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News from The Columbus Museum


Columbus is a mid-sized city in the state of Georgia. Following a recent reduction in persons migrating away, Columbus has witnessed a recent increase of folks who have moved to the city. If you are into history, Columbus commemorates and celebrates our country’s past.

The Columbus Museum is pleased to announce they are a recipient of the 2021 Southeastern Museums Conference Gold Award in the Under $10,000 category for the exhibition And So She Did: Women of the Chattahoochee Valley. The SEMC Exhibition Competition showcases the best in our profession and provides benchmarks for regional exhibition efforts in southeastern museums.

Create your own liquid chalk paint using only water, cornstarch, and food coloring! Let us know how yours came out and what you used it on!

Well, it’s fall, my favorite time of year! I decided to celebrate by pulling together three past episodes related to this beautiful season. We’ll revisit a stunning view of the Hudson River by Jasper Cropsey and see how Charles Sheeler turned a country stove into a modern image. Last but not least is Alma Thomas and her exuberant “Autumn Drama.”

Thomaston Native Skyler Williams currently serves as an intern for Columbus State University and has been instrumental in the development of the “Axis Among Us: World War II POW Camps in The Chattahoochee Valley” Exhibition, which is currently on display at The Columbus Museum until Nov. 28.

For the past 40 years, Jerome Hershey has been exploring color and creating unique abstract paintings in his second-floor studio (and occasional gallery) space on North Queen street in Lancaster

The National Gallery of Art’s annual Wilmerding Symposium will take place from September 22 to September 23, 2021. This year’s Symposium will be part of a celebration dedicated to renowned artist Alma Thomas on the 130th anniversary of her birth.

TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF FALL and the 130th anniversary of the birth of Alma Thomas (1891-1978), an occasion for celebration. The pioneering artist known for her vibrant and rhythmic abstract paintings was born Sept. 22, 1891. Inspired by space and nature, her color-rich works include “Autumn Drama” (circa 1969), “Autumn Leaves Fluttering in the Breeze” (1973), and “Before Autumn” (1974).

Georgia offers a variety of opportunities to enjoy art in traditional museum settings. But Georgia also has notable folk-art destinations that allow visitors to see art off-the-beaten path. I’ve experienced Georgia’s art scene in both ways, wandering the halls of its art museums and exploring everyday locales transformed by a folk artist’s imagination. In this post, I’ve described a few of my favorite places in both categories, along with tips for visiting.

As the second-largest city in the state, Columbus, Georgia offers experiences and amusements for any type of visitor who enters its borders. Come solo, with a travel buddy, or in a group – this eclectic town has so much to offer, you and your companions are guaranteed to find something to suit your individual sightseeing wants and needs. Enjoy the great Georgian outdoors; dive into museums filled with history and education; treat your senses to sights, cultures, and tastes that you’ve never experienced before; and simply enjoy exploring a town that’s not your own.

More than ever, I understand the desire of legendary curator and artist guru Walter Hopps, who told me 30 years ago that his taste in art was catholic—at any given moment there were more than 200 artists whose work interested him deeply. My roundup this fall is definitely catholic, brimming with shows I must see, hope to see, or wish I could see.

The painter Alma Thomas was eighty years old when she finally hit it big, receiving a small solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1972- the first at that institution for a Black woman - and another exhibition later that same year at the Corcoran Gallery. Her name was made by this twilight efflorescence, but there was plenty of art packed into the eight decades that preceded it.

Andrea Kirsh reviews "Alma Thomas; Everything is Beautiful," an expansive catalog published in conjunction with the traveling exhibition of the same name. Andrea says both the catalog and exhibition tell the under known history of Alma Thomas's life as an artist, educator, role model and inspiration to many.

Tracing the artist’s journey through a collection of over 150 objects, including painted canvases, works on paper, sculptures, and a range of ephemera, Alma Thomas: Everything is Beautiful recounts the intricacies of the inimitable modern artist’s life. Co-curators Dr. Jonathan Frederick Walz, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Curator of American Art at The Columbus Museum and Dr. Seth Feman, the Chrysler’s Deputy Director for Art & Interpretation and Curator of Photography successfully reflect the enormity and complexity of Alma Thomas’ life and work, from her upbringing in the Jim Crow South to her rise to international acclaim.

