In 2016, Stratford Academy decided to host an event that would give our community an opportunity to quite simply “Celebrate the Arts”. In planning, the school realized that this must be accomplished by lifting up and recognizing the organizations in Middle Georgia which were already providing leadership in the art world. Community partnerships were formed with the Macon Arts Alliance, Mercer University, Museum of Arts and Sciences, and Wesleyan College, for a week-long event focused on the visual arts. The idea was to bring these local leaders in our art community to one event which would promote each of these organizations contributions to the arts and expose participants to new artists, experiences, and opportunities for learning.
The inaugural event received overwhelming rave reviews and positive publicity in the community.
- Hundreds of visitors came through the Gallery 6010 and Stratford Connections exhibits during the week which featured over 500 pieces of original art by more than 100 artists. Over 80 pieces of original artwork/glass were sold during the event.
- Nearly 200 guests enjoyed the expertise and services of our three visiting artists (silhouette artist, encaustic painter and glassblower).
- More than 150 people were in attendance at the “Artistically Speaking” lecture presented by Columbus, GA native Bo Bartlett.
- We packed almost 140 people in the beautifully decorated Cantrell Lower School cafeteria for a great “Lunch & Learn” presentation by James Farmer.
- We were proud to host ADAC and their clients for a private reception in our gallery with James Farmer on October 26.
- There were 28 businesses and individuals who sponsored this event through gifts and in-kind donations.
- Nearly 120 volunteers helped with the Celebrating ART events.
It also positioned Celebrating ART 2017 for a second year of success. In conjunction with the One City Art Festival hosted by the Macon Arts Alliance and other members of the community during the weekend of October 13-15, Celebrating ART will bring more of what everyone loved in 2016 back. That means more experiences with visiting artists-in-residences, more speakers and lectures, more new artists and their works along with previous favorites, as well as some new and exciting opportunities for all ages.