Portrait Artwork to be Displayed in Athens Academy's Myers Gallery

An opening will take place on Oct. 21, 2012 from 2-4 p.m.

The public is invited to an opening reception for "Portrait Artists Show" at Myers Gallery on Oct. 21, 2012.  The reception will be held at 4 p.m. in the gallery located on the campus of Athens Academy.

According to a news release, the artwork from renowned artists John Ahee, Meredith Lachin, Leah Mantini, William (Rocky) Sapp, Noah Saunders, Katherine E. Schuber, and Jean Westmacott will be on display through December 12. 

Athens Academy is located at 1281 Spartan Lane.  Regular gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.  For more information, please call 706-549-9225.

About the artists:

John Ahee

John Ahee, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, immigrated to the United States in 1970, and lived in New York for eight years before moving to Georgia, where he now makes his home.  Ahee’s preferred media are oils and oil pastels with which he creates his passionately colored canvases.  He received his BFA in 1977 from City College of New York. After 23 years in graphic design and as an educator, he pursued his dream of being a fine artist.  He has since participated in multiple group shows, had five solo exhibits, won Best in Show and merit awards at Athfest and the Lyndon House Juried Art Show, and the People’s Choice award two years in a row at OCAF’s Southworks. His pieces can be seen in many Athens-Clarke County buildings, including the Classic Center and the Athens Area Council for the Arts Arts Center. He was also the featured artist in the September 2007 issue of Southern Distinction.  He is represented by Mercury Artworks, Athens, GA.

Meredith Lachin

Originally from New Orleans, Meredith spent her early years outside of Atlanta. She received her BFA in painting from the University of Georgia and continued to graduate studies in New York City receiving her Masters in Studio Art with a concentration in Anatomy at the New York Academy of Art. There she studied with several noted contemporary painters including Steven Assael, Vincent Desiderio, Edward Schmidt, Odd Nerdrum, and Jenny Saville.

Post studies, Meredith has developed a meticulous technique that she considers to be “a blend of old master techniques.” She has been busy working from her studio in Winterville, Georgia and continues to show in the Southeast and New York.  

Leah Mantini

Originally from Spartanburg, South Carolina, Leah Mantini graduated from Sewanee: The University of the South where she majored in Studio Arts. She furthered her education in fine arts at the Art League School in Alexandria, Virginia. During her time in Washington, D.C., she studied under and apprenticed for two artists. Leah continues to study with some of the top realist artists in Nashville, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.  She is an active member of the Portrait Society of America and Portrait Society of Atlanta. Since 2007, Leah has lived in Georgia with her husband, working as a full time artist and sharing her passion for drawing and painting by teaching locally.

William (Rocky) Sapp

William Sapp's long teaching career began in 1965, when he was an art student teaching life drawing while obtaining his Bachelor of Science (Art Education, cum laude,1965) and Master of Arts Degree (Painting and Drawing) from the University of Missouri at Columbia (1967).

Sapp again taught life drawing at Washington University in St. Louis, while taking his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Sculpture/Multi-Media (1978). He taught painting, drawing, and sculpture at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado, and was drafted in the Vietnam Conflict in 1969, teaching Art History for the University of Maryland European Division in Heidelberg, Germany. He created the graduate and undergraduate programs in sculpture and three-dimensional design for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, adding the Mid-South Sculpture Conferences and UALR Sculpture Park while teaching there. He has taught in other universities and art centers in the United States and abroad, and completed his career teaching portrait and figure sculpture at the University of Georgia's Lamar Dodd School of Art.

Sapp considers his 'legacy' at UGA the establishment of a cutting edge, tactile-digital modeling/carving studio in conjunction with his colleague, Larry Millard's stereo-lithographic prototyper. Sapp retired from the Lamar Dodd School of Art in 2005, after 40 years of teaching. His teaching appointments, in various capacities, have included:

  • University of Georgia, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Athens, Georgia
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro, North Carolina
  • University of Maryland, Heidelberg, Germany
  • Adams State College, Alamosa, Colorado
  • University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri
  • Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Nacoochee School, Rabun Gap, Georgia
  • Centro Colombo Americano, Medellin, Colombia (South America)
  • Esquela Superior de Artes y Technicals/Centro Investigaciones
  • Ceramicas, Santa Cruz, Bolivia (South America)
  • Taller de Artes Visuales, Santa Cruz, Bolivia (South America)

Noah Saunders

Born 1980 in Atlanta, Noah Saunders now lives in Athens, where he sculpts mainly in wire:

“The day that I saw Alexander Calder’s Wire Circus, my fifth-grade focus shifted and my creative work began. I immediately gathered pipe cleaners – the closest thing to wire I could get my hands on – and made my very own circus act. From that point forward, my love of wire and desire to produce art merged and grew. Twisting and experimenting, I made a variety of forms, but it was the human form that truly resonated. When I discovered Rodin and Michelangelo, I knew I was hooked for life.

Thus began my journey and relationship with wire. I worked for years testing the limits of this underused medium, teaching myself the language of line. At the age of sixteen, I went to Alabama to help rebuild churches that had been set on fire in a string of racist arson. There, I was asked to make two life size crucifixes in the spirit of forgiveness. This was my first glimpse at the power of my art; I was honored to express the sentiment of so many in wire. My discovery of German Expressionists on a trip to Munich at the age of 18 sparked my pursuit of rendering in wire what was previously the domain of etching, wood block, and drawing. Just as the German Expressionist demonstrated the relevance of medieval wood block art to the modern artist, my quest is to show the capability, power, and grace of wire as line in serious artistic expression.”

Katherine E. Schuber

Katherine E. Schuber studied art in Atlanta for five years under renowned portrait artist Chris diDomizio. With an emphasis in oil portrait paintings, she continues to take commissions in a variety of subjects and mediums.

She enjoys painting in her studio as well as spending time with her clients. Her love for art stems from her love of natural beauty; whether it is people, nature, or the everyday things of life. Widely traveled and having spent several years living overseas she continues to draw inspiration from the diverse cultures and places she has seen and her experience interacting with those cultures. Her goal in art is to create lasting works of beauty that convey a message and feeling. Katherine lives in Athens with her husband Derek.

Jean Westmacott

Jean Wilkins Westmacott, originally from Reading, Pennsylvania, is a graduate of Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania, where she received an M.F.A. in sculpture.  Jean spent sixteen years as a gallery director and art professor at Brenau University, where she organized exhibitions (sometimes with some very well known artists like Marisol and Robert Rauschenberg); taught various classes in sculpture, art history, and arts management; and educated docents to lead tours of the larger exhibitions.  In 1997, she was honored as one of “Georgia’s 100 Women in the Visual Arts,” and in 2005, she received Brenau University’s Vulcan Award for Teaching Excellence and Community Leadership.

In 1994, Jean was commissioned to do a sculpture of Athena for the city of Athens. Upon completion of the clay model, a mold was made and a plaster copy sent to the Nicoli Studios in Carrara, Italy, where it was copied in marble at double the size. The finished eight-foot marble version was erected on a granite pedestal in front of Athen’s Classic Center in time for the 1996 Summer Olympics.

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