I'm sure you, like most everyone reading this, have had the pleasure of cuddling up in a deliciously cozy, pleasantly warm, and colorful quilt that may have gotten passed down through your family. Or Target—whatever. While completely practical and often sentimental, quilts also have a long and deep-rooted history like many art forms. You can trace the art of quilting back to ancient Egyptian times, with evidence discovered in Asia in late BC. While initially used for practical purposes, it was long before quilting became an art form in itself. Every quilt also tells a story, which may or may not be intentional, and stitches reveal secrets and stories that otherwise would have gotten lost in the shuffle that is life. Today we're showcasing five of the top quilters on Instagram that you need to follow, and to witness how they bring ideas and stories to life through the fabric is utterly fascinating.

The Columbus Riverwalk is home to a new public art exhibit with the purpose of highlighting the history of the Chattahoochee River. The “Chattahoochee RiverViews” outdoor photo exhibit is a collaboration between the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and the Dragonfly Trial Network and can be found on the retaining wall behind Hotel Indigo just below the 14th street pedestrian bridge. Photos used within the exhibit were given with permission by the owner. Those contributions come from local photographers and organizations. Some organizations include The Columbus Museum and the Chattahoochee River Conservancy.

This fall, more than a dozen cultural institutions in Washington, DC, will put on an exhibit and other programming in honor of local artist and educator Alma W. Thomas. The celebration includes a mix of virtual and in-person events, chief among them being the Phillips Collection’s Everything Is Beautiful exhibit, running October 30 through January 23, 2022. Starting in September, there will also be teacher workshops, a three-part symposium on Thomas’s life with an introduction by former First Lady Michelle Obama, and opportunities to learn about more women artists. The DC organizations sponsoring events include the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art, Howard University, and American University.

WASHINGTON, D.C., is gearing up for a citywide celebration of artist Alma Thomas (1891-1978) this fall. Honoring her contributions to the city’s cultural heritage, the events and programs coincide with the traveling exhibition “Alma Thomas: Everything is Beautiful,” opening Oct. 30 at the Phillips Collection.

Episode No. 510 of the Modern Art Notes Podcast features curator Seth Feman. Along with Jonathan Frederick Walz, Feman is the co-curator of "Alma W. Thomas: Everything is Beautiful" a retrospective at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Va. through October 3. The exhibition includes about 100 works, including paintings on canvas and paper, theatrical designs, and more.

“Alma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful,” on view at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, through October 3, provides a comprehensive overview of her extraordinary career including 50 canvases spanning 1922-1977. Several of these works are little known or haven’t been on view for decades; many of her later paintings on display have never been exhibited.

2020 was the year we fell in love with domestic travel again, and we’re carrying that passion for safely exploring our own backyard into the new year. In no particular order, these are the 25 coolest towns in America that you should visit in 2021.

The Columbus Museum partnered with local artist Tony Pettis and The Housing Authority of Columbus, Georgia to facilitate painting classes and a community art project for youth living at Wilson Homes.

Artist and educator Alma Thomas (1891–1978) lived a lifetime of firsts. Her long list of firsts continues this summer at the Chrysler Museum with her largest retrospective to date: Alma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful. This show marks the first time the Chrysler Museum has dedicated an entire exhibition of this scale to an African American woman artist.

A NEW FOUR-CITY traveling exhibition offers an expansive look at the life and work of Alma Thomas (1891-1978). Thomas is best known for her exuberant abstract paintings and the masterful use of color, pattern, and rhythm she employed to produce them. She was inspired by a panoply of interests, including nature, space, and even the 1963 March on Washington, which she attended.

Free Georgia museums are great locations for home school students to enjoy history lessons and families to stretch their travel budgets.

We have probably all said it: “That’s a Picassso,” or “That’s a Faith Ringgold.” But the work is not the artist and the artist is not the work. The work is the tip of the human iceberg, an artifact of a life as complex, conflicted and, at times, common as all the rest of ours.

The first Black woman to headline a solo show at the Whitney, the artist created abstract paintings, marionettes and more

The colorful works Thomas crafted in her Washington, D.C., kitchen earned her flowers in the world of creatives. Thomas was the first Black woman to have a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the 1970s in New York. The goal of a new exhibition at the Chrysler is to show the depth and breadth of Thomas’ life and work.

