Collections from Our Community

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Typewriters from the Collections of Mike Kilpatrick, Tatiana Veneruso, Mike Landers & Lauren Fancher

As told by Mike Kilpatrick:

As a child of the fifties, I grew to age during one of the most romantic of all periods in journalism: one depicting journalists as hard-edged men who wore trench coats with excellent felt hats with "Press" badges tucked into the hatband, with their brims bent below the left eye.  They all smoked.  And all were admired by beautiful, dangerous looking women, who also smoked. Could there be a more exciting, pressure-filled life?

While imagining myself as such a suave, confident figure filled my early years, what really hooked me into typewriters - and journalism - was the incredible, adrenaline pumping noise and commotion of  city news rooms depicted in such movies as 1951's Ace in the Hole, and 1976's All the President's Men.  In such movies, "real men" dashed into the newsroom from near death encounters, sat down to desks overflowing with earlier editions of newspapers and cigarette ash, and went to work.  The clacking of typewriter keys against cylinders, the "pinging" of the typewriter bell signaling the end of a line, and the banging of cylinders as they were manually returned in the carriage, was absolutely music.  And the fever pitch was reached, and movie saved, as the journalist ripped paper from the cylinder of the typewriter, shouting "copy"! What a dance!

Throughout my college years, and for years thereafter, I worked in newspapers and freelanced magazine articles.  While I never found a newsroom as exciting as those depicted in movies, what was actual as exciting was the sound of a dozen or more journalists working on manual and electric typewriters.  My last job in newspaper journalism was in metro Atlanta in the early 80s.  We all worked on IBM Selectric Typewriters.  The newsroom was 10 or so reporters, with two editors, all working toward a 10am deadline every morning.  To say mornings were chaotic would be a vast understatement, but the excitement and romance was all there, alive and well.


Fast forward to the mid-1990s and I had purchased a restored 1924 home in the Normaltown area of Athens.  Needing "nick-nacks and what nots " to fill built-in bookcases, one afternoon in an antique store on Prince Avenue, I stumbled upon an antique typewriter.  Computers had years earlier taken the place of typewriters, but the image of such an interesting piece of history caught my eye.  Home with me it went, to be proudly displayed among other such curious items.  From there, the collection grew.  Never was it my intention to work with them, just to have them as tokens to a by-gone era I was lucky enough to be a part of, if only for a few years.

Interestingly, during this same period I was restoring a 1946 Indian Chief motorcycle.  Through odd twists of fate, a national vintage motorcycle publication contacted me concerning a story of the restoration.  While happy to oblige, I thought what could be better than submitting a story on a vintage motorcycle restoration written on an antique typewriter!  So, one of these portables was called into action!  The article published, and as proud as I was about that, I was more proud to tell my friends I wrote the article on a 60s-era manual, portable typewriter.

Typewriters now are as old school as sun dials, and journalists may still imagine themselves as hard-edged, chain-smoking exciting figures admired by beautiful, dangerous women. But when they enter the newsroom to sit at a computer screen to file copy, the romance ends.  The silence of a key board will never replace the urgency and romance of a manual keyboard.  At least to this hard-edged reporter!

-Mike Kilpatrick

Cathy Padgett’s Jackie O Book Collection

January 20 – March 18, 2023

Collectors Talk with Cathy Padgett: January 26, 6:00 pm FACEBOOK EVENT

"One summer my mother and I watched a TV movie about President Kennedy’s assassination.  I had general knowledge of the event, but I really did not know anything about Jacqueline Kennedy.  I knew more about Jacqueline Onassis, whose photo I had seen on magazine covers. 

I inundated my mother with endless questions about the former first lady.  Finally, she suggested I look up Jackie in the encyclopedia (yes, this was before Google!).  My interest grew and grew. In an attempt to save herself from a summer of endless Jackie questions, my mother purchased my first Jackie book for me “Jackie Oh!” by Kitty Kelley.  I read it so much that the binding came apart.

Over the years, I have added dozens of books to my collection.  Some were written by former Kennedy staff members, some by historians, some by folks who never met Jackie.  Many of the books are really amazing and informative, while others were just gossip.


As a History major at the University of Georgia, I took every opportunity to make Jackie the subject of my research papers.  I could write pages on her impact on the American fashion industry, her work on restoring the White House, her influence on the arts, her support of historic preservation, and her role in developing the John F. Kennedy Library. 

What I learned from reading books on Jackie, is she is much more than a fashion icon, an arts patron, an historic preservationist, and defender of her husband’s legacy, she is really a survivor, literally and figuratively, who had a huge impact on our country that is still felt today." - Cathy Padgett

Cathy Padgett serves as the Community Outreach Program Specialist for the Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department.  A native Athenian, she is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in History.  When not building her book collection you will find her antiquing, watching college football, or deciding the next documentary to watch.

Nancy Songster's Tiny Houses

On view November 15 - January 14, 2023.  Collector's Talk: Tuesday, December 6th, 6 pm.

"I began my journey into fascination with miniatures – that is small or minute replicas or reproductions of all things life sized – nearly 50 years ago. It was only natural with two pre-school daughters that dollhouses would have such a strong first appeal. A simple dollhouse donated as a fundraiser led to contacts with other people interested in miniatures. It followed that I became aware of publications, national organizations, individual artists, and shows devoted to miniatures of all kinds.

