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Georgians and students exhibit their artwork

Painter Craig Hawkins with photographer Elizabeth Jones display their work in the Bob Owens Art Gallery inside of Hoag Student Center on UNG's Dahlonega Campus. The exhibit called "Beautiful" will run from Jan. 19 to Feb. 12.

Artists are known for pushing the boundaries and asking the difficult questions through their work. This spring, two artists exhibiting their work in the University of North Georgia's (UNG) galleries will follow suit.

In his January exhibition "Beautiful" on UNG's Dahlonega Campus, painter Craig Hawkins with photographer Elizabeth Jones ask the question "Can paintings and photographs empower, promote or exhibit the process of healing from a disfiguring event?" One month later on the Gainesville Campus, ceramicist Wesley Harvey explores the idea of the perfect relationship in his exhibition called "Stupid Love."

Victoria Cooke, director of art galleries at UNG, said both artists were recommended by two UNG faculty members.

"I always work to align our exhibition with the work professors are doing in their classrooms," she said.

Cooke explained "Beautiful" features a series of Hawkins' paintings honoring victims through empathy, celebrating their value and finding beauty in their marks of suffering. Elizabeth Jones' photographic portraits will complement the paintings. Hawkins works as a professional studio artist and teaches at Valdosta State University.

"'Beautiful' is a collaborative effort to bring awareness to women burn victims in India by finding beauty in unlikely inspirations," Cooke said.

The exhibition will be on display from Jan. 19 to Feb. 12 in the Bob Owens Art Gallery inside the Hoag Student Center. A Zoom talk with both artists will be scheduled for a future time and date.

After "Beautiful" ends, Harvey's "Stupid Love" exhibition will open at the Roy C. Moore Art Gallery inside the Continuing Education and Performing Arts Building. The show will run from Feb. 17 to March 12.

"Harvey's work represents a narrative interest in ceramics that can be seen in his sculptures and functional ware," Cooke said. "It also addresses issues of the LGBTQ community."

In the exhibition, Harvey examines the idea of the monogamous relationship in terms of gay male sexuality and whether it can or will exist for him. He is a professional artist and a lecturer of ceramics at Georgia State University.

Harvey, Hawkins and Jones will not be the only artists in the spotlight this spring. Art students on the Dahlonega and Gainesville campuses will be featured in March and April.

From March 30 to April 23, the Hal B. Rhodes III Student Exhibition on the Dahlonega Campus is an annual juried event and awards ceremony. It will showcase the best work of UNG's students pursuing degrees in visual arts, Cooke said.

From April 12-23, UNG students and recent graduates will sell their creations on the Gainesville Campus. All funds will go directly to them.

"The student exhibitions not only give them an opportunity to show off their work, it gives them practical experience that will help them when they transition to the professional world," Cooke said.

For more information, visit the UNG art galleries webpage.

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