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Gwinnett artist Mikki Dillon shares her time, talent

The name Mikki Dillon has long been familiar among the visual arts community in Gwinnett, but it's amazing to find out how deeply involved in the arts she truly is. Dillon can be found volunteering at the Kudzu Arts Zone in Norcross or painting the walls of St. Edwards Episcopal Church's art gallery. But that's just for starters, because she seems to be everywhere.

Dillon has been very active for a long time in the Southeastern Pastel Society. She is also among the Plein Air Painters of Georgia, and she regularly participates in the Atlanta Artists Center. There's more, such as regular annual visits to Creighton Island off the Georgia coast for more plein air art. She'll be headed for Edisto Beach in September and Folly Island in October. Whew!

Her art is almost entirely pastels, and it is not hard to find for the avid art gallery patron. Having just joined the Kudzu Art Zone folks not long ago, she has already been in three of their exhibitions, and in one of these she won a second-place award. The upcoming show, beginning July 11, will be titled "Feel the Heat." She is hoping that two of her paintings of Providence Canyon in south Georgia will be included.

Perhaps her most extreme effort came with the refurbishment of the art gallery at St. Edwards Episcopal Church. Located on Moon Road in Lawrenceville, this venue has had artwork displayed for almost 20 years. The art has always been popular with the membership, and so Dillon took over the curatorship as a volunteer. With new shows every three months, pretty soon it was evident that "the walls were shot." So Dillon and husband Wendell put approximately 161 hours into the 19'x30' gallery, striping wallpaper and priming and painting the walls a new color.

After five weeks of hard labor, and several false starts with different colors, the gallery walls are now a warm red. "We finished in time for our 50th wedding anniversary, which was May 17," Mikki said. "And now there is a wonderful exhibition there titled 'Adventures Far and Near.'" There are 21 paintings including many plein air paintings of Creighton Island, New Mexico, and Maine."

Dillon's involvement in the Southeastern Pastel Society also extends back 20 years when they began. She edited their newsletter until recently, but she still remained Reception Chairman for the show that opened June 12 at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art.

To get in touch with Dillon about her artwork or the many arts groups she helps, e-mail her at paintnmikki@mindspring.com. To see samples of her work, visit www.pleinairpaintersofga.com.