Like many hobbies, there is also a network of miniaturists. The whole “miniature world” opened up to me. Everything for a house or shop and anything to make and furnish one was available in miniature scale from artists or commercial dealers.


The techniques and methods for making tiny things are essentially the same as full sized items. Materials include, wood, fabric, clay, metal, polymer clay, glass, and plastic. Tools are much smaller, of course; and materials are scaled down. Miniature projects encompass many scales. One inch per foot is the most popular; then ½”= 1 foot. Many miniaturists are devoted to ¼” scale. There are several quarter scale projects in the exhibit. Work is even done in 1/8” scale and smaller.

Inspiration is all around you in the “miniature world”: shops, shows, special occasions, the challenge of a particular skill, or fascination with a certain item. For a time, I was intrigued by small handmade bears, as small as 1/8” and as large as 2”. Suddenly, I had a collection of over 80 bears that needed a display home, thus the Lovey Bear Shop.

Miniature clubs or societies as some are called exist in almost every metropolitan location in the country. This is also true internationally – especially in the EU and the Asia-Pacific region. As we have moved around the country from: Savannah, GA; Cedar Rapids, IA; Columbus, OH; Atlanta, GA; and Baltimore, MD; I have been active in a miniature group in each place we lived. It was in Baltimore that I learned to paint authentic Baltimore Screens which I painted in miniature for the domed display in the exhibit.

When living in Atlanta during the 1980’s I became very involved in the Atlanta Miniature Society and maintain a membership today after retiring and moving to Athens in 2004. My work with miniatures continues though not on more challenging and intricate projects. I am content to do creative, fun things like a large dollhouse decorated for Christmas – completion date TBD. " - Nancy Songster               


Carrie Slayton’s Tarot Cards & Crystal Skulls

September 7 – November 12, 2022

"I have always been fascinated by the metaphysical world and divination in particular. I am a student of psychology, so the real fascination for me with tarot is using it as a tool to work with the psyche. Tarot cards work differently for each person. Some want to believe in the divination aspect of tarot, and as Dr. Joe Dispenza indicates in his studies on the Biology of Belief, the receiver is the one who manifests their reality. Some believe that tarot cards do not foretell the future, and so they don’t. But what they do do is create space for the subconscious mind to connect with the conscious mind to create associative connections that make sense to the querent."


Crystal Skulls 2022
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"The real collecting began in 2020, after we received our first Covid stimulus checks! My tarot collection has grown to over 200 decks. I do not collect every kind of tarot deck. In fact, I resist owning any Rider-Waite tarot decks, of which there are many iterations now. I’m a non-conformist at heart, I suppose. I do specifically collect darker-themed decks, as I am a fan of ShadowWork —working through personal trauma as an aspect of spiritual growth and healing. I actively collect Halloween decks. I actively collect out-of-print, dark decks. I also like to collect unique, artistic decks from Etsy and Kickstarter creators. Supporting artists is important to me.

I do read tarot cards. I have a preference for reading spreads that speak to the querent’s soul journey vs. the concrete aspects of the material world. I use the Tarot to help unlock the subconscious and get to the root of one’s personal and spiritual journey. I also host a Tuesday Tarot study group in my home for others who are interested in learning the esoteric meanings associated with the Tarot.

What do crystal skulls have to do with any of this? Skulls represent death. Death in the Tarot represents change (not actual death). The skull also represents a housing unit for three of the four chakras in the energetic body: Vishuddha (throat chakra – emitted by the mouth/jaw), Ajna (third eye chakra – seat of intuition) and Sahasrara (crown chakra – connection to Source, the All That Is)." 

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About Carrie: I am an Athens resident and ACCGov employee working in the Organizational Development Division. I am an ICF-certified coach and learning and development professional. I have a deep affinity for neuropsychological research and its application in personal development. I have developed an advanced acumen in personality theory and neuroscience applications in the coaching environment to accelerate career and personal growth. I am an expert in effective communications, navigating difficult conversations, developing leadership presence, practicing mindfulness and self-reflection.

For those on an esoteric path toward soul growth and development, I offer psychosynthesis coaching and chakra coaching. To make inquiries about how the Tarot can unlock your subconscious messaging system, contact

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Winfield and McNeal’s Fleet June 7 – August 20, 2022

Winfield Smith was born in 1970 in Savannah.  Every year for his birthday he received cars and trucks.  For Christmas, he received cars and trucks.  He inherited his grandfather’s cars.  He painted his own trucks.  It grew to be quite a collection: firetrucks with ladders, spinning cement mixers, Hot Wheels with doors that open, and dump trucks with hydraulic lifts.  His days were filled with play and the collection grew.

Winfield moved to Athens in 1988, and the cars and trucks stayed behind in Savannah.

In 2011, Winfield and his wife Winnie were visiting his home in Savannah.  In the closet, under the stairs, they found his collection!  Cars and trucks hidden in the closet for over 20 years waiting to be played with again!  Winnie was pregnant with their son Winfield, so they decided all the cars and trucks would come back to their home in Colbert to fill the baby’s nursery. 

