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Meghan McFerrin, STEAM/STEM program specialist for the Georgia Department of Education, leads a discussion of educators at a workshop Dec. 5 in the West Gallery of the Albany Museum of Art. The Georgia Artists Guild of Albany exhibition in the gallery continues through Jan. 4.

ALBANY ─ A new year will arrive soon, bringing with it the final days of two popular exhibitions at the Albany Museum of Art.

The last chance to see “Smoke Bombs and Border Crossings” in the East Gallery and a juried exhibition of works by the Georgia Artists Guild of Albany in the West Gallery is Jan 4.

The museum’s third exhibition, “Origami Variations,” features work by New York artist Gloria Garfinkel. That show continues in the Haley Gallery through Feb 8.

The Georgia Artists Guild of Albany show features 19 paintings, photographs and sculptures submitted by a nine local artists who are members of the organization. This is the 26th annual competition for the group.

Artists whose works are on display in this year’s exhibition are Meg Anderson, Alex Davis, Bonnie Davis, Jennifer Herrick, Bob Parker, Ray Pierotti, Janice Rentz, Kay K. Roberts and Mary Sumners.

“We are delighted to highlight the important work of artists from our community,” AMA Excutive Director Andrew James Wulf said. “The AMA is and will always be artist-centered, featuring the work of local artists alongside those from further afield. This has the power to reveal universal creative connections.”

“Smoke Bombs and Border Crossings” is an exhibition of photography by Texas photographer Nancy Newberry, an internationally known artist whose work explores the interplay between individuality and social affiliation.

Newberry’s exhibition, “Smoke Bombs and Border Crossings,” comprises photographs that feature brightly costumed cowboys, charros and marching band members, all shot in the region once known as the Wild West.

“Nancy Newberry’s work celebrates anonymous individuals who live along the U.S.-Mexico border and yet whose identities transcend hard definition, making these portraits charming and mysterious,” Wulf said.

In discussing her work, Newberry says she has “long been interested in the American archetype, the Wild West, and how its iconic self-image is represented in television, movies and interpreted in the U.S. and by other cultures. Simply telling people I am from Texas begins a discourse laced with stereotypes made famous by the genre.”

Newberry captured the images in her home state and in Mexico, describing it as a “survey of my own backyard, merging documentary portrayals with dreamlike creations to investigate notions of nationalism and community.”

She says she has been inspired by the Spaghetti Western, which “famously appropriated, re-interpreted and questioned its own and Western mythologies” while developing into a “a repository for issues concerning national identity on both sides of the Atlantic.”

“With an emphasis on costume and uniform, the work combines fact and fiction in punctuated phrases where subjects act out characters as part of a group or a team. The project integrates my ongoing fascination with regalia and continues my exploration of self-representation and cultural identity at large,” Newberry said.

Those who wish to view the two exhibitions before they close on Jan. 4 also should take note that the AMA will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

New exhibitions will open on Jan. 9 in the AMA’s East and West Galleries.

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