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Georgia Museum of Art at UGA Wins SEMC Exhibition Award of Excellence and Eight Publication Awards

Tthe Georgia Museum of Art (GMOA) at the University of Georgia (UGA) has won an unprecedented nine awards at the Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) annual meeting in Baton Rouge, La. Among the honors bestowed upon the museum was an Award of Excellence for the exhibition “Lord Love You: Works by R.A. Miller from the Mullis Collection” and a number of museum publications, some related to the exhibition.

The museum, which has been closed to the public since March 2009 for a $20 million expansion and renovation project, continued its programming offsite as part of its GMOA on the Move initiative. GMOA curator of American art Paul Manoguerra organized the exhibition “Lord Love You” from the private collection of folk-art enthusiast Carl Mullis. It was on display from August 8 to October 24, 2009, at the Lyndon House Arts Center in Athens, Ga., and featured 83 paintings, drawings, sculptures and whirligigs created by Georgia self-taught artist Reuben Aaron “R.A.” Miller.

In conjunction with the exhibition, GMOA produced a hard-cover catalogue that received a Gold from SEMC in the Books and Catalogs category. The full-color book, edited by Hillary Brown and Mary Koon and designed by Scott Sosebee, includes more than 25 reproductions of Miller’s works, an essay by curator Paul Manoguerra and an interview with Mullis and Durwood Pepper, Miller’s friend and collaborator.

The SEMC publication judges also distributed awards for the “Lord Love You” publicity campaign items, including a Gold for the “Lord Love You” rack card, an Honorable Mention for the exhibition’s opening reception invitation, a Gold for the exhibition poster and a Best of Show for the entire exhibition campaign.

Darcie A. MacMahon, exhibits director at the Florida Museum of Natural History and coordinator of this year’s SEMC Publications Competition, stated in her award letter to the museum, “the judges were enamored by the work, particularly the ‘Lord Love You’ campaign.”

GMOA also received awards for other publications. In the Books and Catalogs category, the museum took a Silver for “The South in Black and White: The Graphic Works of James E. Routh Jr., 1939–1946” and an Honorable Mention for the “Corpus of Early Italian Paintings in the North American Public Collections: The South.” GMOA’s 2008–2009 Annual Report also received an Honorable Mention.
“We are thrilled at these commendations from our peers,” said Brown. “Each of these projects was a pleasure to work on in its own way, and we could not be prouder of them.”

The Southeastern Museums Conference is a networking organization that serves to foster professionalism, mutual support and communication. A nonprofit membership association, SEMC strives to increase educational and professional development opportunities and improve the interchange of ideas, information and cooperation. SEMC focuses on the Southeastern United States, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Georgia Museum of Art is scheduled to reopen its newly expanded facility with an official University of Georgia ribbon-cutting ceremony on January 28, 2011, and grand-opening activities running through February 5.

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