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Artists paint city’s history

Dot Burkett found out she been charged with putting together an art show for Andalusia’s Homecoming 2010 when her husband, Roger LeCompte, came home from a meeting and said, “Oh, by the way ….”

The artist and art teacher has spent about two years organizing on the project, and the results are breathtaking. The collection of 76 paintings and photographs comprise Absolutely Andalusia Then and Now on display at LAAC for Homecoming 2010.

Burkett started with a list of Andalusia artists. Then she collected photographs from the museum, old postcards of Andalusia, and books of local history.

She invited all of the artists to her home and asked them to choose photographs of scenes they’d like to paint.

“They jumped at it,” she said of the enthusiasm of the 16 artists who showed up that day. “It told them to take as many as they could and if they still had time, to come and get more.”

Other artists heard about the event and committed to contribute.

“Originally, it was to be a juried, judged show,” she said. But when the art started coming in, “We looked at it and said, ‘Which piece would you want a jury to throw out? We want to use every piece.’ “

Later, a decision also was made not to have the work judged.

The subjects range from farm scenes to the woods of the Conecuh National Forest to familiar Andalusia landmarks. And the landmarks include scenes from yesteryear, like the Benson Hardware Store, to city hall to the Dairy Queen.

Burkett said the artists think of the show as “our gift to Andalusia.”

“I’m so proud of the Andalusia artists who put this show together,” she said. “I didn’t know many of them, but I’ve gotten to know them and learn about the community.”

Sixty-one of the 76 pieces are for sale, with prices beginning at $125. Commemorative books with information about each piece in the show are available for $15.

LAAC will be open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Nov. 11-13.

The show includes work from: Ange Agro, Pam Brannon, Sandy Bryant, Dot Burkett, Mickie Patrick Chapman, Linda Cuevas, Joseph Davis, Carmen Day, Flossie Durkee, Peggy James, Jewel Jeffcoat, Jo Kelley, Linda Kyle, Roger LeCompte, Debbie McKathan, Barbara Nichols, Carol Phillips, Roger Powell, Linda Rabren, Kate Rawls, Margo Russell, Denille Spears, Trudie Steele, Larry Strickland, Barbara Tyler, Jessica Tyler, and Diane Zigler.

Dot Burkett sits in the gallery of LAAC, where the show she coordinated for Homecoming 2010 is now on display.