They have been loved and regularly played with ever since, first by Winfield, then by his little brother McNeal.  Some are on shelves, but not for long.  There are cars and trucks under beds, in baskets, and covering the floors.  Some cars and trucks even wind up in the bath or in mud puddles in the yard.  All of them are unforgiving to bare feet and stubbed toes. 

There are always more cars and trucks (and planes and trains) being added to the collection, such as Hess Trucks from the 1990s.  But none of them are as special as the originals from Savannah.

Carried Away: Tatiana Veneruso's Purses

COLLECTORS TALK - June 2, 6:00 pm

March 13 - June 4, 2022

From priceless family heirlooms to affordable thrift store finds, Tatiana Veneruso has a purse for every occasion.  This collection spans over 100 years of handbag history, clutches, pouches, wristlets, minaudières and more!  With 68 bags on display, Tatiana is more attracted to unique shapes and colors more than brands.  Most are thrifted (or inherited).  Many of the older pieces are family heirlooms.  One of the first vintage pieces she bought in high school was stolen and then returned. When asked which one she would rescue from a burning building she replies, "Whichever one had my wallet in it, lol!"

When she's not finding unique pieces for her collection, Tatiana is an artist, curator and works as Public Art Coordinator for Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Arts Division.



Collections from our Community

Oliver Domingo’s Library Music January 18 – March 12, 2022

The Lyndon House Arts Center announces a new exhibit for our program Collections from our Community: Oliver Domingo’s Library Music.

“Enjoy a playlist (HERE) that includes some of the juiciest tracks in library music. These tracks reflect all sorts of genres: jazz, funk, even oddball music. It includes a rich collection of different labels around the world with talented artists and composers that come with them.” – Oliver Domingo 

Read about Library Music in the Red and Black


Library music or stock music is made and then sold to producers to use in things like commercials, films, background music at the mall or in elevators and sci-fi movies. Oliver’s unique vinyl collection of instrumental library music is mostly from the 60s, 70s and 80s. The music encompasses the general, everyday sound of its time and transports the listener to the disco, to the swanky cocktail party, to a retro fantasy-scape, to the past.

Oliver Domingo is an active member of the Art Center’s Teen Cartoon and Illustration Club.

Collections from our Community: Bill Raines’ Pond Boats 

October 12, 20221 – January 16, 2022 COLLECTOR'S DISCUSSION IN-PERSON January 13, 2022, 6:00 pm

Bill Raines is a photographer and while traveling throughout Georgia he’s come to know all the junk shops along his routes. He’s picked up these antique vessels along the way. A couple of the boats are over one hundred years old. Bill has restored some of the paint and sails but has chosen to, in some cases, retain a tattered sail or chipped paint to elude to the boats history and thinks a little hole here and a discoloration there adds character. People race these boats on ponds. First, they take note of the wind direction, tie the sails in place, set the angle of the rudder and then let the boats go, catching the breeze, with the hope that they sail quickly and smoothly to the other bank.

Pond Boat List
POnd Boats

Collections from our Community: 

Oscar’s Godzillas

June 30 – October 9, 2021

“Before you, there are many varying objects. The one with the most significance is actually the small clear Ziploc bag. It contains an old dismantled Mecha Godzilla toy. I was already familiar with the idea of Godzilla when I figured out what the toy was. It was a guess involving putting two and two together based on how it looked. That’s when I found out it was my first Godzilla toy. Eventually, I watched “Godzilla” (2014) and the deal was sealed. I have been collecting ever since I was 5 and I do not plan on stopping anytime soon. 


I get them on trips, locally and the occasional yard sale. My favorite, the S.H. MonsterArts Kiryu because it took me two years to get my hands on this item. 

I always admired the idea of something unbelievable and wonderful hidden out in the world. Godzilla holds a great example. It shows how small we really are as a species and how our actions have great effects.”- Oscar Justus

Oscar Justus is a member of the Arts Center Teen Cartoon and Illustrators Club.

