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What do you love about our Neighborhood? … More about the Neighborhood as Art exhibit & Riverside Avondale Preservation!



Written by: Melanie O’Donnell

Susan Ober, Morning on the River, 2011, watercolor on paper, 32 x 40 in.

Susan Ober, Morning on the River, 2011, watercolor on paper, 32 x 40 in.

The Community Opening for The Neighborhood as Art on Tuesday, June 14th was a fun-filled success! Nearly 950 people came out to the Cummer to celebrate the exhibit and neighborhood. The evening’s festivities included a meet & greet with Riverside Avondale Preservation, painting for children, live music and bike tours. Also in attendance were many artists who have work featured in the show.

Russ Wilson, Yellow Bungalow IV, 2011, oil on canvas, 22 x 28 in.

Russ Wilson, Yellow Bungalow IV, 2011, oil on canvas, 22 x 28 in.

Have you seen the exhibit, yet? It features artwork that celebrates the art, architecture, people, parks, river and landscape that make the Riverside Avondale neighborhood great. The Cummer partnered with Riverside Avondale Preservation to celebrate our wonderful neighborhood with this juried exhibition.

Riverside Avondale Preservation Inc. (RAP) is a private, non-profit membership organization whose mission is to enhance and preserve the architecture, history, cultural heritage and economic viability of the historic neighborhoods of Riverside and Avondale. Carmen Godwin, Executive Director, had this to say about the neighborhood and exhibition: “Those of us who live and work in Riverside Avondale always knew we lived in a very special place but now, with the Top 10 Great Neighborhoods recognition, everyone else in the nation knows too. Riverside Avondale Preservation was key in maintaining this special sense of place and ensuring quality of life issues in the area are still at the forefront of making our community great.  This exhibition celebrating our neighborhood comes at a perfect time because of The Cummer’s Anniversary and because of the rich arts community that now calls the community home.  The Riverside Arts Market and various galleries and artists’ studios highlight the immense local talent that we have in the historic district and this exhibition allows those artists an opportunity to share what they think is unique about the neighborhood.”

Ellen Diamond, Memorial Park Magnolias, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 30 in.

Ellen Diamond, Memorial Park Magnolias, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 30 in.

So what do you love about our neighborhood? After the opening of the exhibit, we asked our fans on Facebook what they loved about Riverside Avondale. The small shops, 5 points, Memorial Park and the Cummer are said to be a few favorites. We particularly enjoyed what Amy Pyatt-Buggle had to say: “I love walking or riding my bike and looking at the beautiful architecture and talking with the friendly neighbors. Oh yea, and eating at the great restaurants!” Well said. We agree!

What I found especially nice to see at the opening, was the liveliness and camaraderie of the Riverside Avondale community. Many artists and visitors were often smiling at the sight of a familiar face, and making endless connections and conversations throughout the night. We are just thrilled to be a part of this friendly, wonderful neighborhood!

If you haven’t seen the exhibit yet, come by for a visit, neighbor. It’s open until July 31st.  Several additional programs are scheduled for this exhibit including Art Adventures on Saturday, July 16, and Talks & Tea Lecture Series on Wednesday, July 20.

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Director of Art Education

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