The Ogeechee River is flowing through the Legends Gallery at the Averitt Center.
There are towering cypress trees shading the rippling water. There are gators in the reeds, egrets in the trees. I saw a kayaker paddle by and watched the sunset.
I’m talking about “Life on the Ogeechee,” an exhibition of original works by members of the Statesboro Regional Art Association.
And here’s the best part.
Their art is doing more than celebrating the beautiful natural habitat in our own backyard; it’s helping to protect it.
All 45 pieces will be included in a silent auction to benefit the Ogeechee Riverkeeper during a reception at 7 p.m. Friday, May 31 at the Averitt Center. Advance tickets are required and available for $10 at the Ogeechee Riverkeeper website, ogeecheeriverkeeper.org. The evening will also feature music by the Ogeechee River Rounders, remarks by Riverkeeper Executive Director Emily Markesteyn, cocktail refreshments and door prizes.
Now let’s take a stroll around the gallery of oils, watercolors, acrylics, photographs — and don’t forget to bring your auction wishlist. Many of Statesboro’s favorite — and award-winning — local artists are represented here: Wendy Woodcock, Glenn Haynes, Julie Bressler, Kathy Shephard, Karen Youngblood, Betty O’Berry and others.
Barbara Akin’s “Early Morn Ogeechee River” is an Impressionist oil of layered bright colors, like a dream at first light. Lawrence Smith’s acrylic piece shows us “A New Passage” of emerald water reflecting the lush, leafy canopy above. In “Sunset on the Ogeechee,” an oil by Ida Waters, warm beams of gold and copper streak a blue-green stream. Drew Cottril’s fisherman beckons us to grab our pole and join him in “First Cast,” a rich and lustrous oil painting.
If you come seeking art for art’s sake, you’ll leave “Life on the Ogeechee” smiling. If you come back to the silent auction and reception on May 31, you’ll also smile about how you’ve helped make a difference.