Noted Alabama artists/educators Nancy Mims Hartsfield of Montgomery and George Allen ‘Bud’ Harris of Grady will arrive at the Johnson Center for the Arts in Troy on Thursday, July 12 to participate in two creative events—an artist’s reception for the opening of their exhibitions in the Center’s Upper and Lower Level galleries that evening, and to serve as presenters in the Center’s 2-day educational initiative, ArtBridges Teacher Workshops. Through their creative participation the artists are assisting the Johnson Center in staying true to its mission of  ‘Exposure to, and Education in,’ the Arts.  Both exhibits will end October 7.

 Hartsfield’s exhibit, Mélange/Personal Visions, will be on display in the Center’s cozy brick-walled Saunders, Chapman, and Brantley Galleries. It features a vibrant collection of acrylics, mixed media and encaustics depicting colorful scenes from her international travels—landscapes, florals, gardens, and structures—in addition to Montgomery landmarks such as the curb market, train shed and river scenes. 

   Nancy taught Art at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama for 35 years, serving the last 4 years as Interim Head of the Art Department. She currently serves as vice-chairman of the Board of Directors of DesignAlabama as well as art director for the DesignAlabama Journal.  Nancy also serves on the Executive Committee Advisory Board of Auburn’s Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art while continuing to focus on her art, especially encaustics.

   Bud’s exhibit, Alabama 200: Fact, Fiction and Folklore of the Black Belt will hang in the Upper Level Gibson and Kirk Galleries. Harris, a well-known watercolorist, has recently become interested in encaustics.  The early vernacular architecture of the South Central Alabama region was his focus while studying at Auburn University’s School of Architecture, where he graduated in 1986.

   An avid and accomplished photographer and painter, Bud travels extensively throughout the Black Belt capturing images of the landscape and architecture of the region.  “I seek out the places and the people that are deeply steeped in the history of the Black Belt,” Bud relates.  “I am inspired by the rich traditions that include telling stories, how and why people gather, and the passing of time and how it affects people, places, and things in this region. I believe in the distinct genius loci of the Black Belt and try to manifest it in my painting.” 

     In addition to exhibiting their unique visual art, Nancy and Bud will be presenters in the Johnson Center’s educational initiative, ArtBridges Teacher Workshops, open via registration to K-12 teachers from across the state. It is presented in the Center’s Studio July 12 and 13 in partnership with the Alabama Arts Alliance, directed by Donna Russell, designed and led by Tara Cady Sartorius, former curator of education at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts (21 years).