The Union Recorder

October 10, 2013

Artist captures downtown streetscapes

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — The community has another talented artist loving Milledgeville’s energy and architecture.

Aiken, S.C. born artist and art instructor Leah Holland calls a recent original acrylic canvas of the Hancock streetscape a hello of sorts.

“I’ve been teaching for four years in Macon. I want to teach art here. I like the excitement going on in the town. I wanted to introduce myself, so that’s why I did the streetscape,” Holland said. “It’s just a fun place to be.”

The Hancock Streetscape captures the look from Amici back toward Georgia College front campus.

Holland also finished a similar canvas of Blackbird Coffee’s storefront.

The Blackbird piece took about two weeks, while the Hancock Street scene process lasted one month.

To develop these acrylic canvas creations, Holland starts by coating the canvas and drawing the entire focus area. Follow-up layers produce incredible detail.

A secret ingredient boosts the acrylic finished product. Buttermilk makes the paint flow, according to Holland.

Her work is catching on locally.

The Old Governor’s Mansion, The Lemon Tree and Milledgeville Main Street already sell Holland’s artwork.

A long artistic career made Holland an expert in acrylic, gouache watercolor, oil, pen and ink, basic drawing and portraits.

Holland lost her parents at 21. The talented artist dedicates all of her work to them.

After arriving in Macon, she created countless home renderings for Sheridan Solomon Realtors. Artistic highlights including designing the Macon Cherry Blossom Festival pin in 1995 as well as the pin, plate and mug for the 2012 festival.

Holland is a member of the Art Center in Aiken and has numerous acrylics prints and designs in mass production. Even the main hall at Mercer Law School showcases her work.

For the last five years, Holland discovered a love for teaching others at Macon’s Bodega Interiors.

“I started drawing when I was 8 years old, that’s why I love to work with children,” Holland said. “I just love teaching and didn’t know it until it was a little to late to get a degree.”

Milledgeville’s new visiting artist enjoys working with beginners and advanced artists understanding that everyone is on a different level with different ideas.

Students learn from Holland in an open, free space. She lets her class choose between two or three pictures for certain lessons.

Holland’s methods are working as most students stay for the long haul.

“They pick the one they like, and I coach them. I keep students for years at a time,” Holland said. “One of my students is going to Savannah College of Art and Design.”

Later this spring, Holland hopes to teach continuing education classes.

A space at 100 S. Wilkinson St. will serve as her studio for art lovers.

Holland will be inside The Lemon Tree during the Deep Roots festival signing and selling her prints.

Small 11x17 sizes go for $25. Also, a 16x24 print costs $150.

Different sizes are available.

Look soon for Holland’s Georgia College campus work. The front campus and fountain near the Arts and Sciences building views appeal to an artistic eye keen on Milledgeville.

Spreading the arts can improve moods of all ages.

“If the children have an interest in drawing and painting, then the parents should find an art teacher,” Holland said. “Art is a therapy. That’s what’s good for children and adults. It takes you away.”

Call Holland at 478-960-3865 for class information.