NEA grant funds new exhibit
Sept. 13, 2010
After more than a year of preparation, an exhibition funded by a grant from the
National Endowment for the Arts will open Oct. 8 with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m.
at the Lamar Dodd Art Center.
“African-American Contributions to a Shared Vision: Prints from the Cochran Collection”
explores historical and contemporary printmaking with an emphasis on African-American
artists such as Robert Blackburn and Camille Billops, who have had an impact on
art through their teaching and mentoring, according to Margaret Reneke, Associate
Professor of Art.
Although it contains mostly prints, the exhibit “includes a wide range of techniques
and mediums, spanning the entire 20th century,” she said. “You can’t have American
art without African-American art – they are each part of the whole.”
Reneke was instrumental in getting the NEA grant, said Marcia Brown, Chair of
the Art and Design Department.
“We were told last year that a 3rd Congressional District matching grant for $10,000
was available,” Brown said. “Margaret initiated the application process and made
sure that everything was in order. The grant gives us a wonderful opportunity to
offer our students, as well as the entire West Georgia area, a transforming experience
Reneke said the diversity of the show is what makes it special.
“This shows the marriage of different ethnicities, styles, ages and cultures coming
together,” she said. “That is one the main points of this exhibit.”
Since receiving the grant last fall, the Art Department has been busy preparing
for the exhibition.
“We put together a catalog, and commissioned an essay for it from Curlee Raven
Holton, Professor of Art at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa.,” Brown said.
The grant also helped fund new equipment for a lithography class that Reneke will
teach during Jan Term.
“Margaret had been working hard on getting our press up and running,” Brown said.
“She also attended a two-week session on lithography at the famed Penland School
of Crafts in North Carolina.”
Brown said one important outreach of the grant is establishing connections with
area art teachers.
“We have put together packets that include a teacher’s guide and the exhibit’s
catalog,” she said. “We want teachers to think of us as a resource. We’d love to
host tours for students.”
The Georgia Art Educators Association will be meeting at Callaway Gardens in October,
and 40 of them will travel to LaGrange to view the exhibit.
“This is an invaluable chance for us to show the state’s best and brightest art
teachers what we have to offer at LaGrange College,” Brown said.
The prints featured in the exhibit belong to Wes and Missy Cochran of LaGrange.
“We are so appreciative of the Cochrans for sharing their collection of significant
printmakers,” Brown said. “Missy, who is a retired school teacher, and Wes were
very interested in getting teachers into the gallery. This is a perfect partnership.”
Three printmakers will visit the campus during the exhibit, and will offer demonstrations
to students. The lectures will be at 11:15 a.m. in the Dodd lecture room and are
open to the public. Speakers will include Joe Norman on Sept. 14, Curlee Horton
on Oct. 26 and Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier on Nov. 9.
A reception for local art teachers will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 25 and will feature
a gallery talk by Holton. A homecoming alumni coffee will be from 9 to 11 a.m.
The show will be up through Jan. 31.
For more information, contact Brown at
or call (706) 880-8211.