Collections from our Community: Arthur Johnson’s Shark Collection

April 20 – June 26, 2021

“My shark collection began inadvertently when I was a student at UGA in the early/mid-eighties. My friend Greg Germani decided he wanted to give someone a nickname, and he decided it would be me, and he decided the nickname would be Shark, for no particular reason that he can recall now. The nickname stuck and was used often by my small circle of friends, who would occasionally give me a shark item, such as a plastic toy shark or candy dispenser or a Hot Wheels Sharkruiser. Some years later when I started touring with a band in Boston, I decided it would be a good use of my time and per diems to shop for sharks while I was on the road, and then my collection really took off. I’ve bought a lot of sharks over the years, but I’ve also been given many sharks; I think people enjoy the challenge of finding a shark I don’t own or haven’t even seen before. It’s difficult to say exactly how many shark objects and images I have, because they kind of permeate our household—besides the sharks displayed around our office, there’s shark art displayed around our house and in our backyard, and many shark-shaped kitchen utensils (bottle openers, pizza cutters), plus I’ve got storage tubs full of sharks that I don’t have room to display—but a thousand and one sharks seems like a good estimate. These are photos of a few favorites. Some are handmade: a hand-stitched pillow by Annika Tamura; a metal shark fabricated from street signs by Matt Haffner; a shark carved out of soap by Athens’ own Jennifer Hartley; a whirligig by R. A. Miller that we bought from R. A. himself back in the early ‘90s; a wire shark that I commissioned from an artist who was set up at the Harvard T stop in Cambridge; a shark from the 1970s board game JAWS that Stephen Larkworthy painted to look like Plastic Man, one of my identities as a member of Atlanta’s Box Heroes. Others I picked up during my touring days (a Fisher-Price shark flashlight I bought at a Woolworth’s in Munich’s Old Town in 1992 or 1993, a shark comb I found during a late-night stop at South of the Border) or I received from friends or family over the years (shark patches that my lifelong best friend Todd Butler collected for me, a Mark Trail cartoon that Boston artist Keith Maddy gave me, a Richard Scarry shark car that is one of many thoughtful gifts from my mom over the years). And to clarify: I don’t love sharks per se—it’s more that I love representations of sharks.”

Metal cut-out shark by R A Miller
Shark patches from Todd Butler

“Born and raised in Atlanta, I first visited Athens in the fall of 1978 at the age of 14, when I rode the Greyhound bus here to see my sister Carole and we attended a midnight showing of Eraserhead at the South PJ on the UGA campus and then a UGA football game the next day (I stayed at the late, lamented Downtowner in Five Points). I enrolled at UGA myself in 1982 and graduated in 1986, and then spent a few more years here having fun with my band, the Bar-B-Q Killers, before my then-girlfriend, now-wife Donna Ashley and I decided to move to Boston, where we stayed for seventeen wonderful years before moving back to Atlanta at the end of 2005. Since returning to Georgia, I’ve worked as a freelance editor/copyeditor/proofreader/permissions editor while also occasionally playing drums hither and thither with my old Boston band, Come, and with friends in Atlanta and Athens, including Ted Hafner and David Barbe.” —Arthur Johnson

Collections from our Community: Julie Rutledge’s Grandparents’ Avon Bottles

February 2 - April 10, 2021

“My grandparents, Sadie and Tom Rutledge, began collecting Avon bottles in the early 1970s.  They were always interested in antiques and collecting treasures in their own attempt to preserve history. One of their past times was going to flea markets and as Sadie said, “looking at all the treasures.” Sadie and Tom were drawn to Avon bottles because they were intrigued with all the different designs and shapes.

Sadie and Tom found a lot of Avon bottles at J&J Flea Market and the Pendegrass Flea Market. Once they started collecting them, friends would also collect bottles so they would have many duplicates. They got a lot of bottles from an old friend who owned a junk store off 441 in Nicholson. He’d put aside any bottles he found. 

Overtime, my grandfather built bookshelves in the basement to store all the Avon bottles. No one ever used the fragrances. They just enjoyed looking at them. In the end, they collected more than 2000 bottles.


I was in college when my grandfather died. I always enjoyed coming home to walk through the basement with my grandmother to look at all the treasures. She especially enjoyed pausing in front of the 6 bookshelves full of Avon bottles and remembering her husband. 

Sadie died March 1, 2019. She would have been thrilled to have the Avon bottle collection on display for others to enjoy.” – Julie Rutledge

Julie Rutledge is an English and ESOL teacher who took time off to raise her son. She has worked part-time at the Athens Community Career Academy for the last two years and has enjoyed working with such an ambitious and motivated group of students while also having flexibility to be home more with her son. She and her family like to be outside as much as possible, biking and walking around town. She also enjoys gardening, painting and ceramics 

Collections from our Community: Hue and Carole Henry’s Banana Peels

What is creativity anyway? Does it have to be lasting? Can creative moments be collected? These are some of the questions that Hue and Carole Henry’s collection of banana peel photos can bring to mind. 

"The collection began with a banana and a glass of water – a daily routine while watching “Morning Joe” each day. The banana peel was initially tossed into the trash, but one day a year ago Hue, a retired local attorney active in community theater, took the peel, inverted it into the empty glass and gave it new meaning.  Carole, a retired UGA art education professor and former middle school art teacher, started photographing the banana peel “sculptures” at first by themselves but then in different settings both inside and outside, sometimes in natural settings and other times with decorative objects found around the house. Some choices were governed by the weather; others by serendipitous events like the sight of a visiting friend’s bright yellow kayak, strapped to the top of their parked car."

"The photos served to document the act of looking at one thing (the banana peel) and seeing or imagining something else (perhaps a flower) in a way that was fun and unique. Each banana peel was different, some riper than others, and each background an unexpected juxtaposition. Seeing them all together- over 100 images in all (only 16 are included here) documents moments of creativity that are themselves ephemeral." - Carole Henry


Michael Lachowski’s Trail Trash

March 3 - May 2, 2020

Talk: Thursday, April 23, 6:00 pm  FACEBOOK EVENT

When Michael Lachowski goes hiking or backpacking he picks up trail litter. When he gets home, no matter what it may be, how much or how little, he puts it in a sandwich bag, labels it with where he went, what trail, and who he was with. Trail mix bags, lots of cigarette butts, a lead ball / bear bullet, foil, a glow stick, shotgun casings, and fishing lure. Some trails are more littered than others — one bag contains a single lollipop stick. At first the collections seem insignificant, but when you start aggregating it, something as simple as this, little pieces of trash in a bag, have a story to tell. It shows the impact of other people and Michael, wanting to be a good little camper, wants to tidy up.

