QUITMAN -- The South Georgia Fine Arts Coalition recently named Valdosta State University Assistant Professor Dick Bjornseth the February Artist of the Month. A reception open to the public will occur about 7 p.m. Thursday.

Bjornseth teaches several art classes at VSU, including drawing, art appreciation, figure drawing and creativity. In 1996, according to a press release, he received Florida State University's Florence Award. He also taught in Italy for a semester. It was an experience he enjoyed.

Through his work, Bjornseth deals with getting people to think outside the frame. At least two of his works, "Old Joe," an eight-panel drawing of an alligator, and "Palm Trees," a three-part drawing of one palm tree, display that philosophy. Bjornseth said that when he displays "Old Joe," which when assembled measures about 20 feet, he usually places the various segments several feet apart from the other.

"He is a serious artist with a flash of whimsy," said Cynthia Carmichael, owner of the gallery on Screven Street.

"It's an honor," Bjornseth said of being named Artist of the Month. "It's a good opportunity to display my work together."

Thursday's reception will be a part of the monthly Art on the Streets, slated to occur every second Tuesday. All of the downtown merchants will participate. Carmichael hopes this will attract people into the downtown area, and describes the Art of the Street event as a festival-type atmosphere and hopes to have musical entertainment.



To contact reporter Marie Arrington, please call 244-3400, ext. 254.



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