Commercial art gallery

Wiregrass Gallery Hosts Fundraiser for Black History Museum

February was a busy month at the Wiregrass Gallery, 130 East Jackson St., Thomasville, Georgia.

Featured Member Artist: Fran Buie

Fran believes that art is a universal language and expression that can bring people from different backgrounds and life experiences together into a common community.

Francois Buie

She has exhibited her work at Tallahassee Downtown Market, Gadsden Arts Gallery, Jefferson Arts Gallery, Sea Oats Gallery, and Wiregrass Art Gallery in Thomasville. She served as art curator for the Tallahassee Senior Center at the North Florida Fair. His oil paintings focus on wildlife, seascapes, landscapes and some still lifes. Recently she has been working on portraits and dancers.

An egret painted by Fran Buie.

She also created wearable art, painting on silk. Fran loves having the ability to create and express her love of nature’s grandeur. His work has won several prizes in juried exhibitions. She teaches oil and acrylic painting part-time.

Fran has degrees in Commercial Art, Music Performance, Pre-Medicine and an MBA in Business. After moving to Tallahassee, she worked at an art studio hosting a variety of art exhibits while serving as an administrator and project manager for the state of Florida.

Fundraiser “Save the Imperial Hotel”

Thomasville’s first Black History Museum was established to educate individuals about the history and culture of African Americans locally and nationally. An African-American historian, James “Jack” Hadley has preserved over 4,669 pieces of African-American artifacts with an emphasis on Thomasville’s First Black Achievers. The museum also features national figures and commemorates their lives and achievements.

james "Jack" Hadley had the original Imperial Hotel sign restored and it is currently on display in the library of the Jack Hadley Black History Museum.

In honor of Black History Month in February, the Wiregrass Artist Cooperative will host a fundraiser for the Jack Hadley Black History Museum this month. Our members will donate artwork for sale in the Rose Room of the Wiregrass Gallery. One of our front windows will display historic photos of the hotel, traditional African artifacts and an artist’s rendition of the hotel after renovations.

Wiregrass Gallery will host a silent auction throughout the month and reception on Saturday, February 26 from 5-7 p.m., featuring a presentation by Jack Hadley, founder of the Black History Museum. Refreshments will be served. All proceeds will be donated to the restoration of the historic Imperial Hotel.

Guest artist: Bob DeWitt Smith

Bob wants each painting to bring new perspectives to himself and others. He tries hard not to be too engrossed in a developed style or convention. Creating and observing art has always been a passion and all the works produced are somehow related to his personal experiences.

Bob DeWitt Smith

He grew up in the Tallahassee area and earned a BFA from Florida State University and an MFA from Syracuse University.

He has received several awards including Best of Show, Art in Gadsden, and his works have been selected for their promotional materials in 2019, First Place, FSU Artist League, First Place, Senior Artist Showcase, Tallahassee Senior Center.

Turtle painting by Bob DeWitt Smith

Bob has extensive experience teaching art at major universities in the United States including Florida State, University of South Florida, Syracuse University, and NY University, as well only through the United States Agency for International Development in Nigeria. He also taught at the Senior Center in Tallahassee for several years and was president of their Art Council. His works have been featured in area exhibitions and galleries for years, including the Gadsdens Art Museum, LeMoyne Art Gallery, Southern Exposer Art Gallery, and Tallahassee Senior Center Senior Artist Showcase.

February Events Calendar

Saturday February 19: Sidewalk sale, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.: several of our members will exhibit their works along the sidewalk outside the gallery

Saturday February 26: Jack Hadley will be in the gallery from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. to discuss current activities at the Jack Hadley Black History Museum, including plans for the Imperial Hotel. A silent auction will be held throughout the month.

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