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Arts in the Alley features more than art

Alley cats, art admirers, music buffs and drama queens can cavort in downtown Thomson Saturday for the second annual Arts in the Alley. The festival is from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Journal Street.

"This year's visual arts portion has been expanded to offer a wider variety of fine art and fine craft," said Marion Ivey, chairman of the McDuffie Arts Council.

Original works by artists to be exhibited include paint, metal and clay sculpture, folk art, illustrations, photography, fiber art, jewelry, stained glass and soap, as well as live demonstrations of pottery sculpting and basket weaving.

There also will be a spot for local students to display and/or sell their works, Mr. Ivey said. And budding artists may find opportunity to bloom in the sidewalk chalk competition. Prizes will be awarded in several age categories.

But visual arts are only the beginning.

The festival also will feature musical performances by The Crabapple String (folk music) Band, The Augusta Preparatory Day School Girl's Vocal Trio and Quartet, Garden City Jazz "Swing Sets" including The Modern Jazz Movement, and Tri-M (modern music masters) from Thomson High School. Also, several children and adult dance companies will be performing throughout the day.

Everyone in attendance will have the opportunity to become a talent judge by voting on which Thomson High School student can stretch the truth the farthest. Students previously participated in a "Liar's Competition" for story writing and drama, and the three finalists will re-tell their stories.

"It's basically just a tall tale that they made up, so it's off the wall stuff," said Haley Tam, who organized the contest. "People will get to pay to vote for the one they like the best and the winner will be known as the Big Fat Liar."

Admission to the festival is a donation of a non-perishable food item for MANNA.

"This is yet another way the arts prove beneficial to a community's greater good," Mr. Ivey said.

Arts in the Alley is partially funded by the Georgia Council for the Arts, Grassroots Art Program, which was created by the Georgia General Assembly to ensure small communities have access to state-supported arts programs and funding.

Web posted on Thursday, May 06, 2010

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