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Francys Johnson receives limited-edition artwork
The Rev. Dr. Francys Johnson, left, the president of the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP and a past president of the Statesboro Arts Council, accepts a limited-edition poster created by Beverly Buchanan, a well-known artist with Georgia ties. Interior designer Terry Holland of Macon, right, a patron of Buchanan's work, donated the painting to Johnson as a token of his appreciation for underwriting the Beverly Buchanan exhibit at the Averitt Center for the Arts earlier this year as part of the African Heritage series. - photo by Special

The Rev. Dr. Francys Johnson, the president of the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, recently accepted a limited-edition poster painted by Beverly Buchanan, an award-winning, highly celebrated artist.

Buchanan created the work of art just after Barack Obama was elected president. The poster belonged to Terry Holland, an interior designer from Macon, personal friend of Buchanan and patron of her work.

As part of the African Heritage series, the Averitt Center for the Arts exhibited Buchanan's work in its gallery last winter. Holland, a huge collector of her work, loaned many of his pieces to the Averitt for the exhibit.

Holland met Johnson, a Statesboro attorney and pastor of Magnolia Baptist Church, at the exhibit. Johnson's law firm, The Johnson Firm P.C. Attorneys and Counselors at Law, sponsored the exhibit.

"I remembered that Beverly had sent me a poster (when President Obama was elected)," Holland said. "I'd stored it all this time, considering where to place it. When Francys Johnson was kind enough to underwrite the show, I decided he would be an excellent recipient of this poster."

Holland made the trip to Statesboro in mid-October to present the gift to Johnson, past president of the Statesboro Arts Council.

Johnson was visibly moved to receive the gift. Holding his new painting, Johnson smiled and said, "Wonderful. This is wonderful."

Johnson continued: "Beverly Buchanan represents the arc of our progress in America. Her father, an educator, was only allowed to teach in a segregated school. She had the opportunities to go to the best schools. She chose to be a painter. Her ability to choose is a real testimony to America's progress. A woman of the South gets to live her life doing what she wants - paint."

In 1969, with a master's degree in pathology from Columbia University, Buchanan planned to become a doctor, but choose to pursue art instead. Art enthusiasts around the world are thankful she did, including Johnson, a Buchanan admirer for years and now proud owner of one of her limited-edition pieces.


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