City of Watkinsville Exhibitions
The City of Watkinsville and the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF) are proud to feature two exhibitions designed to enhance public spaces in the City of Watkinsville and encourage conversations about the importance of art in a community known as the "Artland of Georgia". All works on display are on-loan to the exhibitions.
This program is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.
The City of Watkinsville Public Art Exhibition brochure with a map of artwork locations is available at City Hall, the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF), and at the Oconee Welcome Center as well as area businesses. To download a brochure now click here.
Public Art Watkinsville: A Pop-Up Sculpture Exhibition
The Public Art Watkinsville: A Pop-Up Sculpture Exhibit consists of five sculptures placed at strategic locations in the community. A juried process was used to select public sculptures based on: 1) Appropriateness of the design to the function of the site; 2) Preservation and integration of natural features for the project; 3) Appropriateness of the materials and design to the expression of the artist's concept; 4) Representation of a broad variety of tastes within the community; 5) Art as a communicative function. For more information on the Public Art Watkinsville: A Pop-Up Sculpture Exhibit sculptors click here.
by Robert Clements
Cast iron, welded steel, cast plastic globe - 82" x 21" x 18"
Location: Ashford Manor upper sidewalk on Main StreetRobert Donald Clements taught art at the University of Georgia for 25 years, from 1969 - 1994. There, he won the University's highest awards for his teaching and research. He has written four editions of Emphasis Art, along with 60 articles and directed several art grant projects. Born in Pittsburgh, PA, he received his BFA from Carnegie Mellon Univ. and his graduate art degrees from Pennsylvania State University. Listed in Who's in American Art and Who's Who in America.
Artist Statement: For my one-person show at the Fay Gold Gallery, I decided to do a show on the theme of the Circus. Having been very impressed by Gaston Lachaise’s sculpted female figures, I emulated her pose in my sculpture. Even earlier, as a teenager, I worked sweeping floors at a Five and Ten-Cent Store and was impressed by the sculptural upside-down figures in the stocking department, and I used a similar upside-down figure for my male figure in the sculpture.
Hands of Respect
by Stan Mullins
Elberton granite - 8' tall
Location: Watkinsville Storage on Highway 15
International visual artist Stan Mullins resides in a renovated and redesigned 18th century cottonseed oil refinery, in picturesque downtown Athens, GA. This space expresses his deep love of history and culture, local and global. His works span the globe both literally and figuratively. Throughout his more than 25 year artistic career Mullins has traveled and worked on several continents. Throughout these travels he gained his enthusiasm for embracing numerous cultures. In the last quarter-century Mullins has created thousands of works of art in a multiple of mediums. In a rich environment of 7,000 square feet of interior studio space as well as a ever-growing “Sculpture Garden”, koi pond and 2 acres of land the artist has created his own wave of ever-changing creative inspiration.
His mediums vary with need of expression and idea; from light touched watercolors to bold oil on canvas paintings; from epic bronze sculptures to his new passion, everlasting stone monuments in marble and granite. His current passion is large scale monuments. Mullins enjoys the unique challenges of each creation as well as their natural beauty and strength of durability.
Object of Wo(man)
by William Massey
Welded steel and enamel - 10' x 6' x 6'
Location: Dolvin building on Main Street (across from the court house)
Artist Statement: The world appears to be an abundance of separate people, ideas, places, and matter. Yet all divided things have something in common: they originate from the same whole. My job is to connect fragments together again- back to One.
I am all-inclusive. I do not rule out any medium. From glass to metal, clay to found objects, paint, wood, paper, industrial waste - I submerse myself in an array of unfamiliar techniques and materials to constantly shatter my comfort zone. My work often incorporates matter with preexisting history; abandoned objects, broken pieces, and fragments of an unspecific whole.
