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ART BEAT: Kudzu Art Zone's 'Open' juried exhibit an eclectic mix

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The piece "Roman Poppies" by Nancy Nowak is one of the many juried works on display at Kudzu Art Zone's "Open" exhibition.

A new event for Kudzu Art Zone opened on June 14 and will be available to viewers through July 27 in its gallery at 116 Carlyle St. in downtown Norcross. The venue is presenting its first "Open" show, which features 51 pieces of art juried by Larry Walker, a professor emeritus at Georgia State University and a member of the Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia.

A gala opening reception is from 6 to 9 p.m. today. The public is invited. If art lovers can't make the reception, the exhibition is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

"Mr. Walker carefully selected an eclectic, outstanding show," Kudzu spokesperson Lucy Brady said. "Many new artists not seen in Norcross before as well as Norcross artists and Kudzu members are represented in many media. There are two- and three-dimensional works and a variety of subject matter."

There were 170 works by 71 artists originally submitted.

Some notable work includes David Radersdorf's "Organica," a mysterious world of spheres and cobweb forms rendered colorfully in ink. Nancy Nowak, a well-known pastel artist, has several works in the show, notably "Roman Poppies," a field of bright red poppies that "fairly sings," according to Brady.

"A delightful three-piece in clay is 'Curly,'" Brady said. "This piece is by Allen Ferg. One just senses that the subject, a girl, is a loveable, sassy one."

"'Baid nah Eirann' is an unusual bold black and white work in a reductive woodcut process," she said.

Kudzu also offers opportunities to learn or to hone one's artistic abilities through workshops and classes. Many of these classes are occurring later in the summer, but interested students should contact Kudzu as soon as possible for availability.

Artist Lynn Weisbach has been conducting a series of workshops to help the artist create works of art that take the viewer on an exciting and engaging journey. Other workshops have focused on helping artists express their unique vision. During Weisbach's 23 years of teaching, she has helped artists with these and other valuable lessons. The workshops are available to artists of all levels. Session 4 will begin on July 12 and run almost weekly through Aug. 20.

Other art classes are available during the summer and fall. Connie Reilly teaches a portrait and figure drawing and a painting in oil class throughout August and September. Sissy Saffell will teach an intriguing class titled "The Art of Using Paper as Paint" during three days in late August.

Kudzu members also enjoy a free, members-only Tuesday evening figure drawing class, and Southern Colours hosts an open studio for Kudzu members on the first Friday of each month.

Kudzu Art Zone will also mount an exhibition called "Tickle Your Fancy" Aug. 7 through Sept. 2.

For more information about the Norcross venue, visit www.kudzuartzone.org or call 770-840-9844.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.