They lined up to buy art. Now that's a sentence I never thought I'd have an occasion to write, but it's a true statement from earlier this month.

They jostled, they staked out the best location to get their art of choice, they snatched artwork away from other hands reaching for it, they laughed good-naturedly, and when the two-hour reception and sale was over ... 80 pieces of art had been bought!

Goodness sake, what was going on?

The Cultural Arts Council was holding its opening for two shows, two shows that were flip sides of the art world 'coin.' "What's on YOUR Walls?" showcased the art that local residents collect and shared the meaningful, powerful, humorous, poignant, quirky and so personal reasons why that work of art means something to its owner.

It's companion exhibit was "6" x 6" tiny fundraiser wherein local artists were asked to miniaturize their typical work and create a 6" x 6" canvas and donate it to the CAC so that it could be sold for the eminently inexpensive price of $20 each. That exhibit brought us pieces that were realistic, abstract, stained glass, anime drawings, pen and ink, 3-D weavings, photography, and a variety sure to interest everyone. Which it did! Some bought because they couldn't resist that owl's charming gaze, others knew the jazz motif made a perfect present for a jazz-loving friend, some recognized a particular artist's work and grabbed the bargain they also recognized, others splurged on impulse.

It was festive but intense, like a store's annual white sale and it was all focused on art. Wow.

And just think, one day maybe one of the 6" x 6" artworks may turn around and be entered in "What's on YOUR Walls?" with a story of why it was bought in 2017!

For those of you who have never attended an art opening reception. It is probably not what you expect. The next time you talk yourself out of attending that art opening that intrigued you, remember that at CAC, art openings are fun, they aren't snooty affairs or at the other extreme, even bohemian affairs, they are neighbors coming together to enjoy interesting artistic outlooks and to delight in similarly minded company. Good art, good food, good company, sometimes bargains, and often, new outlooks in life to consider from an artistic point of view.

And the next opportunity to attend such an opening is actually right around the corner, next Thursday, Sept. 7, from 6-8 p.m. The exhibit opening then is NOVAS, the National Open Visual Art Show, always an eclectic experience with works from around the state and the nation. Unlike most shows, this one has cash prizes awarded to the top five entries made possible this year with the sponsorship by Forrester's Creative. Also, new this year will be an award made by the Douglas County Art Guild in memory of Mary Ann Carney, a favorite local artist.

Come join CAC next Thursday -- you won't even have to line up for this one!

Totally different subject: as a child raised in Europe Dunkirk was a compelling and vivid moral lesson of a community coming together to solve a dire need. As I watched news coverage of Houston this weekend and saw people using all manner of water crafts to help their neighbors I realized that America has now experienced its own version of Dunkirk. Take heart, Houston, we won't let failure be an option.

Davina Grace Hill is executive director of the Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville/Douglas County. She writes a monthly column for the Sentinel. Email her at directorartsdouglas@earthlink.net.

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