By Leslie Law, Art & Marketing Intern
Although there are so many cherry trees in their home country, Middle Georgia still sees an influx of Japanese tourists for our own cherry blossom season. Why come all the way to Macon for something they have at home? It could be the name Macon was given by Congressional Records a time ago, as The Cherry Blossom Capital of the World. We host the blooming of over 300,000 cherry blossom trees every year! The event has garnered enough attention to become celebrated every year, in a tradition we call the Cherry Blossom Festival.
At The 567 we reflect Macon’s affinity for many different types of art, and host events that get a variety of people involved and inspired. According to their Facebook page, the Think Pink Committee is “a group of dedicated volunteers committed to supporting the Cherry Blossom Festival in collaboration with the local art community.” In honor of the successes of the Cherry Blossom Festival, this year The 567 was allowed to host the first “Pink Poodle Parade” exhibit. Thirty artists were given a wooden poodle cut-out and told to paint it however they would like.
The exhibit’s opening reception was held on Friday, February 3, and boasted each of the poodles painted by the artists. The art was varied, with everything from flower patterns to portraits to paper crafts. Some sold before the exhibit even began! Each of the poodles were complemented by a unique piece of art by the same artist, both of which will be displayed around our gallery until February 24. We had multiple visitors come through and remark on the uniqueness of the exhibit. They got to meet some of the artists and a few different ladies from the Think Pink Committee, drink pink lemonade and take pictures with their favorite poodle.
In March, we will be featured as a stop during Hip Girl Trip’s “Sake in the City” experience. The excursion harkens back to the cherry blossom’s Japanese roots, and will start at Macon Arts Alliance for sake and sushi. The next stop will be a sip-and-paint session at The 567 Center. An artist will guide them through the steps to create a Japanese-inspired cherry blossom painting, after which they can take their painting home as a souvenir.
Macon has grown into a community that encourages each other and everyone who visits to express their passions. This has fostered an attention to the arts, which is still growing every day, and especially in downtown Macon. The Cherry Blossom Festival provides a fun way to celebrate this, and we’ve been more than happy to participate.