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Creative southwest Georgians are encouraged to come out to the Albany Museum of Art at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 11 to create a special personal Valentine’s Day gift at the Valentine Makers Night workshop.

ALBANY — Southwest Georgians already looking for a unique Valentine’s Day gift or experience for their special someone can create it from the heart at Valentine Makers Night, set for 5:30 p.m. on Feb 11 in the Albany Museum of Art classroom.

“Choosing the right Valentine’s Day gift can be a daunting challenge,” AMA Director of Education and Public Programming Annie Vanoteghem said. “As the day gets closer, many of us are still searching for that perfect gift that will let someone know he or she is special. This year, you can ensure that your gift is unique and heartfelt by making it yourself at the AMA’s Valentine Makers Night.”

Individuals looking for an experience will find an ideal opportunity for an early Valentine date night, Vanoteghem said. Sign up your spouse or significant other and create a work of art together. Participants can bring a favorite beverage to enjoy.

“Creating art together can be a wonderful couples’ experience,” Vanoteghem said.

It’s also a good time for friends to get together for a “galentine” event, she said.

“You and a friend can share a glass of wine and catch up with each other while you make art,” she said. “It’s a nice, relaxing time to enjoy each other’s company and to make new friends, too.”

Selected projects for participants to complete will be available in the classroom, but those who already have a project underway may bring them if they want. Many times, working in a community environment can spark the flame of creativity, Vanoteghem said.

Participants may work on any quiet handcraft project they like, from textile handwork to woodcarving to basket-weaving. They may bring their own materials, tools and a work-in-progress to the AMA classroom.

“There’s something about the synergy of creating art with others,” Vanoteghem said. “If you have something you want to make but you can’t seem to get started on it, this might be just what you need to get going.

“On the other hand, if you’re not sure where to start, we will have some terrific project ideas — and all the materials you need to make them — at Makers Night. You do not have to be an artist to make something personal and special.”

She said the projects will be do-it-yourself Valentine gifts.

“We will be making things like handmade cards and date night jars,” Vanoteghem said. “We’ll have some 12-inch-tall wooden heart door hangers, paint-your-own ceramic mugs and small flower pots, and we can make ‘little reasons why I love you’ books. We’ll guide you through the process, and you’ll take home a work that you are proud of. What you make will be unique, and if you are making it for someone special, it truly will be a gift from the heart.”

Because of health guidelines, the number of participants will be limited to 12, and social distancing between those not attending together will be observed.

“We want everyone to have an enjoyable evening creating art in community, but we also want to ensure that events at the AMA are safe and socially responsible,” Vanoteghem said.

Since Valentine Makers Night is scheduled on an Art After 5 Thursday, the AMA galleries will be open for participants to visit before or after the workshop.

The cost of Valentine Makers Night is $15 for AMA members and $20 for non-members. To reserve your spot, email annie.vanoteghem@albanymuseum.com or call her at (229) 439-8400.

♦ “On the Wall:” murals by David Hale, Shanequa Gay, Amanda Jane Burk and Chris Johnson, and paintings by Sarah Emerson, is in the Haley Gallery through Feb. 20;

♦ “Midlands,” works by Courtney McClellan, is in the East Gallery through Feb. 20;

♦ “Escape Plan,” works by Elinor Saragoussi, is in the West Gallery through Feb. 20;

♦ Georgia Artists Guild of Albany 27th Annual Exhibition is in the McCormack Gallery.

The Albany Museum of Art is located at 311 Meadowlark Drive, adjacent to Albany State University’s West Campus just off Gillionville Road. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursdays. Admission is free.

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