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ART BEAT: Association invites participation in Suwanee Art Walk

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

The North Gwinnett Arts Association isn't a year old yet, but its membership is already planning some dynamic and inclusive events to enhance the local arts.

Led by Vickie Johnson and Alan Zarter, the group continues to expand its membership. Now it is launching Art Walk, an event to feature area artists of all kinds from 5 to 9 p.m. July 29 in Suwanee's Town Center.

Businesses throughout the city's inner core feature a Toast at Town Center the last Thursday of each month from May through October. NGAA hopes to use this ongoing event to promote its membership. Artists will have their artwork featured in shop windows and outside on sidewalks.

"Visitors will be able to meet the artists and see original work on display in available store fronts throughout Town Center," Johnson said. "Restaurants will feature 'artsy' menu items. A drawing will be held to raise funds for Annandale Village toward the purchase of art equipment, and a lucky winner will win cash to be put towards the purchase of any NGAA artwork on sale."

"The opportunity to display your work at Art Walk is for NGAA members only," she said, "and we want to invite new members to sign up and participate. There is still time to plan to join NGAA and be a part of this event. We'd love to line all the sidewalks with artwork."

New members might want to bring an easel to display their artwork or be prepared to display it on a tabletop.

NGAA members are also making sure visitors will be able to find them. Individual artists are painting or otherwise embellishing large "feet" made out of linoleum to be placed on the sidewalks to direct people to the artwork. The feet need to be ready by July 23, so any new members who would enjoy this task are urged to get involved soon.

"If this Art Walk goes well, we will have another one in August and September," Johnson said.

Membership in NGAA continues to grow. Now up to 70 members, the organization represents many different types of creativity.

"We invite all artists," Johnson said, "painters, digital artists, photographers, potters, woodworkers, metal workers, jewelers, fabric artists, writers, poets, actors and actresses and more."

Some of the artists who will be participating in the Art Walk include David Babulski who creates his artwork by looking through a microscope and painting what he sees. Another artist is Lee Martin, a retired Army colonel and author of six suspense novels with more on the way. Susan Rohrabaugh is a "recycle artist," creating three-dimensional artwork using scraps of paper. Ben Mathis uses recycled, water-based automotive paint to create his paintings. And, of course, Anita Stewart has gotten involved as well. Stewart is a well-known Gwinnett artist and the owner of Anita's ArtsCool.

NGAA has enjoyed a quick start and has optimism about its future.

"We plan on being around for a long time," Johnson said. "We have a strong board and a diverse wealth of members who are eager to meet others and share their talents. I have no doubt that NGAA will be a strong force for promoting the arts and the creative folks in Gwinnett."

To get involved in this organization and be a part of Art Walk, visit www.northgwinnettartsassociation.com.