Create while you wait at AMA Art Ball 2022

Columbus' artist Chris Johnson work plan for upcoming gala
Chris Johnson 03

ALBANY, GA – Those attending Art Ball 2022: Metamorphosis will have an opportunity to see—and even own—works of art created in real time at the Albany Museum of Art’s upcoming evening of dinner, music and dancing.

Chris Johnson, a Columbus artist and an assistant professor of visual arts at Andrew College in Cuthbert, will paint canvases at the black-tie optional event set for Saturday, Feb 26 at 140 W. Broad Ave. in downtown Albany, the future home of the Albany Museum of Art.

“I have not decided on a particular image yet but I plan to respond to the theme of the Art BallMetamorphosis,” Johnson said. “I will probably make two large-scale paintings using acrylic with brushes and acrylic aerosol. Each canvas will be approximately 4 feet by 5 feet.”

Johnson, widely known for his mural work on buildings and structures in Albany, Columbus and several other Southern communities, will begin working on his paintings early in the evening and complete them before the last notes and vocals of the Atlanta party band The New Royals reverberate in the air inside the industrial chic setting of the former Belk department store that one day will be the home of the AMA.

Presenting sponsors for the black-tie optional Art Ball 2022 are Albany Motorcars Mercedes-Benz and BMW of Albany. Tickets for the full Art Ball Experience—pre-dinner cocktails, a gourmet dinner catered by Stewbos Group and the After-Dinner Party of drinks and dancing—are nearing another sell-out.

For the first time, attendees can opt to start “fashionably late” at the After-Dinner Party, which includes drinks and dancing beginning at 9:45 pm and continuing through the end of the evening.

Tickets for the Art Ball Experience are $200 each for AMA members and $250 for future members.

After-Dinner Party tickets are $75 for AMA members and $100 for future members.

A secure link to purchase tickets may be found at www.albanymuseum.com/art-ball-2022.

Chloe Hinton, director of development and membership at the Albany Museum of Art, said the After-Dinner Partyoption was added this year so that more people could join in the annual celebration of art and community. “We are always looking for new ways to be more inclusive,” she said. “We hope this will be an avenue for more members of the community to come and be a part of this entertaining but important event.”

Hinton noted that Johnson is generously donating the artworks he creates at the gala to the Art Ball auction, which raises funds to provide free admission to the AMA, and to support the museum’s exhibitions, and educational and community programming.

“We will have a wide variety of art, experiences and beautiful art and home objects that those attending Art Ball will be able to bid on,” Hinton said. “We also will conduct the Libby Womack Paddle Raise, where attendees can contribute directly to our educational programs. Some of the funds raised during the paddle raise are used to provide scholarships to our spring, summer and winter art camps, which enables us to reach more children and students in our community.”

Johnson, who is director of the Visual Arts Program at Andrew College, said creating art in a live setting is both challenging and stimulating for the artist.

“I have done live art paintings at a number of events,” he said. “It is always exciting, as an artist, that the attendees can see the process of a painting taking shape.

“It is challenging to work on a painting when it is very wet. This is why I intend to have multiple canvases being worked on at the same time. At the beginning of each event, it is always a little intimidating being watched by so many attendees as you ‘perform,’ but that goes away once you get into a rhythm and the painting begins to transform.”

You can find more information about the Albany Museum of Art, located at 311 Meadowlark Drive, at www.albanymuseum.com. The AMA is open 10 am-5 pm Tuesdays-Saturdays, and admission is free for everyone.

AMA EXHIBITIONS

The Way of Life, Works by Ray Pierotti is in the Haley Gallery Jan 20 -April 23, 2022.

Prismatic, Works by Melissa Huang is in the East Gallery Jan 20 -April 23, 2022.

Ordo naturalis, Works by Eric Mack is in the McCormack Gallery Jan 20 -April 23, 2022.

African Artifacts of Spirituality and Identity is in the Hodges Gallery Jan 20 -April 23, 2022.

Escape Plan, installation by Elinor Saragoussi, is in the West Gallery.