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White Columns to play host to traveling exhibit

McDuffie County's local Master of Foxhounds, Epp Wilson, will help celebrate an important anniversary connected to his sport next Thursday.

The Master of Foxhounds Association of America (MFHA) has been around 100 years, and to recognize that, an exhibit featuring foxhunting themed artwork will travel around the country.

Considering McDuffie County's connection to the foxhunting world - through the Belle Meade Hunt - Thomson was chosen as one of the exhibit's stops. White Columns will be hosting the MFHA 2007 Centennial Traveling Art Exhibition in the banquet room, Feb. 8-11.

"There's truly something for everybody," Mr. Wilson said. "There's some stuff that is real modern looking and some stuff that is traditional looking. And there is something new at every stop."

Thomson will be the third stop on the tour, following New York, N.Y., and Aiken, S.C. According to the MFHA website, the work of more than 50 artists from across the country will make it to 23 cities over the course of the year.

"I think it's wonderful that we can host this," said Nancy Trivett of White Columns.

Mr. Wilson said he took his children, Wendi and Chase, to see the show in New York and is excited about the opportunity to have a local stop.

"This is truly one of the finest sporting art exhibits ever put together," he said.

One of the artists featured in the show is local to the area. Larry Dodd Wheeler has lived in Washington, Ga., for the past five years. Some of his works in the show, however, are the first foxhunting pieces he has done specific to the Belle Meade Hunt.

"I had been doing hounds and hunting for 20 years, and when I moved down here, one of my Maryland friends said, 'You know Belle Meade's right down the road from you,'" Mr. Wheeler said. "And I had never heard of it."

After visiting November's Opening Meet, Mr. Wheeler painted two pieces specific to the Belle Meade Hunt. Those will be shown at White Columns as part of the exhibit, but more may soon join the show as pieces are purchased.

The artwork in the exhibit will be for sale, Mr. Wheeler said, and according to the MFHA website, the proceeds will benefit the association.

Mr. Wilson said the artwork covers all price ranges, and will include several large bronze sculptures, oil paintings, watercolors and other media.

"I hope people will come and look, whether or not they are interested in buying anything," he said. "It is a traveling art exhibit that will go all over the United States and Canada, and we are one of the very first stops."

The public is invited to drop by and view the exhibit, but no public reception is planned. Chamber of Commerce members can peruse the exhibit during the After Hours gathering on Feb 8, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The exhibit will also be open to the public from noon until 6 p.m. on Friday. On Friday night, White Columns will play host to a private dinner and showing for members of the hunt only.

Web posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007

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