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Lamar Arts exhibits return tonight

Lamar Arts directors and members, after much discussion and listening to as many people as possible, are getting ready to open an exhibit for an abstract artist, Jaasiel Barrientos, at 5 p.m. on Friday Sept. 11. The show closes Oct. 31. Opening activities will last until 8 p.m., and during the exhibit there will be extended hours for viewing Jaasiel’s work. Hours will be Thursdays, 4-6 p.m.; Fridays, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Docent volunteers are needed. The opening will be mostly outdoors; masks are mandatory and limited numbers of patrons at a time will be able to go in the Depot to view the paintings. Social distances will be observed wherever people tend to congregate, said Lamar Arts president Kay Pedrotti. ‘All preparations for a safe opening for everyone will be in place,’ she noted. ‘The Depot has been recently cleaned. Lamar Arts has worked to provide as safe an atmosphere as possible.’ ’Jaasiel manages two art galleries in Greenville, Ga., where he lives,’ said gallery director Angela Preston. ‘This is his first solo show in Barnesville. His art is so colorful and unique, we feel confident he will find an appreciative audience here. Especially during uncertain times, we can turn to art for relief.’ Jaasiel was born in Monterey, NL, Mexico in 1977. He studied physics at the local state university, then when his family moved to Laredo, Tex., he learned English at Laredo Community College. An older brother encouraged Jaasiel to move to LaGrange, GA, where he worked as a server in a Mexican restaurant but became determined to ‘learn new skills and improve my life,’ he said. He earned a diploma in video production from West Georgia Technical College, but he did not find his true calling until some years later. It happened, he said, when he visited the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and saw a ‘magnificent painting ‘“ Daniel in the Lions’ Den by Peter Paul Rubens.’ ’At that moment I had an epiphany: I will never be able to buy this painting, and even if I could they would not sell it to me. So I should make my own art,’ he said. Learning how to draw and paint took him through art textbooks and audited drawing and art history classes at LaGrange College, absorbing knowledge about value, shading, color theory and composition. ’Later I took two portrait workshops with master artist Igor Babailov in Nashville, Tenn. Then my instructor from the video production classes taught me how to do abstract paintings ‘“ that’s when it all changed. I got great feedback and positive reviews, so in 2015 I decided to ‘˜go pro.” He manages Artisans on the Square and Print Shop Gallery and has had two solo shows in Greenville. Pedrotti says the Sept. 11 event can be summed up in two words: ‘We’re back!’ For more information call the Depot at 770-358-7588, or 678-603-7268 or 770-358-2834.

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