Art exhibition, sale to benefit painting scholarship

Pat Walker

“Meaningful Painting: The Legacy of Pat Walker,” an exhibition showcasing the works of Pat Walker, professor emeritus in the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art (BFSDoArt) at Georgia Southern University, will be on view Nov. 27 – Dec. 15 at the Center for Art and Theatre’s University Gallery. An opening reception, silent auction, and gallery talk will be Nov. 30 beginning at 5 p.m. in the Center for Art and Theatre.

Walker (1949-2015) was a professor of painting and drawing at Georgia Southern for 27 years and was awarded professor emeritus status in 2014. During her tenure, Walker influenced hundreds of students, many of whom went on to be distinguished artists and art faculty. Throughout her career, she exhibited her work both nationally and internationally and received many awards, grants and scholarships. Her work also was included in numerous art publications.

This exhibit will feature works from Walker’s studio that span more than 35 years of her artistic lifetime, including work that has not been exhibited before. It will include a range of mediums, from large oil paintings and drawings to very affordable small studies, along with Giclees (high-quality copies of work printed on canvas) of one of her most celebrated works, “Oysters in Morning Light.” Additionally, two current BFSDoArt Master of Fine Arts students, Zak Kelley and Jessamy McManus, will exhibit paintings at the reception and discuss the impact Walker had on their aesthetic development at Georgia Southern.

“Pat was an award-winning painter and pastel artist; above all, she inspired art students in the department with her sustained commitment to hard work in the studio,” said Elsie Hill, associate professor of Painting and Drawing and Foundations in the BFSDoArt. “The establishment of the Pat Walker Scholarship in Painting as well as the Student Resource Center in the Visual Arts Building, which houses all of Pat’s art books, makes her legacy ever present in the department.”

The exhibit, gallery talk and opening reception are free and open to the public, and all proceeds from the silent auction sales of Walker’s work will help endow the Pat Walker Scholarship in Painting, which will provide needed financial support for painting students in the BFSDoArt.

For more information, contact Elsie Hill at

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McManus explores divide between the ‘born’ and the ‘made’ in Neon Nature

Jessamy McManus, “Plant, Animal, Plastic (Vanitas)” acrylic paint and resin on board, 24” x 24”, 2017

Jessamy McManus

Masters of Fine Arts candidate Jessamy McManus’ thesis exhibition “Neon Nature” will be on view at the Center for Art & Theatre’s University Gallery from Nov. 7 – 14. A reception will be Friday, Nov. 10 at 5 p.m.

McManus paints her interpretation of contemporary nature according to the concept of hypernature, which describes manufactured nature as being better than the real thing. Inspired by her upbringing in suburbia where nature is found manicured and controlled, McManus investigates the divide between the “born” and the “made” through Neon Nature, a collection of portraits of her fictional creatures she calls “pseudo-specimens.”

“I call my fictitious subjects ‘pseudo-specimens’ because they are a hybrid of plant, animal, synthetic and human imagery, morphed together like the project of a mad scientist,” said McManus. “They are portraits that are not of people, and still-lifes that are not necessarily still.”

Assistant Professor of Art and gallery director, Jason Hoelscher, recommends all students and faculty, regardless of their interest in visual art, visit McManus’ exhibition.

“McManus has grown dramatically as a painter during her three years of graduate studies, from painting things like flowers and other nature scenes—quite well, I might add—to exploring more complex ideas like bio-hacking, genetic engineering, and the increasingly hazy distinctions between the natural and the artificial,” said Hoelscher. “I would urge all to come see her thesis exhibition to see a contemporary take on important issues in society and art, presented in thought-provoking and lushly painted form.”

All events are free and the public is invited to attend.

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Design World exhibition examines work of influential designers

Students from Associate Professor Santanu Majumdar’s Professional Practices Class have been researching work by influential designers across the globe. The research paper will be presented in the form of exhibition, on view in the Center for Art & Theatre’s Contemporary Gallery from Oct. 30 – Dec. 8, visitors from various disciplines are invited to learn more about these designers and the impact they have made on everyday life. An opening reception will be on Nov. 1 at 5 p.m.

“This project help students to understand a broader view of design as a discipline and the impact it creates, instead of learning just graphic design. The design world is becoming much more diverse and cross-disciplinary, so to better understand design as a whole they need to read and discuss design from various angles,” said Majumdar. “This exhibition showcases the importance of design and opens up possibilities of collaboration with other areas in the University. Today several disciplines and work areas use Design Thinking as their process to identify the core problem. The exhibition is targeted to students from engineering to business to fashion and many others.” 

All events are free and the public is invited to attend.