Michael Lachowski came to the University of Georgia to study photography in the art department back when the building was on Jackson Street near downtown. His scene was built around the art school party crowd and was intensely interested in the new music of the time, leading him and his roommate Randy Bewley to form the band Pylon. Pylon broke up after two albums and lots of touring in order to “make art again,” and all of the band chose to remain in Athens. Lachowski made art and worked at Dixons Bicycles, then opened the design agency Candy, which he also turned into a DJ store and then a clothing store for men and women. Pylon reunited twice, ending for good when guitarist Bewley died of a heart attack. Lachowski published the magazine Young, Foxy & Free in Athens and then expanding to Atlanta. In 2012 he settled down with a job doing PR for the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia. He has been active in Athens on the boards for Athens-Clarke


Lola Brooks’ Accessories: Vintage Rhinestone Glasses, Matching Wallet Sets and Vera Neumann Scarves 

On view January 6 – February 29, 2020

3Thurs Talk: January 16, 6 PM

Lola Brooks relocated to Athens from New York to be the UGA Dodd Chair in 2012 and ended up moving to town permanently. She currently lives in Farmington and makes fantastic, complicatedly layered, shimmering sculptural jewelry. This winter she shares her collection of rhinestone glasses, matching rainbow-colored wallet sets and gorgeous Vera Neumann vintage scarves. 

Lola is an obsessive collector. Concerned that her collecting borders on hoarding, she explains that everything she has is really fabulous. So it’s not like a filthy hoarder, it’s a highly curated intentional hoarding. She meticulously organized the pieces by color and sets parameters for herself to insure the collecting does not spin out of control. For example, the glasses must come from the 60’s and 70’s and the wallets must have a matching keytainer to even be considered. Combing through the Salvation Army, trolling flea markets, and scouring ebay, Lola has amassed impressive treasures.

A twenty-year-old Lola bought her first pair of vintage rhinestone glasses after being wow-ed by a woman walking down the street in New York wearing an outrageous pair. Not only did she start wearing glasses again for the first time since 4th grade (it was great to be able to see again!) it also sparked this obsession. Since then, thirty years in the making, her collection has grown to include over 150 dazzling frames and a colorful assortment of Pucci sunglasses. 

Growing-up, Lola was a latch key kid and spent a lot of time on her own in a downstairs closet, digging through her mother’s purse collection. She would put on her mom’s Herb Alpert records and fill her Lady Buxton wallet with homemade credit cards and Monopoly money. Later on, in the early days of Ebay, Lola was just perusing and recalled those times in the purse closet. She searched “Lady Buxton” and thus began her rainbow collection of wallets and matching keytainers. 

The scarves all designed by Vera Neumann are from the 1940’s to the 1970’s. The bold designs, heavily influenced by Japanese textiles are signed “Vera” with a little ladybug. Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly wore Vera scarves and First Lady Bess Truman selected Vera fabrics to decorate the third floor solarium windows and upholstery of the White House. Lola organizes the scarves by color. Only a small portion of her impressive collection is on display in the case. 

The idea of building this collection is similar to building Lola’s jewelry works. This act of collecting glasses, wallet sets and vintage scarves is similar to collecting material such as the precious stones and the ivory roses used in her work. Each piece becomes a hoard in its own right, a sparkling pile, a glittering tangle.  

Tad Gloeckler’s Flyswatters

October 14 – January 7, 2020

Tad Gloeckler became interested in flyswatters when he saw a minimal, tail-like, Eric Bagger designed flyswatter in the gift shop of the Museum of Modern Art. He found a yellow butterfly swatter right before going to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural triumph, Fallingwater. He’s found inspiring specimens at Target and on eBay. One is Amish inspired and made with a floppy leather killing mechanism, Pampered Chef makes one with a dustpan and tweezers to pick up the carcasses, the Michael Graves model attaches to a broom for killing  flies in high spaces and the beautifully designed OXO is the one Tad uses at home. There are flyswatters gifted from the bank after buying a home and also an executive flyswatter, both strange gifts to receive. There are fly killing guns. There are flyswatters wearing disguises; a blue daisy masks an insect’s worst nightmare. Tad’s favorite piece has a simple dark palette with a great transition between the handle and head with the wire forming a subtle fly motif.

Tad’s desire to collect was fueled by teaching. Using the flyswatter with its straightforward, consistent design components, handle, shaft and swatting surface, Tad leads students in questioning, “What is invention vs. novelty?”.  In his design classes at UGA, he guides students in developing concepts, using and transforming materials and utilizing the basic design elements. Flyswatters prove to be the perfect visual and conceptual example, being so simple but so varied. Presenting a flip-flop mounted to a stick, an electrified tennis racket-like invention called the “Buzzwacker” and a swatter you lock and load, then pull the trigger to smash the insect between two orange waffled panels, Tad shows the students that it is ok to be creative, think outside the box- it doesn’t all have to be about function, it can be about creating an intriguing object and more about ideas. Tad also discusses the importance of naming the object. Instead of a “flyswatter,” he asks students to think about “insect compressors”. “We have a preconceived idea about how something should be formed. If you ask a student to make a chair rather than an object to be sat upon you will get a totally different result.”