A long overdue retrospective for the late artist Alma Thomas has touched down at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia.
The exhibition, titled “Everything Is Beautiful,” showcases little known aspects of the artist’s life and career, such as her interests in gardening and fashion, and her early student works. It was co-organized with the Columbus Museum in the artist’s hometown of Columbus, Georgia.

Alma W. Thomas: Everything is Beautiful provides a comprehensive overview of the artist’s long life (1891–1978) with approximately 100 works, including her rarely seen theatrical designs and beloved abstract paintings.

Renowned artist Alma W. Thomas’ (1891-1978) artistic journey took her from Columbus, Georgia, to international acclaim. Alma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful offers a comprehensive overview of her extraordinary career with more than 150 objects, including late-career paintings that have never before been exhibited or published.

Renowned artist Alma W. Thomas’ (1891-1978) artistic journey took her from Columbus, Georgia, to international acclaim. Alma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful will offer a comprehensive overview of her extraordinary career with more than 150 objects, including late-career paintings that have never before been exhibited or published.

The Georgia Council for the Arts announced it will provide more than $2 million in grants to help arts initiatives in Georgia.

The Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) awarded 2 grants to The Columbus Museum to allow for greater learning opportunities. The Columbus Museum plans to use the funding to continue their interdisciplinary School Tour programs to reach out to K-12 students. The Bridge grant allows them to do so by covering costs of essential operations that bring learning to life for students.

Perspicacious art historian Melissa Ho—who, in her role as curator of twentieth-century art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, oversees the largest public collection of Alma Thomas paintings on canvas—describes the artist’s output as “sensorially rich work that engages sound and touch as well as vision.” Vivid, sense-based memories pepper Thomas’s recollections of childhood, suggesting that she developed a phenomenologically attuned engagement with the material world at an early age.

A conversation with Jonathan Frederick Walz, Ph.D., Director of Curatorial Affairs & Curator of American Art, at the Columbus Museum., where the exhibition Alma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful opens July 1, 2022.

Renowned artist Alma W. Thomas’ (1891-1978) artistic journey took her from Columbus, Georgia to international acclaim. Alma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful will offer a comprehensive overview of her extraordinary career with more than 150 objects, including late-career paintings that have never before been exhibited or published.

Since the start of Spring on March 20, the balmy weather has invited Columbusites outside. But as summer weather sets in ahead of June 20, the scorching season’s first day, a lot of people are looking for ways to get out of the heat.
Local museums, largely closed over the last year due to COVID-19, are reopening.

Alma W. Thomas: Everything is Beautiful by Seth Feman and Jonathan Frederick Walz; Published in association with The Columbus Museum and the Chrysler Museum of Art

There’s a new place you can visit this summer. The Columbus Museum has opened its latest exhibit, Axis Among Us.

Antiques and the Arts Weekly magazine offers an in-depth review about Quilts from the Collection of Paul M. Goggans, Part I

Atlanta Journal-Constitution takes a look at the legacy of Tom's Foods in the Chattahochee Valley

Burnaway overs a review of Brooklyn-based Filipino American artist Paolo Arao's In Dialogue with Drawing at The Columbus Museum.

Columbus CEO speaks with Director of The Columbus Museum, Marianne Richter, about a few upcoming outdoor activities and some of the virtual options the museum offers.

Columbus Ledger-Enquirer feature the exhibition where artists Bo Bartlett, Najee Dorsey, Betsy Eby, Renato Ferreira, Hannah Israel, Liz Lovin, and Bruno Zupan partnered with up-and-coming artists for an exhibition at The Columbus Museum

WTVM Business Break talks with Curator of American Art Jonathan Frederick Walz, Ph.D., about the new 7 + 7: Established and Emerging Artists of the Chattahoochee Valley

WRBL News 3 speaks with The Columbus Museum's education team about free resources for educators

The Columbus Museum has created a virtual museum just for kids. It features virtual exhibition tours, curator chats, and activities for children. It will add new content weekly.

WTVM News Leader 9 reports on annual acquisitions of The Alma Thomas Society, a membership program that supports the museum with funding for African American art

The Alma Thomas Society, a category of membership that supports The Columbus Museum's Fund for African American Art, recently voted overwhelmingly to acquire an untitled piece by glass artist Therman Statom, who studied with glass artist Dale Chihuly.