Collections from Our Community

ZIG DOT ZAG: Featuring works by the Athens Fibercraft Guild’s “Challenge Project” participants

On view: September 19 – October 28

Each year, the Athens Fibercraft Guild presents a “Challenge Project” to its members, asking them to choose a bag that contains an unusual assortment of mystery items. Members then create a piece with these objects, while simultaneously responding to a common theme. This year’s theme was ZIG DOT ZAG. The bags contained naturally dyed wool in various forms of fleece, yarn and woven cloth. Each bag had a label indicating which plant was used to dye the colorful wool. The resulting works range from wearable garments to soft sculptures. The “Challenge Project” is always so much fun -it is like a potluck luncheon, full of delicious, unexpected surprises! Enjoy exploring all the varying works that resulted from our experiments.

If you or someone you know have a collection of interest that you would like to have on display, contact

Pictured at right: work by Erika Lewis

Clay 1976 - 2017
From the collection of Rich Panico
On view June 3 - July 29

3THURS Art Conversation with Rich Panico
July 20, 6 pm

Rich Panico began to work in clay in 1976. He started out apprenticing with Rick Berman at Callenwolde in Atlanta. His first works focused on an Oriental‪,‬ functional aesthetic in high fire and raku. An artistic community‪,‬ including Michael Simon, Bernard Leach and Michael Cardew strongly influenced his work during this time‪,‬ as well as Ron Meyers and Peter Voulkous‪,‬ who both had cultivated original voices in American ceramics‪,‬ while preserving strong links to both Oriental and European traditions. These friendships inspired a six year period of creative experimentation of which only a few pieces remain. 

From the beginning, Panico's artistic undertakings have been interwoven with a career in medicine. By the early 80's the demands of his medical practice pushed clay work into a back seat. In 1990, Panico developed an auto-immune disorder which was not adequately diagnosed until 2012. Ironically, this created an opportunity to better balance and create a more reflective life in which, by necessity he was forced to become comfortable with "living in the questions.” He began to hand build and reduced the scale of his work, resulting in an avid interest and immersion in Neolithic and Mesolithic ceramics from anonymous authors. His work became less and less connected to contemporary culture, ideologies and trends and instead, more linked to personal inquiry about the nature of the creative act and its consequences.

Currently, Panico works in low fire techniques, utilizing indigenous or recycled clay, when possible.  
Tibetan Treasures  

On view: April 1 - May 27

This month the collection case is filled with Education Specialist, William Kai Stephanos' objects from Tibet and Northern India. Compiled on two trips, in 2007 and 2009, these items were acquired from the Jokhang Temple and the Potala Palace in Lhasa, the original Ganden and Drepung Monasteries in Tibet proper, as well as sites in Dharamsala India, where the current Dalai Lama and many Tibetans have lived in exile since the 1950’s. 

The glass case in the lobby of the Arts Center features collections of objects from members of the community ranging from photographs to vintage bottles to toys and so much more. If you or someone you know have a collection of interest that you would like to have on display, contact Celia Brooks at  
Tibetian Collections
Louise Shaw's Papal Archive
On view January 14 - February 25, 2017

Quarterly exhibits in the Lobby cases featuring unique collections
of objects found in the closets, cabinets, shelves of Athens-area
citizens. What do you have hidden away?? 

Decades in the making, Louise Shaw’s global collection of
Popes was originally inspired by Pope John Paul II’s
papacy, but quickly expanded to other papal reigns and
Catholicism. Her lifelong source of fascination was the
gestalt of her hometown of Quincy, Massachusetts, where as
a Jew she was a minority living in a city that was 90%
Catholic. In search of Popes she literally has traveled around
the world to Mexico, Belgium, France, Argentina, The
Netherlands, and, of course, Italy. She recently returned
from a second trip to The Vatican, where she updated her
collection with Pope Francis ephemera. 
Louise Shaw Papal Archive
Athens Area Dug Bottles
From the Collection of Eric Krasle

On View July 12 - August 27, 2016

This collection is representative of more than 30 years of digging bottles. The collection includes a large chemical bottle (circa mid 1800’s) that is one of a set recovered by Jeffrey Weinberg from what was once the Crawford W. Long Apothecary in Athens, GA on Broad Street. Also in the collection is a medicine bottle that was produced specifically for the Harris Drug Company of Athens. It is a rare surviving example of the once common practice of specifically “minting” bottles for local drug stores. The photograph of the Harris Drug Company depicts the “Just what the Doctor ordered” script that matches the embossing on the bottle.
An original non-decorative Athens-embossed Bludwine bottle which contained a cherry flavored soda is from approximately 1930. A name change to Budwine was the result of censorship pressure by fundamentalists in Athens, included is an early Budwine bottle from just after the “l” was removed. Among the many Coca-cola bottles in the collection is a straight-sided embossed Athens, Georgia bottle that was produced in the early 1900’s and a gold “hobbleskirt “ edition.

Floaty Pens from the Collection of Jeff Montgomery
Push Puppets from the Collection of Katherine Winslow
On View April 21, 2016

Quarterly exhibits in the Lobby cases featuring unique collections of objects found in the closets, cabinets, shelves of Athens-area citizens. What do you have hidden away??

This quarter, on view, are two collections of objects gathered from around the globe: Floaty Pens from Jeff Montgomery and Push Puppets from Katherine Winslow.

Floaty pens, are those delightful tourist souvenir picture scenes of landmarks.
“While on a foreign study program with Furman University that ventured in part to Israel in the winter of 1994, I stumbled across "The Last Supper" floaty pen somewhere along the way. I found this floaty pen so endearingly kitschy with its sliding loaf of bread and wine that I purchased it on the spot.” – Jeff Montgomery

Push Puppet are wonderful spring loaded figures that dance when you press the bottom of their platform stage.
“I’ve been collecting push puppets for years, and have found them throughout the United States and in Europe in toy stores, restaurants and gift shops. Among my 49 push puppets is an alien figure from Roswell, N.M., “Pinocchio” from Rome, a royal guard from London, and the Krtek (“little mole”) cartoon character from Prague.” – Katherine Winslow

If you are interested in sharing your collection of….., please contact!


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