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“Propylaia” acrylic on canvas, 5 x 7 feet, by Eric O’ Dell will be on display at Macon Arts Alliance for the month of August.

Every First Friday in Macon, downtown gallery spaces and restaurants are open late. While strolling between venues, enjoy outdoor music and lots of fun. These are a few of the exhibits not to be missed on August 3.

  1. “Size Matters” at The Gallery at Macon Arts Alliance: Bigger is better, according to this new exhibit, curated by Heatherly Wakefield, director of fine art at Macon Arts Alliance, a Knight Arts grantee. The goal of this show is simple — hang some big paintings on the wall, the size of work which normally takes up too much space inside MAA’s boutique-like front gallery. Featured artists include Joe Adams, Eric O’Dell, Thomas Sanders, Jeff Surace, Laura Dewberry Surace and John Whistler. Begin your art stroll here. The Gallery is open 5-8 p.m. on First Fridays. (486 First Street)
  1. “Vintage & Modern: Photography by Debbie Ealer” at The 567 Center For Renewal:  “Ealer’s photography of nature and everyday objects will pull you in as it highlights the beauty in the small details of life,” describes the event listing. A photographer living in Warner Robins, Ealer uses vintage film cameras and polaroids side-by-side with digital cameras and photo-editing software to convey subtle differences created by technique. She’s also a poet, so if anyone feels compelled to write a sonnet after seeing this show, email it to me. I’d like to read it. Stop by The 567 from 6-9 p.m. (533 Cherry Street)
  1. Open Studios at The Contemporary Arts Exchange: Beside Michael’s on Mulberry, there stands a single door with the words “Arts Exchange” emblazoned above it. Open the door and a daunting staircase is all that greets a wary visitor. Those who brave that first flight of stairs will never be the same. Filling two stories of downtown loft space, the CAE is home to 20+ artists’ studios. It’s not a shiny, beautiful gallery where artwork is hung on pristine walls and visitors don’t dare get too close. The arts exchange is a dirty, dingy den of creativity and art making. It’s a place people discover and then never want to leave. Open from 7 p.m. until the last artist leaves. (590 Mulberry Street)

Also, don’t miss:

  • “The Art of Jason Shearer” at Roasted Cafe & Lounge from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., featuring the music of Mighty High Coup. (442 Second Street)

Are there other hidden gems for art viewing in Macon that I haven’t mentioned? If so, let me know with your comments or tweet me your thoughts.

Macon Arts Alliance: 486 First St., Macon; 478-743-6940; www.maconartsalliance.org
The 567 Center for Renewal: 533 Cherry St., Macon; 478-238-6051; www.the567.org
Contemporary Arts Exchange: 590 Mulberry St., Macon, 478-301-2507

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