The Georgia Museum of Art celebrated its 75th birthday in style on Nov. 5 with a crowd of at least 540 in attendance.
Athens-Clarke County Mayor Kelly Girtz joined David Odo, museum director, to welcome all and read a proclamation in honor of the museum’s 75 years providing free inspiration.
UGA students, faculty, staff and community members also learned the winner of Museum Madness, the 64-work showdown that took the form of an NCAA tournament bracket and on which museum visitors and fans have been voting since March, both online and in person. Elizabeth Jane Gardner Bouguereau’s “La Confidence” edged out Art Rosenbaum’s “McIntosh County Shouters” by a mere dozen votes.
Attendees were also surprised and delighted when Hairy Dawg pushed out the 75th birthday cake and then hung around to take photos with guests and in the galleries. Thanks to the Material Arts and Culture Foundation, family activities were in abundance, with guests painting their own mini canvases (complete with teeny easels), decorating party hats and making chalk art in the Jane and Harry Willson Sculpture Garden, under a beautiful banner by K.A. Artist Shop. Many visitors wrote birthday wishes to the museum on heart-shaped sticky notes that multiplied on the large windows leading to the sculpture garden.
The galleries, on the second floor of the building, were busy, too, with volunteer docents manning Art Carts to share their knowledge about works in the collection with visitors. Attendees who completed a scavenger hunt in the permanent collection received not only six souvenir buttons, but also a poster as a prize. The Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art signed up many new members and handed out door prizes every 20 minutes. Not a Friend? Become one for free at jointhemuseum.com and stay in the loop about all the museum’s happenings.
The museum also premiered its brand-new collaboration with Jittery Joe’s at the event. Cup of Inspiration, a 100 percent Arabica blend, is available exclusively in the Museum Shop for now and provides a kickstart for the creative spark you need.
Just outside the doors, on a beautiful autumn day, the rest of the Spotlight on the Arts Family Day was bustling, too, with the Georgia Children’s Chorus performing in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex quad and an instrument petting zoo at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music.