A collection of art on view at the Tennessee Aquarium's Imax 3D Theater is "a dream come true" for the North Georgia Sky Painters, says member artist Linda Rugina.
On view through April, "One World, One Creation: Together We Will Flourish" represents a sort of symbiotic relationship between the artists and the aquarium.
If you go
› What: One World, One Creation: Together We Will Flourish” by North Georgia Sky Painters
› When: Through April.
› Where: Imax 3D Theater, 201 Chestnut St.
› Purchase information: Email Linda Rugina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the fall of 2017, the North Georgia Sky Painters arranged a tour of the aquarium's Ocean Journey building to photograph the sea creatures for a 2018 exhibition of works that would be "focused on protecting our natural beauty and environment," says Rugina.
The visit resulted in a collection of paintings celebrating the natural world and capturing the beauty of creatures overhead and underwater. Titled "Of Sky and Sea," the exhibition ran from September through December 2018 at the North River Civic Center, where Rugina is executive director.
The Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute provided handouts about environmental issues during the run of the exhibit, and Rugina invited aquarium officials for a tour.
"They were impressed with our original artwork and expressed an interest in possibly hosting our exhibit," Rugina recalls.
In addition to Rugina, the participating artists are Carol Hobbs, Sandra Babb, Janice Kennedy and Evelyn Marie Williams.
Their subjects include gentoo penguins floating on clouds of ice; cardinals racing through morning skies; a rainbow darter surrounded by lionfish, denison barbs, angel fish, lobsters and jellyfish; a roseate spoonbill trailed by a snowy egret; and butterflies against a backdrop of Appalachian Mountains.
Rugina says the artists are concerned about environmental issues and hope their works inspire others to appreciate wildlife and wild places.
"We're thrilled to have this opportunity to exhibit these works and use this opportunity to support the aquarium's conservation efforts," she says.
The works are displayed in the Imax hall near the theater's exit. Many of the pieces are for sale, with 25 percent of the proceeds staying at the aquarium to help fund freshwater research and restoration programs in the region.