Tad designed several, flyswatters himself. Like a Rube Goldberg machine they are multi-faceted, multi-stepped and whimsical, almost comical in their complexity and craftsmanship when considering their fly killing objective. Tad’s sculpture “Good News” takes the idea of rolling up a newspaper to smash a fly and formalizes it. Like the Philippe Stark designed swatter in his collection that stands upright on its gorgeous, minimal three legs, Tad wonders, “How can you have something that looks good sitting on the coffee table and still kill flies?” Tad’s sculpture does sit beautifully, the horn-like rolled murder weapon hangs on a masterfully constructed stand with a cross at its base alluding to the inevitable death and afterlife of any winged intruder. 

Making multiples allows Tad to show the viewer the different steps of how the sculpture unfolds and is used. “Metamorphosis-C” illustrates the three steps in transforming this sculpture from a strange little box all tightly packed-up to an attack ready fly hunting arsenal. The transformation begins with an abstract larva form, and a wing-like mesh emerges from a pupa to be reconfigured into a swatter.

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Rachel Barnes' White Ceramic Cats
On view: August 20 - October 12

Rachel saw her first white ceramic cat in her early 20s at Agora (which is now Atomic). It was priced too extravagantly for her in those days but she began to covet these 1970’s mold-made kitties. After Lori from Dynamite gave her the first one word spread and friends started helping with her collection. Many evenings she comes home to find a new little friend waiting for her on the porch.

Rachel is a crazy cat lady, obsessed with cats and got that way thanks to her grandmother. It was just their thing, they loved them and for every birthday and occasion people gave them cats. Now Rachel has a bathroom dedicated to her ever growing non-white kitty collection but the white cats sit in a place of honor, where their monochromatic elegance can be appreciated, in the living room. Her husband Alfredo gets major props for not only embracing this cat colony but also helping with the interior design to feature them in their best light, in the front window.

Getting to live with the cats every day, Rachel has come to notice and love the fact that despite every puss being fluffy white, having a pink nose, pink ears and blue eyes each one is so different and has such a unique personality. Even the ones that are made from the same mold- a curling eyelash, a slanted eye, a pink protruding tongue makes each figure an individual. Many of these pieces were made in the 70’s when mold-made pottery painting was the hot new fad. It’s fun to see the artist take creative license- some having more success than others at painting the features. Rachel loves the odd ones the most, the family portrait with mom and her kittens done-up with hot pink lips and Tammy Faye eyes, the runt of the litter that looks like a cross between a cat, a lamb and a demon dog and the chubby little guy with a very chunky tail and melancholy eyes framed by curled lashes. Their idiosyncrasies are intriguing.

Nena Gilreath's Barbies

On view: June 14 - August 17

3Thurs Talk with Nena! FACEBOOK EVENT

Barbie ballerinas, princesses, brides and clad in their commemorative holiday gowns, East Athens Educational Dance Center Supervisor, Nena Gilreath, shares her collection with us.

"I Am Black Dance because I live dance through my heritage, though my ancestry, & through my art. Black Dance is creative. It's colorful." -Nena Gilreath

Mrs. Gilreath is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. She began her career by moving to Atlanta and joining the Ruth Mitchell Dance Theatre.  She later joined the Dance Theatre of Harlem, touring nationally and internationally.  In 1988, Ms. Gilreath returned to Atlanta to dance with the Atlanta Ballet.  Finally, on January 15, 1990, along with husband and choreographer Waverly T. Lucas, II they created Ballethnic Dance Company. She has implemented numerous outreach programs including the BUDDY Project through the Atlanta Project, which served as a model for the existing Danseur Development Project.  Ms. Gilreath currently serves as co-founder and co-artistic director of Ballethnic Dance Company and Ballethnic Academy of Dance. She received the 2008 Atlanta NAACP President’s Award for their positive influence on today’s youth.

Mike Landers’ Cookie Jars

April 12 - June 8, 2019

As a lifelong collector of stuff, I’ve learned that collecting anything requires me to set limits on the collection -- not just things I like — but things that fall within specific criteria for being considered for the collection. There is so much stuff to collect, you’ve got to limit and define your criteria for collecting.The first cookie jar I bought was a Humpty Dumpty cookie Jar from the 1940s designed by Brush Pottery. But I realized that if I was going to collect more, I needed to narrow my selection criteria. I decided that any cookie jar that I would collect would need to be a head-shaped cookie jar.

My collection is predominantly three dimensional likenesses of familiar two-dimensional cartoon characters. It contains many of the cartoon characters that I loved when I was a kid - Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, Mr. Magoo, Pinocchio, Popeye the Sailor, Yogi Bear, and Smokey the Bear. However, I think the most interesting and strange ones are the oldest ones. I have three stoneware jars that look like newspaper cartoon illustrations from the 1930s-1940s, Oscar the Doughboy, Mustache Man and Sailor Girl.

