the July 16 event.

A belch will become an art opportunity on Saturday, July 20, 10:30 a.m. when High Cotton will host a
book reading and art project with children’s author Gina Crawford. She will read her 12 th book, “The
Burp Heard Round the School,” based on a true local story.

“My brother Jody and two of his friends were sitting at the table when ‘it’ happened,” she said in a post
about her book. “Jody and I told this story many times. My fascinated little sister insisted that I write a
book about the experience.”

The event is free and is for ages 5-12. Registration is required because of limited space for the art
project. To register, send an email to highcottonarts1@gmail.com.

In addition to these and other summer events, Athens Arts League is honored to share news about
board member and retired Athens State University art professor Gail Bergeron. On Thursday, July 11,
during a Small Business Summit at Athens State’s LaunchBox, there will be a captivating art installation
based on Bergeron’s rendering. The project blends artist creation with technology. Photos and videos
will be shared after the event.

Bergeron also curated the Paper, Canvas, Clay Show opening at the Alabama Center for the Arts in
Decatur on Friday, July 12, with a reception at noon. Bergeron said the show will feature artwork from
Robert Cox, David Edwards, Dennis Johnson, Fay Littrell, Paxton Mobley and Doris Welch. The show will
go through Aug. 30.

Athens Arts League Board Vice President Jennifer Hilton Sampieri said these collaborations strengthen a
vibrant art and music scene in Athens.

“Our mission is to support artists, promote art education and bring cultural events to Athens and
Limestone County, so these events and partnerships allow us to achieve our mission,” she said.

Art Events List

 Art Walk on The Square – July 13 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This month’s theme is “For The Love of
Art.” Brochures and maps available at High Cotton Arts. Other participating businesses include
Driftwood Dragonfly, Broken Brush Studio, Crawford’s Gifts, Frame Gallery, Antiques on
Jefferson, Athens Farmers Market on Green Street and Frank’s Good Stuff just off The Square at
414 S. Jefferson. Some businesses will have pop-up classes and presentations/demonstrations.

 “A Night for the Artists” – July 16 from 3-8 p.m. at Frank’s Good Stuff. Will feature the works of
Amelia Smith, Tina Swindell, Debby Smith and Dinah Petree Rhodes, and will include artwork
from other artists. There will be live music and refreshments.

 Author Gina Crawford book reading and art project – July 20 from at 10:30 a.m. at High Cotton
Arts. This is a free children’s event but registration is required. For ages 5-12. The book is “The
Burp Heard Round the School.” To register, send an email to highcottonarts1@gmail.com.

 “History Takes the Stage Exhibit” – On display through August at High Cotton Arts in one of the
art studios. Come by during business hours to see fine arts related memorabilia and other items
collected by the late Jackie and Helen Greenhaw. Items on loan from the Athens City Schools
Foundation, such as band uniforms, theater production program, choir record, photographs, a
painting of Green University and more.

 Art After Hours – Aug. 10 from 7-9 p.m. Will be on Washington Street in front of High Cotton
Arts. Free concert featuring gospel acts OWAP, Cynthia Hines and Dante Pride. High Cotton will
be open, and there will be art activities for kids.

 Art After Hours – Sept. 6 from 7-9 p.m. Will be on Washington Street in front of High Cotton
Arts. Free concert featuring After Bedtime performing R&B. High Cotton will be open, and there
will be a student art exhibit and tribute to September being Childhood Cancer Awareness

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