My process is a constant flux of building up and breaking down in order to discover a balanced form. I need to sweat, to be physical, primal and get dirty in order for an art session to feel worthwhile. Whether I am welding, cutting, grinding, assembling, painting, or forming glass, I have abundant energy which must be released through art. While creating, my thoughts are typically reverent to the imperfection of myself and the world around me; division, brokenness, turmoil... My goal is to encapsulate this universal discord, find relationships between the separated fragments, and bring together a united whole. The optimal conclusion of each artwork is a balanced composition of varying encounters found by building up layers of experiences and history. Facial and figurative forms appear often in my larger sculptures. I see nothing on this earth more scattered and in need of togetherness than humanity.
by Ben Lock
Steel and cast iron - 88" x 31" x 79"
Location: Murray House on Main Street
Artist Statement: I am intrigued and inspired by American culture and the history and labor of making. The function and use of tools, equipment, and the application of materials and work have always influenced the creation of my artworks. Often in my work I draw from the formal qualities of machinery and industrial vessels such as trucks and ships, combining ideas ranging from nautical form and the sea to hot rods and the iconography of American culture. Through this, I investigate concepts that address relationship, class, labor, and journey.
Recent works are inspired by my interest in time, manufacturing, American culture, and the significance of an object. Through this work I reflect upon the ordinary and discarded, investigate value, loss, and memory. The dominant form and found object driving this work is the hubcap, specifically dating from the 1950’s through the late 1960’s. The history of the object marks an important place in time, now lost and forgotten the hubcap is discarded. Through the work, I transform and memorialize the object, therefore reactivating it in another context, time, and place. The sculpture serves as a reminder to the past, evidence of production, the façade, and accumulation.
This work evolved out of a series of sculptures titled the Hot Rod Sculpture Series. The Hot Rod Series was an investigation into objects that reveal and embrace specific aspects of middle class, blue collar, do it your-self American culture. With this work I employed the use of specific iconic objects of American automobile culture such as diamond plate steel, wheels and tires, mirrors, and chrome. The sculptures are intended to critique culture and look at one’s self through investigating the nostalgic, functionality, and the absurd. High gloss colors and chrome were integral to this work, as was the impeccable craft and use of metal, exploring the high end – lowbrow.
by Joni Younkins-Herzog
Styrofoam,steel, stucco, paint - 108" x 40" x 24"
Location: AT&T building on Main Street
Artist Statement: I grew up in the suburban sprawl outside of Atlanta, Georgia. After enjoying extended undergraduate studies in Athens, Georgia I moved to pursue my MFA in Sculpture from Indiana University.
My work has been featured in exhibitions across the country, including New York, Fort Lauderdale, San Francisco, the “Art Prize” in Grand Rapids, Michigan; internationally in Pabianice, Poland; Cajabamba, Peru, and recently in Sang Arts Village, Ghana where I created large outdoor works. My sculptures combine beauty with absurdity often blurring the lines between reality and fantasy. Utilizing many mediums, I lure the viewer in with luscious colors and materials, to contemplate anxious content in close proximity.
Artscape Oconee: The Monuments of Artland
Many historical towns/villages are identified by statues of famous people telling a compelling story of place and culture. Watkinsville does not have such a monument, though its history extends to the beginning of the 19th century. What it does have is art, and a thriving community pride in its growing reputation as the Artland of Georgia. Centered primarily with the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF), Watkinsville has become a center of art instruction and widely heralded public exhibitions, from painting to pottery, jewelry-making to literary expression, and any other discipline that artists create in the exploration of their curiosity. That pride and support is hard to miss. Drive around Watkinsville and Oconee County, and you will see evidence of an initiative that began in 2000 with a program called Artscape Oconee. In 2009 and again in 2010, city officials, in conjunction with OCAF, erected colorful and imaginative public art panels which are large-scale paintings and multi-media works, displayed outdoors like fine art billboards. Over time, these panels have become the “statues” of Watkinsville’s persona, trumpeting the vitality of a community that revels in its uniqueness. Artscape Oconee: The Monuments of Artland continues this tradition. For more information on the Artscape Oconee: The Monuments of Artland artists click here.
Come Fly with Me
by Leslie Moody
Entrance to Harris Shoals Park
George Washington & Oconee River
by Robert Clements
Shop Class: Final Project
by Alex Murawski
by Scott Pope
by Ron Meyers
Oconee State Bank
by Art Rosenbaum
First Christian Church of Watkinsville
by Will Eskridge
by Stanley Bermudez and Bill Pierson
Barnett Shoals Road
I Painted it Myself
by Oconee High School Students
by UNG Art Students
by Charles Blair and Students from Whitehead Road Elementary
Chick on Board
by Cecel Allee
Til Death Do Us Part
by Manda McKay
OCAF and Oconee County Board of Education entrance
Simonton Bridge Road
by June Ball