Pinckneyville Community Center to hold artists expo

NORCROSS - Creativity was kindled this summer at Gwinnett's Pinckneyville Community Center.

While some kids spent the summer swimming or playing games, the Norcross center hosted day camps in painting, drawing, hip-hop dance, in-line skating and even pottery.

"It's a great thing for kids than just going to the pool and playing kickball," said program supervisor Khary Williams, adding that 40 to 65 kids participated in camps each week.

On Saturday, to wrap up the summer and start of the fall, the county will host an expo and a contest for the budding young artists.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., artists and instructors will give demonstrations, and kids can make crafts.

Highlights include class demonstrations in ballet, a Children's Technology Workshop, drama, martial arts, modeling, modern jazz dance, oil painting, pottery, Yoga and FUNdementals, which helps younger children explore the world of art.

The Expo will also include a student art show and Awesome Artist Contest. Admission is free.

For 40 years, Pinckneyville artists have added a touch of color to the Norcross community.

Norcross Mayor Lillian Webb, who met with the group in the '60s, said the home has changed many times, but the significance has only grown.

"It has evolved into something that has attracted very upscale organizations and groups," she said. "It has been very meaningful in terms of identifying who we are."

Pinckneyville Park Community Center, located at 4650 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., opened in 2002, but a former Pinckneyville Arts Center along the Chattahoochee River served as the county's arts headquarters for two decades.

A writer's group, robot hobby club and chess and bridge clubs meet regularly at the center, and "Van Gogh trips" to the Atlanta Zoo, Yellow Daisy Festival, Atlanta Botanical Gardens and other venues are offered to patrons.

Williams said the center will offer 56 different classes in the arts, dance, martial arts and even Spanish and other general interests in the fall session, beginning in September.

The center offers the parks and recreation system's only pottery studio as well as a courtyard, which is being revamped by master gardeners for a project.

For more information about classes and regular clubs, call 770-417-2200 or visit www.gwinnettparks.com.

Also this month, the community center is sponsoring a collaborative exhibit of two and three-dimensional work by students. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Artists participating in the show, which runs until Oct. 24, are: Rita Wilms, Olga Schwartz, Michaela McKeever, Juan Almaguer, Gaye Markley, Hilary Wilson, Catherine Susky, Peggy Sullens, Cheryl McKinnon, Mary Harriman, Phyllis Ingham, Murlee Mayhue, James Feeley, Linda Hull, Lea Marshall, Gia Lillie, Joyce Wood, Jane Royal, Bonnie Cataldo, and Harrilee Santoro.

Winners of the "Awesome Artist Contest," which is for children ages 4 to 18, will be announced at 2:30 p.m. at the Pinckneyville Expo. That artwork will be on display at the center from Aug. 26 to Sept. 7.