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Kudzu Art Zone presents 'Colorful Concoctions'

Much like its botanical namesake, Kudzu Art Zone is springing up and taking over. This group of more than 100 local artists has refurbished an existing gallery space in the heart of historic Norcross, and it is flourishing as it presents exciting visual arts opportunities for the community.

One of these opportunities will be "Colorful Concoctions," a juried members' exhibition on display March 14 through April 26 in the newly restored Kudzu headquarters at 116 Carlyle St.

Kudzu spokeswoman Karen Garner said "Colorful Concoctions" will run the gamut from abstract to realism to functional and will include two-dimensional and three-dimensional artwork. The theme for the exhibition was developed purely as a way to encourage creativity.

"We try to select titles for our shows that will inspire and challenge our artists," Garner said. "The titles are not just a hook for publicity. They are titles to spark the imagination."

There is still plenty of time to become one of the exhibitors. The individual artists and artwork that will comprise the show are not completely decided upon yet. The existing 100-plus members are still at work on their creations, and a special workshop featuring the exhibition juror, Judi Betts, will generate even more entries.

"Judi Betts will be coming to Kudzu on March 10 to 14 for the workshop with our members," Garner said. "Ms. Betts is a world-renowned watercolorist, instructor and painter from Baton Rouge, La. She's a very colorful person herself; I know she will inspire our artists. They will be working every day of the workshop from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Ms. Betts will have them outdoors, as well as inside. After all, this is a very colorful time of year in our area. The title "Colorful Concoctions" is perfect for spring as we start seeing color coming out in our beautiful Southern landscape."

The Kudzu Art Zone group consists mostly of Gwinnett artists, although there are a few members from outside the county.

"We have a variety of expertise," Garner said. "We have two-dimensional artists, fibers artists and sculptors. People seeking art are finding that Kudzu is a great resource for them as well. It is a studio for working artists, a way for local artists to show their work. But it is also a place for collectors to find and purchase artwork for home or office."

As they prepare for "Colorful Concoctions," Kudzu artists are also on display with the exhibition "Breaking Boundaries," which will continue through Feb. 23.

Garner invites the public to visit and join the growing number of local artists at Kudzu - and perhaps even be selected for "Colorful Concoctions."

"Our meetings are the last Thursday in the month, and we are open to the public. You don't have to be an artist to come to our meetings," she said.

Kudzu also gave kudos to the local government. "The city of Norcross has been fabulous to us," Garner said. "We are truly a unique group. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and we are actively seeking grants and funding for our efforts to support art and artists in our area."

For more information, visit Kudzu Art Zone at 116 Carlyle St., call them at 770-840-9844, or visit www.kudzuartzone.org.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. E-mail hcalmes@mindspring.com.