Vintage Cast Iron Pots & Pans: Wyler Hecht

NEW - 3Thurs event - Wyler will speaking about her collection on February 21st at 6pm!

On view through March 2019

Wyler Hecht’s diverse collection of vintage cast iron pots and pans were manufactured in the 19th and early to mid-20th century. The oldest skillets, manufactured between 1860 and 1890 are dated by the presence of a gate mark on the bottom surface. Hecht’s collection includes pieces by Wagner Ware, Griswold, Wapak, Martin Stove and Range, Favorite Piqua and several others. There are a number of unmarked skillets by these manufacturers as well. These unmarked skillets are identifiable by specific incised or raised marks (i.e. pan size number) and handle shapes and design. Iron skillets are making a fierce comeback in the culinary market, and while there are a number of contemporary manufacturers, vintage cast iron is becoming more and more sought after and certainly harder to come by.

The glass case in the lobby of the Arts Center features collections of objects from members of the community ranging from photographs to vintage bottles to toys and so much more. If you or someone you know have a collection of interest that you would like to have on display, contact Celia Brooks

Community Collection: A Selection of Toy Soldiers from the Collection of Tony Turner

On view: September 11 - November 1, 2018

This exhibit includes a selection of toy soldiers from the collection of Tony Turner.  Tony, who is a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel, served during the Vietnam War with four years in Vietnam and Laos.  Of particular interest to Colonel Turner, which covers roughly 50% of his collection, is the Napoleonic Wars.  This is an area that he has studied and read extensively both in history and fiction. The collection also includes pieces both vintage and modern from the Napoleonic Wars, the Civil War, World War II and the Vietnam War.

The glass case in the lobby of the Arts Center features collections of objects from members of the community ranging from photographs to vintage bottles to toys and so much more. If you or someone you know have a collection of interest that you would like to have on display, contact Celia Brooks

Community Collections: Leslie Litt’s Collection of Enamellist Society Trade Pins    
March 20 - May 19, 2018

These are a collection of unique pins traded by the members of the Enamellist
Society. Those that make and share their pins at the conferences are rewarded with a nice selection to take home with them. As a member of the Enamellist Society for over 14 years, Leslie Litt has gone to 6 Enamellist Society conferences, missing only the year she moved to Athens.

Leslie enjoys creating a unique designs that other enamellists would want to have and trade. She has amassed quite a large collection. It is interesting to see the materials, textures and techniques that are used. Sand, plastic, mesh, copper, steel, beads, copper scrubbies, silver foil and decals are a few of the materials that are utilized. The techniques are as varied as the materials and include:
embossing, form folding, Scraffito, laser printing, stenciling, Cloisonné, crackle and graphite.

Not all the pins are signed but some of the more notable artists are: Leslie Perrin, Averill Shepp, Dorothy Crockell, Gail Bradshaw, Vicki Mathieu, Suzanne Kustner, Michelle Hall Scott, Judy Stone, Tixh White, Barbara Louise Bowling and Steve Artz.Artz.

Angels Everywhere: Connee Flynn

On view through March 2018

When you enter into my world (my home) there are angels everywhere but you have to be aware of them. The same applies to our perception of their existence.

In the early 1950’s they started appearing in my artwork (too much imagination?). This peaked my interest.
I started collecting them slowly and quietly. I brought home angels from Europe and Mexico. My family and friends noticed the collection. From there the collection grew in all manner and form.

Connee Marchell Flynn, a native of New York City, began her art training in high school. She studied at the Brooklyn Museum of Art School, the Franklin School of Professional Art, The Art Students League and by invitation with graphic designer M. Peter Piening. After working for advertising agencies and a catalog
publishing firm, she freelanced for several years before her marriage.

Connee Flynn has lived in Athens since 1968. After her children were grown she returned to wood block printing and watercolor painting. Although her interest in all mediums remains, she finds the spontaneity of watercolors exciting and printmaking challenging. Her love of nature is apparent in her works.

ZIG DOT ZAG: Featuring works by the Athens Fibercraft Guild’s “Challenge Project” participants

On view: September 19 – October 28

Each year, the Athens Fibercraft Guild presents a “Challenge Project” to its members, asking them to choose a bag that contains an unusual assortment of mystery items. Members then create a piece with these objects, while simultaneously responding to a common theme. This year’s theme was ZIG DOT ZAG. The bags contained naturally dyed wool in various forms of fleece, yarn and woven cloth. Each bag had a label indicating which plant was used to dye the colorful wool. The resulting works range from wearable garments to soft sculptures. The “Challenge Project” is always so much fun -it is like a potluck luncheon, full of delicious, unexpected surprises! Enjoy exploring all the varying works that resulted from our experiments.

