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Art in our city
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Dear Editor: We, at Southern Heartland Gallery, read with great excitement, the article by Gabe Khouli in the Wednesday edition of The Covington News. Located at the corner of Washington and Monticello, we welcome our position and that of oft-time partners and neighbor, Arts Association in Newton County, anchoring the east-end of the proposed Washington Street Artistic Corridor.

We artists have a particular fondness for our neighboring town of Porterdale. For several years, we partnered with Arts Association in "Art on the River," which was held at the Event Center at Porterdale Mill Lofts. Our annual fundraiser, Monte Carlo for the Arts, was held there each February thanks to the generosity of The Lofts, Walter Davis and his partners. And we are most proud of the Honorable Arline Chapman, mayor of Porterdale, an executive board member of our nonprofit umbrella Southern Heartland Arts, Inc. and a former gallery artist. We can think of nothing more encouraging than this effort to turn the Washington Street Corridor into an artist haven. The addition of good restaurants, theaters for the performing arts, artist studios open to visitation and visual art galleries would make Porterdale and Covington true cultural destinations.

The Mission Statement of Southern Heartland Arts, Inc. is: To provide, encourage and support involvement in the visual arts, toward the goal of enriching the cultural life of area residents through instruction, educational scholarship and exhibition of fine art.

As an established nonprofit art entity giving back to the community since 1987, with more 150 art guild members, we wish to offer our assistance and partnership in supporting the arts, with an eye to raising the cultural life of our community. Harnessing the combined creative energies of our communities can produce a bountiful harvest beyond our imaginations.

Jackie Kelly, Board Chair