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Herald Gazette April 27, 2004
Lamar Arts has much to celebrate and members are hoping citizens will join them for three exciting events this weekend. The celebration brings April, the designated Arts Month, to a close but starts a new stage in the life of the organization. Friday, April 30 from 6-8 p.m. Lamar Arts is having a preview party for its Annual Art Exhibition. There will be cocktails and a gourmet buffet to raise funds for the move to its new home at the Barnesville Depot. Local artist and poet Carol Wubbena will be recognized as founder and president of Lamar Arts from 1992-99. A portrait of Wubbena, who is still an active board member,  will be unveiled and displayed permanently at the the new gallery and office.   Tickets for the Friday evening Preview Party and Buffet are $25. Call 770-358-5888 for information.

There will also be a free  public reception for Lamar Arts annual art  exhibit  on  Saturday, May 1 from 4-7 p.m.  Artists will be on hand and there will be refreshments. At 5 p.m. there will be a Maypole Dance presented by some of the students from Ozier Studio of Dance. The show will continue through May 21. The gallery will be open Wednesdays from 12 noon to 3 p.m., Fridays from 5-7 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from 12:30 to 3 p.m. The Gordon College Community Band Concert will be held Sunday, May 2 at 3 p.m. This is an outdoor event in the Plaza Park, beside the Depot. Bring lawn chairs and come and enjoy a wonderful concert. This event is also free.

Lamar Arts is celebrating 10 years as a bona fide non profit organization. In actuality Wubbena, began putting papers in order for an arts organization in 1992, two years prior to its incorporation. She was restoring the historic Carnegie Library at the time to become her studio, gallery and home. Wubbena shared her ideas with the acting director of the chamber of commerce, Maggie Page, contacted local residents and designed a logo and brochure. Ann Davis of the Georgia Council for the Arts advised her to wait for a new Grassroots Grants soon to be available. The organization still uses the small Grassroots Grants to fund its events. The grant is appropriated by the Georgia Assembly to help bring the arts to small rural communities. Grant money for the arts is always tentative. Wubbenaıs love of the arts and her organization was such that she loaned Lamar Arts money one year when the grant did not come on time.

The fledgling group began presenting programs to the community immediately. Acting president Carol Wubbena, Kathy Oxford, Jan Marsh, Pat Edwards, Israel Eady, Steve Edwards, Norma Greenwood, Robert Boone, Pam Marshall, Annamarie Hyde, Eileen Smith, Maggie Page and Bucky Wilson will be commended as early organizers. In early 1994 a permanent board of directors of 12 people was elected. Secretary/treasurer, John Votaw joined at that time and also has an unbroken record as board member. ³The boards worked so hard during the first few years of existence,² Wubbena said. ³Often times they handled three and four jobs and extended their terms way beyond the expected. I appreciated their hard work. Many people behind the scenes helped us, as well as many generous members and patrons. I reviewed the history books recently and noticed some years we had as many as 10 events. We accomplished an awful lot through the years with a miniscule budget because we believed in the importance of fine arts in our daily lives. It was exciting. It has always been our dream to have a permanent building. I couldnıt be more proud and happy for Lamar Arts.²

Some of the events presented during the Celebration of the Arts in earlier years were a premiere of a play, book signings, an annual exhibition of local work, visual art exhibitions, poetry contests and workshops, exhibitions, musicians in the homes during the Womenıs  League Tour of Homes, military band concerts, readings by famous authors and poets, drum workshops, a Batik workshop, chamber music and other music concerts, choirs, sculpture walks, arts programs and classes in public schools. Lamar Arts continues similar events and added storytelling and Kids College in summer. It is working on a community theatre project and an array of fund-raiser events during 2004.

The board has grown to 15 directors from every facet of the community, Gordon College and the public schools. ³Thanks to the generous support of President and Mrs. Larry Weil weıve expanded our concert series with Gordon College and share many other arts events,² said current president and acting director Teresa Brown. ³As one of many contributions, Steve Mulder, director of music, developed and is editor of Lamar Arts newsletter, The Bagpiper.² Eleanor Stecker, who assumed the presidency in 2000 and served two years, is curator of the upcoming local exhibition. Hayward Cox set in motion the plan to move to the historic train depot. ³Weıre grateful to the Herald Gazette, which has been instrumental from the onset in the promotion of Lamar Arts events,² Brown said. Brown is excited about the move to the historical train depot. ³Itıs a perfect location,² she said. ³The support weıve received already from the city, county, business leaders, chamber of commerce and individuals have been amazing. Itıs clear others see the asset this gallery will be to our community.² Lamar Arts History books will be shown at the exhibition. If anyone has photos of past events to include in these books, call Wubbena at 770-358-3132.

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 HERALD GAZETTE   Barnesville, Ga.

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