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Southern iconography
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The Arts Association in Newton County and Oxford College of Emory University will present a month-long art exhibit "Southern Iconography in Printmaking, Return of the Wanderer" Feb. 8 through Feb. 29 at Oxford's Candler Student Center.

The exhibit will feature the work of Boyd Saunders, head of the University of South Carolina's printmaking department.

"His artwork is based in realism," said Camille Cottrell, visual arts professor at Oxford College. "He always has been interested in southern iconography and he has been working on the concept of the South being primarily an agrarian world."

Boyd's "Return of the Wanderer" depicts a train rolling through a small Southern town. Cottrell said although most Southerners no longer farm, their ancestry or community's history ties them to the land.

Cottrell said she has had the honor of working with the arts association on annual exhibits since she came to Oxford as the first full-time visual arts professor four years ago.

She said bringing prominent artists to her students at Oxford is important because it provides her students with a different perspective than her own, as well as presents a more dynamic experience than reading from textbooks and listening to lectures because students can discuss the work with the artists directly.

Not only are the exhibitions beneficial to her students, but they also are wonderful opportunities for all art students in Newton County, she said.

"These events let high school students and teachers, who work so hard every day, have access to great art and great artists," Cottrell said.

The arts association and Oxford College will host professional development workshops on the history of printmaking for Newton County School System art teachers.

The opening event and art exhibition is sponsored by Capes Properties, OHCO Inc., United Community Bank, ITTP and Lori and James Voss.