CANDL Gallery

Series of serendipitous events leads to art gallery’s opening

Drake White’s life has been serendipitous of late.

A highly visible art show in December and the upcoming opening of an art gallery on Broad Street are two instances of things coming together unexpectedly.

“The exhibition just happened,” said White, of his Toi Et Moi pop-up event Dec. 2 at the space formerly used as the Pontone Gallery at 1128 Broad St.

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Toi Et Moi was the culmination of a character study. White photographed area artists over the course of about a year. For Toi Et Moi, he paired his photographs with works by the artists themselves. The exhibition featured more than 30 artists whose friends and family packed the gallery the night of the show.

Brian Rust’s The Nest. Photo courtesy Drake White

The space lent itself perfectly for its use as an art gallery, said White.

CANDL Fine Art will open its doors with an exhibition of Brian Rust’s work on Feb. 10. Circle Forward Circle Back will be on display through March 24 with a gallery reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 10.

Rust, an Augusta University art professor who is known for his public art works, uses “natural materials to create wood, clay, and photo-based sculptures. His work is featured in venues throughout the United States,” according to a news release.

The Greater Augusta Arts Council named Rust as the Artist of the Year in 2009. The Augusta Canal Authority funded his Stone Boat sculpture.

The exhibition features a mix of Rust’s 2-dimentional and 3-dimentional works.

White said he wasn’t planning on opening a gallery, but it was another of those things that just happened.

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“There’s no way this could happen without the generosity of Amy Donaldson,” he said.

Donaldson owns and operates the Augusta Candle Co., 1124 Broad St., and uses the back portion of the 1128 Broad St. building for her wholesale business.

Already, White has exhibitions scheduled through the end of the year, and he has high hopes for the gallery. Other artists slated for CANDL exhibitions include Edward Rice, Franklin Delgado, Lillie Hardy Morris, Staci Swider and Jay Jacobs.

 “It’s really about raising the awareness of the high caliber of work,” he said.

Augusta has a strong arts community. He also hopes that through awareness he can help raise the pricing structure so artists are compensated for their talents and efforts.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at Subscribe to the newsletter here.

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