If you or someone you know have a collection of interest that you would like to have on display, contact

Pictured at right: work by Erika Lewis

Clay 1976 - 2017
From the collection of Rich Panico
On view June 3 - July 29

3THURS Art Conversation with Rich Panico
July 20, 6 pm

Rich Panico began to work in clay in 1976. He started out apprenticing with Rick Berman at Callenwolde in Atlanta. His first works focused on an Oriental‪,‬ functional aesthetic in high fire and raku. An artistic community‪,‬ including Michael Simon, Bernard Leach and Michael Cardew strongly influenced his work during this time‪,‬ as well as Ron Meyers and Peter Voulkous‪,‬ who both had cultivated original voices in American ceramics‪,‬ while preserving strong links to both Oriental and European traditions. These friendships inspired a six year period of creative experimentation of which only a few pieces remain. 

From the beginning, Panico's artistic undertakings have been interwoven with a career in medicine. By the early 80's the demands of his medical practice pushed clay work into a back seat. In 1990, Panico developed an auto-immune disorder which was not adequately diagnosed until 2012. Ironically, this created an opportunity to better balance and create a more reflective life in which, by necessity he was forced to become comfortable with "living in the questions.” He began to hand build and reduced the scale of his work, resulting in an avid interest and immersion in Neolithic and Mesolithic ceramics from anonymous authors. His work became less and less connected to contemporary culture, ideologies and trends and instead, more linked to personal inquiry about the nature of the creative act and its consequences.

Currently, Panico works in low fire techniques, utilizing indigenous or recycled clay, when possible.  
Cookie Jar Case
Tibetan Treasures  

On view: April 1 - May 27

This month the collection case is filled with Education Specialist, William Kai Stephanos' objects from Tibet and Northern India. Compiled on two trips, in 2007 and 2009, these items were acquired from the Jokhang Temple and the Potala Palace in Lhasa, the original Ganden and Drepung Monasteries in Tibet proper, as well as sites in Dharamsala India, where the current Dalai Lama and many Tibetans have lived in exile since the 1950’s. 

The glass case in the lobby of the Arts Center features collections of objects from members of the community ranging from photographs to vintage bottles to toys and so much more. If you or someone you know have a collection of interest that you would like to have on display, contact Celia Brooks at  
Tibetian Collections
Louise Shaw's Papal Archive
On view January 14 - February 25, 2017

Quarterly exhibits in the Lobby cases featuring unique collections
of objects found in the closets, cabinets, shelves of Athens-area
citizens. What do you have hidden away?? 

Decades in the making, Louise Shaw’s global collection of
Popes was originally inspired by Pope John Paul II’s
papacy, but quickly expanded to other papal reigns and
Catholicism. Her lifelong source of fascination was the
gestalt of her hometown of Quincy, Massachusetts, where as
a Jew she was a minority living in a city that was 90%
Catholic. In search of Popes she literally has traveled around
the world to Mexico, Belgium, France, Argentina, The
Netherlands, and, of course, Italy. She recently returned
from a second trip to The Vatican, where she updated her
collection with Pope Francis ephemera. 
Louise Shaw Papal Archive
Athens Area Dug Bottles
From the Collection of Eric Krasle

On View July 12 - August 27, 2016

This collection is representative of more than 30 years of digging bottles. The collection includes a large chemical bottle (circa mid 1800’s) that is one of a set recovered by Jeffrey Weinberg from what was once the Crawford W. Long Apothecary in Athens, GA on Broad Street. Also in the collection is a medicine bottle that was produced specifically for the Harris Drug Company of Athens. It is a rare surviving example of the once common practice of specifically “minting” bottles for local drug stores. The photograph of the Harris Drug Company depicts the “Just what the Doctor ordered” script that matches the embossing on the bottle.
An original non-decorative Athens-embossed Bludwine bottle which contained a cherry flavored soda is from approximately 1930. A name change to Budwine was the result of censorship pressure by fundamentalists in Athens, included is an early Budwine bottle from just after the “l” was removed. Among the many Coca-cola bottles in the collection is a straight-sided embossed Athens, Georgia bottle that was produced in the early 1900’s and a gold “hobbleskirt “ edition.

Floaty Pens from the Collection of Jeff Montgomery
Push Puppets from the Collection of Katherine Winslow
On View April 21, 2016

Quarterly exhibits in the Lobby cases featuring unique collections of objects found in the closets, cabinets, shelves of Athens-area citizens. What do you have hidden away??

This quarter, on view, are two collections of objects gathered from around the globe: Floaty Pens from Jeff Montgomery and Push Puppets from Katherine Winslow.

Floaty pens, are those delightful tourist souvenir picture scenes of landmarks.
“While on a foreign study program with Furman University that ventured in part to Israel in the winter of 1994, I stumbled across "The Last Supper" floaty pen somewhere along the way. I found this floaty pen so endearingly kitschy with its sliding loaf of bread and wine that I purchased it on the spot.” – Jeff Montgomery

Push Puppet are wonderful spring loaded figures that dance when you press the bottom of their platform stage.
“I’ve been collecting push puppets for years, and have found them throughout the United States and in Europe in toy stores, restaurants and gift shops. Among my 49 push puppets is an alien figure from Roswell, N.M., “Pinocchio” from Rome, a royal guard from London, and the Krtek (“little mole”) cartoon character from Prague.” – Katherine Winslow

If you are interested in sharing your collection of….., please contact!