Local ties: Exhibits at Aiken Center for the Arts highlight work of local artists

December 15, 2018

The December exhibits at the Aiken Center for the Arts feature works of local artists as well as those with ties to Aiken.

Beginning Dec. 4, the arts center began featuring the work of Dr. Linda Hardy, George Dawnay and Betty Austin in the center’s main and Aiken Artists Guild galleries with pieces for sale through Jan. 25.

Artwork from East Aiken School of the Arts will be on display through Dec. 31 in the second-floor Brooks Gallery.

The Aiken Center for the Arts is located at 122 Laurens St. S.W. and admission is free.

George Dawnay

George Dawnay, currently living in Tennessee, has ties to Aiken and the polo community. Married with three children, Dawnay visits Aiken several times per year to spend time with his in-laws. His first cousin Hugh Dawnay taught polo in Ireland and Palm Beach, Fla., and his father, David Dawnay, earned a silver medal in the 1936 Olympic Games.

Over the years, Dawnay’s work has varied in medium and genre. The current exhibition concentrates on animals in the medium of Conté. The Conté crayon, made from a blend of natural pigments, kaolin clay and graphite, has been used by many of the world’s greatest artists, including Picasso, Delacroix and Degas. Dawnay’s art education is world-wide, including study under Charles Weed in London (1993-95), the Florence Academy of Art (1995-2000), mural apprentice with Alexander Hamilton (2000-2003) and painting murals in Tuscany. In 2003, Dawnay moved to Chattanooga, Tenn., to study with Cessna Decosimo (2003-2006) and has painted murals in San Francisco and Sonoma.

Dr. Linda Hardy

Painting primarily in acrylics, Dr. Linda Hardy considers her paintings to be simple in composition using a minimalist palette, with a draw to loose, semi-abstract landscape painting as a reflection of her love of and identification with nature and its beauty.

Now retired from her career in Augusta as a child and adolescent psychiatrist, she says: “Painting and the practice of medicine feel similar to me in some ways. Both require a substantial base of knowledge about materials and practice, attention to detail, constant learning and practice, the ability to concentrate, the willingness to be surprised, creativity and coming to terms with the limits of one’s ability.”

Betty Austin

As a child, Betty Austin enjoyed art classes. Although she would draw as an adult, there seemed to be little time until retirement to pursue art.

After living briefly in Mexico, she returned to the U.S. and began as a student of Iris Scoggins in North Augusta. Inspiration for the current show comes from her travels to such places as Swan Lake, Lake Chapala in Mexico and Pigeon Forge.

“I especially like color and texture, and it’s a challenge to translate what I see and feel to canvas. Each new picture adds to things I am learning to do,” Austin said. Along with painting, she enjoys cooking and gardening with her husband, Tom.

Student artwork

Students from the East Aiken School of the Arts will display pieces from grades K-5 at ACA’s second-floor Brooks Gallery.

Under the direction of art teacher Tamara Smith, in her second year at the elementary school, the art promises to be colorful, energetic and fun.

For more information about this exhibition and other programs of the Aiken Center for the Arts, contact Program Director Tracy Seconi at 803-641-9094 or progmgr@aikencenterforthearts.org.

The mission of Aiken Center for the Arts is to inspire, engage and educate by providing unique visual and performing arts experiences for all ages.

For more information, visit AikenCenterfortheArts.org or Facebook.com/AikenCenterfortheArts.

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