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'I'm painting where I love to be': Macon Arts Alliance April show honors beauty of Georgia wildlife

Artist T David Downs hikes in several state parks and the Okefenokee swamp have all inspired this collection.

MACON, Ga. — The Macon Arts Alliance's April show is all about appreciating the wonder of South Georgia landscapes and wildlife.

Poems of the American South features 10 works by artist T David Downs. 

His hikes in several state parks and the Okefenokee swamp, and they have all inspired this collection. In the 20 years he's been painting, he has answered natures call through his work.

"Andrew Wyeth says your art goes as deep as your love goes, and so I'm painting what I love and I'm painting what I love to look at. I'm painting where I love to be," Downs said.

The collection address how even in the wildest places of Georgia's landscapes, someone can still find evidence of human intervention. It's seen in several paintings from a deer running away from a controlled burn, to jet trails in the sky, to a stray nail in a cypress pine.

There are no words in the paintings, but Downs says they are like poems because of they are composed to show the best parts of Georgia's wilds.

"They're explaining briefly and in a beautiful way not really a story but a circumstance. They're describing something in the most appeal way possible just like a poem would," Downs said.

He says being a painter is about honesty. Everything in Down's work are real animals and scenes he has experienced while on his explorations in parts of south Georgia and north Florida. 

Downs hopes when people see Poems of the American South, they come back with a deep love for the states natural beauty.

"To make people realize that these scenes are all real. They're out there and if you love them you can go out there and see them and you can fall in love with it just like I did and you can protect it," he said.

Downs said other than the Okefenokee, Crooked River State Park is another one of his favorite places to explore.

Poems of the American South will be on display through April 25. The Macon Arts Alliance is open Tuesday – Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

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