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Blackface Meets Whiteface and Urges Viewers to Question Race: Georgia Southern Theatre & Performance to Present ‘An Octoroon’

An Octoroon

What happens when you are an African-American playwright who wants to write a comedy about slavery by adapting the 19th-century abolitionist melodrama The Octoroon, and most of your white actors bail on you because they “don’t feel comfortable”?  The answer? An Obie Award-winning, radical adaptation of Dion Boucicault’s 1859 melodrama “The Octoroon,” where the antebellum south and 21st-century cultural politics collide. The Georgia Southern Theatre & Performance Program presents “An Octoroon,” written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and directed by Nicholas Newell.

Jacobs-Jenkins highlights the politically insensitive language and character constructions found in the old melodrama and turns the audience’s discomfort to laughter as he deconstructs the ideas of race. As the family of the Terrebone plantation faces foreclosure and fight for their survival quixotic characters like the drunken Irish ghost of the original writer and a mysterious bunny join the crowd on stage.

Stimulating, yet still entertaining, “An Octoroon” cleverly highlights the disparities of an entire race with it’s use of language and powerful racial metaphors. In 2014, “An Octoroon” won Best New Play at the Obie Awards. “Jacobs-Jenkins writes brilliantly about race in America, and the cultural legacy employed in the service of tyranny since the earliest days of this nation. He knows how to curse through stereotypes and rip apart the fault lines of representation,” says the Chicago Tribune.

“An Octoroon” opens Wednesday, Nov. 8, and runs through Wednesday, Nov. 15. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 2:00 p.m. There will be no show on Monday, Nov. 15.

“An Octoroon” features mature themes and language.

Student and youth tickets are $6. Faculty, staff and community tickets are $12. All seating is general admission. Group prices are available, contact the box office for information. The house opens at 7 p.m., and we encourage audience members to arrive no later than 7:15 p.m. to ensure good seats. The balcony will serve as late and overflow seating. Call the Box Office at 912-478-5379 to make reservations.

The box office is open 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday for ticket purchases and reopens at 6 p.m. on performance days. Tickets can also be purchased through Marketplace on the GSU websiteat

Theatre & Performance Productions are made possible through funding from Student Activity Fees.

Center for Art & Theatre to present Betty Foy Sanders’s final exhibition

Betty Foy Sanders Fluid Structures

NOTE: Due to delays caused by Hurricane Irma, the opening date of this exhibition has been changed to Sept. 28.  

After spending more than half a century making art, Betty Foy Sanders will present her final exhibition this fall at Georgia Southern University.

As part of the Betty Foy Sanders Georgia Artists Collection 50th Anniversary events, the exhibition, “Fluid Structures,” will be presented at the Center for Art & Theatre’s University Gallery from Sept. 25 – Oct. 13. It will be on view during the Georgia Artists Collection 50th Anniversary Celebration, a special event, beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28.

“‘Fluid Structures’ would be a top-tier exhibition under any circumstances, but the fact that it marks the culmination of a love of art-making that dates back to the mid-century, post-war era makes this fresh and exciting exhibition all the more impressive,” says Gallery Director Jason Hoelscher. “The suite of drawings, or Doodles, as Mrs. Sanders calls them, looks as contemporary as anything on exhibit at the most contemporary galleries, anywhere. This recent body of drawings, combined with a selection of other recent paintings and mixed media works, makes this is a must-see show by one of the Southeast’s most vibrant artists.”

At age 91, the 74th first lady of Georgia (1963-67) has never stopped looking for ways to challenge her artistic skills. From watercolors to oils, to ink, rocks and minerals, her work spans a range of mediums and reflects a variety of influences. While “Fluid Structures” will focus on her newest body of work, work from each of her eras—including Native American, Wildflowers and Rocks & Minerals—will be highlighted in the Georgia Artists Collection 50th Anniversary Exhibition.

Sanders has a deep love of art and her home state, which has driven her work both in and out of the studio. In her own artwork, Sanders has explored Georgia’s flora and fauna, geology, history and coastal regions. During her time as first lady, she and her late husband, Gov. Carl Sanders, contributed greatly to arts programs across the state, creating the Georgia Council for the Arts and Humanities, establishing community arts organizations, and building arts facilities for public institutions, such as Georgia Southern’s Foy Fine Arts Building, named for her father. Sanders is the founder and curator of Georgia Southern’s Betty Foy Sanders Georgia Artists Collection, which celebrates notable artists across the state and will mark its 50th anniversary this year. She and Gov. Sanders have given generously to the University’s Art Department, which is named in her honor. Read more…

Center for Art & Theatre • 233 Pittman Drive, Statesboro, Georgia, 30460 • Exhibitions & performances are open to the public.