Andy Warhol exhibit to come to Averitt Center

Hannah Rawles

The Averitt Center for the Arts is hosting a whimsical, colorful and unique event new to Statesboro featuring the work of artist Andy Warhol.

The center is hosting a private gala to the Andy Warhol exhibit tonight at 7 p.m. The exhibition opens to the public Sept. 21and runs until Nov.10.

“This exhibition is unique to anything ever shown at the center before,” Shelia Stewart-Leach, exhibit curator, said.

The gala is open to everyone. Prices vary for students, faculty and patrons. Dinner and music under the stars will be held on Siebald Street.

Attendees will then have an opportunity to view the exhibit, bid on several auction items and create their own silk screens of local legends, Melinda Roell, development director, said.

“Attire for the gala is also either 1960s themed or chic cocktail attire,” Roell said

Collectors Missy and Wes Cochrane have lent their collection of Warhol’s prints for a limited time to the center, Stewart-Leach, said.

With the visual arts committee constantly on the lookout for new and/or exciting works, this event has been planned in advance for several years, Roell said.

After seeing an article in Southern Living nearly three years ago about their extensive collection, the Averitt Center approached the Cochranes about renting their exhibit. The Cochranes will be in attendance, Roell said.

Based on other community museums and art centers that have hosted the event, it has become a small-scale blockbuster. Through 20 years of Warhol’s art, the center has set up a large scale exhibit with the brightly colored art placed close together, Stewart-Leach said.

Along with this gala being dedicated to the famous pop artist, it is also the first exhibition of the Averitt Center’s fall fundraiser.

“Sponsors help cover the costs so that the Averitt Center can continue to offer great exhibitions free of charge to the public,” Roell said.

Andy Warhol started as an illustrator and went on to start the pop art movement of the 1950s and 1960s. As he became the first post modernistic artist, he grew to be internationally respected as well through his large prints.

“Warhol wanted art to be accessible to everyone and easily recognized like Campbell’s Soup or Mickey Mouse,” Stewart-Leach said.

Stewart-Leach said,  “Anyone who comes to see it will enjoy it. It is not limited by age and there are plenty of bright colors and recognizable figures like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, John Wayne and musician Mick Jagger.”

Gianna Carme and Jennifer Curington contributed to this article.