Time for a late summer or early fall getaway to the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art, a little jewel of a museum that brings fine art to Piedmont College in nearby Demorest and surrounding areas.
Two shows at the museum are of immediate interest. Midnight Garden, is an exhibition by Mac Stewart, a self-taught artist gifted enough to have a solo museum show by age 21. You’ll have to hurry for this one; it ends Aug. 26.
Museum director Daniel White decided to book Stewart because he says he won’t be able to get him in another five years. How’s that for an endorsement? Take this opportunity to see a young talent on the fast track who has creds well beyond his years—numerous outdoor and indoor murals, many huge in scope, theater set designs, and two works in the permanent collection of Atlanta’s High Museum of Art.
If you go for the reception Aug. 25 at 6 p.m., you can meet the artist then peruse the museum’s permanent collection, endowed in 2011 by alumni Bill Mason and his partner, Bob Scharfenstein. It’s mostly American 19th and 20th Century art, with a smattering of European works. There’s a gorgeous staircase, but an elevator provides easy access to the second floor. A smaller gallery features a variety of exhibits by students, faculty, and invited artists. Parking is convenient—on the street in front of the building, across the street and around the corner. Admission is free.
A new exhibition begins Sept. 1 and runs through the end of October. Angela Kelly’s work presents fragments of geographical information which are overlaid with private snapshots and landscape imagery to explore the nature of personal photography and cultural memory.
After you’ve feasted your eyes on the art, leave your car where it is for the short walk to Sweet Bread’s Café, right next door. The Demorest location opened last fall with a change in décor from the former Clarkesville location’s ritzy dining atmosphere. It’s morphed into an arty college town eatery, with a comfortable outdoor covered patio. The menu remains loaded with snazzy handcrafted favorites: soups, salads and sandwiches, everything made fresh in-house. Lunch prices $10 – $15, dinner offers the same menu plus 3 to 5 chef’s choice specials at $15 – $30. It’s lovely fare, perfect to satisfy you for the ride home.
Demorest, a town of about 2,000, is an easy one-hour drive north of Athens on U.S. 441.
Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art at Piedmont College
567 Georgia St,
Demorest, GA 30535
706-778-8500 x 1007
Midnight Garden exhibit by Mac Stewart, open through Aug. 26
Reception Aug. 25, 6 p.m.
Hours: Monday – Friday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m
Angela Kelly Exhibit
Sept. 1–Oct. 31
Reception: 5 p.m., Sept. 18
Sweet Bread’s Cafe
579 Georgia St,
Demorest, GA 30535
Tuesday – Wednesday lunch only, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m – 9 p.m.
Sunday brunch 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.