The Exhibition Galleries

The Willson Exhibit Room and Hall Gallery feature rotating visual art exhibitions. Check our calendar for current and upcoming exhibits. You may see everything from local student art to well-known regional artists to traveling exhibitions curated by professionals in their field.

We also organize an annual juried art competition, usually on exhibit in November and December. Open to residents of the area, we include separate divisions for high school, college, and adults, each with cash prizes.

Current Exhibit

January 6 – February 7, 2020

The Athens Area Council for the Arts is excited to announce the opening of SAPIYKUNAPAQ, an exhibition by Chattanooga artist Alex Paul Loza. The exhibit will be open from January 6 – February 7, 2020 at The Arts Center with an opening reception and awards ceremony on Friday, January 17 at 5:30 PM. Alex has these words to say on the exhibit.

“My artwork exemplifies an exploration of the human experience. With every painting I strive to capture the essence of my subject. I am constantly seeking to improve and evolve as an artist with persistent goals to develop my capacity to express and portray the essence, beauty, variations and the complexities of the human form and its environment.

SAPIYKUNAPAQ: My Roots, Mis Raíces exhibition portrays my Peruvian heritage; from ancient indigenous folktales to the encounter between the Incas and the Spanish conquistadors. It also highlights the cultural fusion between Peru’s ancestral people with the African and European cultures. And last but not least portraits of those family members that instilled in me love and appreciation for my origins and other cultures.

The inspiration for this painting series is a reconnection with my Peruvian roots and a response to young Peruvians as well as U.S. born Latino youth who experienced a disconnection with their Latino heritage. I can relate as I too experienced that disconnection during my youth.

‘Change your leaves but never lose your roots.

Change your opinion but do not lose your principles.‘

                                                – Unknown Author

Only by connecting to our roots we will be able to understand who we are as individuals but at the same time construct a better appreciation for other cultures, traditions, experiences and opinions. After attending this exhibition I invite you to take an opportunity to discover or rediscover Your Roots, bond with peoples of diverse cultures and together celebrate each other’s similarities and differences.”

– Alex Paul Loza

*Sapiykunapaq means “my roots” in the Quechua language.

There will be an opening reception and awards ceremony for the exhibit on Friday, January 17 beginning at 5:30 PM at The Arts Center. Following the reception is a performance of Having Our Say, an ACT production. This poignant staged reading will begin at 7:30 PM, and tickets are available online, by phone, or in person at The Arts Center.

AACA is grateful to a group of corporate sponsors supporting the arts in our community. All AACA programs are supported by premier sponsors Financial Guidance Partners, Willsonthropic, Inc – Mintie C. Willson – Willson Family Fund, Wolfenden Family Pharmacies, as well as the Tennessee Arts Commission. Exhibit sponsors for Toomey & Baggett Eyecare. Our performance sponsor for the season is Gibby and Sons Pool Services. Our ACT season sponsors are Covenant Pediatrics, Muddy Waters Wine & Spirits, The Sock Shop, Starr Regional Medical Center, and Grover Thurman.

Upcoming Exhibits

Coming February 10 – March 30, 2020: Regional College Student Art Show


Previous Exhibits

Open Exhibit, 2020

Behind the Scenes, 2019

Exposure, 2019

The Magic of Watercolor, 2019

Broadly Speaking, 2019

High School Art Show, 2019

Annual Regional College Student Art Show, 2019

Rochambeau Drawings 2012-2013, 2019

Re-imagined 2018

Upside Down and Inside Out 2018

Exposure 2018

High School Art Show 2018

Regional College Student Art Show 2018

The Process: AACA Students and Teachers

Building America

A Glimpse Through the Artist’s Eye

Surface Geographies

Reflections: An exhibit by Mark Mcleod

High School Art Show 2017

Regional College Student Art Show 2017

Shades: An Exhibit by Charlie Newton

One World: Annual Themed Exhibit

Follow Innocence: an exhibit by Richard Whitehead

Everyone Needs Art: an exhibit by Jalyn Weston

Made Here: An exhibit by AACA Students and Teachers

High School Art Show 2016

Regional College Student Art Show 2016

Gospel Quilts: A Quilt Concert by Karen Malone

Creative Harvest: The Art of Agriculture

Sandy Brown: Recent Works

Me and the Gazelle: Angela Dittmar Posey

Painter, Pioneer: The Life of Goldie Denton Mayfield

High School Art Show 2015

Regional College Student Art Show 2015

Art of Recycling

Roots of Our Art: Collected Works by Athens’ Own


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