Magnolia Living 2021 - 12

Photography by: Steven Ochs

Davis

The Arts are BLOOMING

Woodward

New gallery, art room enhance Magnolia Arts
THE BEAUTY of Magnolia inspires art, and the
members of the Magnolia Arts Council have taken
it upon themselves to share their talents with the
community. Incorporated in 1963, Magnolia Arts is
a non-profit organization whose goal is " Bringing art
to the people and bringing art out of the people in
Columbia County. "
The main event hosted by the council is the annual
Side Walk Art Show during the Magnolia Blossom
Festival held each year in May. However, the council
strives to grow in its support of art in all forms in
Magnolia and Columbia County, says Janet RiderBabbitt, executive director of Magnolia Arts.
The council hosts several events each year,
including art classes, artist receptions, art prizes at
their annual art show, three theatre productions, an
annual Murder Mystery Dinner, Improv Coffee House,
music nights, a Jazz Coffee House, poetry week at the
Magnolia Middle School and free movies.
" We collaborate throughout the season with
Southern Arkansas University and the Magnolia
School District to promote art, theatre and music, " she
says. " We partner on events and it helps give students
a venue to display their art and perform in front of the
community. Working together, we can offer more art
events to our community and it makes us all stronger. "
Magnolia Arts recently acquired a new venue -
Magnolia Arts Gallery and Studio. Magnolia Arts is
currently in the process of raising funds to renovate
the building. Located next door to their office space
12 MAGNOLIA LIVING

2021

in downtown Magnolia, the building was originally
owned by Joe L. Davis, Babbitt says.
" Mr. Davis was an attorney, businessman and served
a term as the County Judge of Columbia County.
The Davis family was one of the pioneer families
who came to Columbia County from Georgia before
the Civil War, and they originally settled in the
community of Atlanta, " she says. " Years later Davis
rented a high-end shoe store - Imperial Shoes - to
the Aubrey Galloway family.
In the 1940s, Galloway " Wag " Woodward acquired
the building from the Davis family. Wag married Mary
Davis, the daughter of Joe L. Davis and Ella Arnold
Davis. In the early 1980s, the building was given to
their son Galloway Woodward and his wife Anne, and
they established the Imperial Antique Mall and Let's
Do Lunch restaurant in the building. In 2012, Anne's
illness required her to retire. In 2020, the family of
Anne and Galloway Woodward donated the Imperial
building to Magnolia Arts. "
The space will host a gallery for art exhibits and
selling space; an art room, which will be used for
workshops, art classes and open studio painting;
a scene shop, to be used for building sets for
productions and will house woodshop classes; and
a private lounge, to be used for parties and small
gatherings, Babbitt says.
The new space will allow for the arts in Magnolia to
grow and flourish under the direction of the Magnolia
Arts Council.



Magnolia Living 2021

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