Hood Street Art Center to host grand opening

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

It’s finally happening.

Months of preparation are coming to a head, as artists and performers of varying kinds in Henry County will soon be able to get a peek at their new home.

A logo of the Hood Street Art Center created by American Artist Andy Davis. Special image

The Hood Street Art Center, at 136 Hood Street in McDonough, will host a grand-opening celebration for the public on Nov. 14, from noon to 4 p.m.

The center offers a way to increase exposure to the arts for more people in Henry County, says the facility’s Associate Director, Beth Healy.

“Everyone sees a show at some point,” she says. “This makes the arts accessible to more people.”

The Hood Street Art Center includes The Henry Players Theater, DiBlasi School of Ballet, The Gallery art store, eight working-artist’s studios, and room for expansion, says Healy. She says the grand opening will shine a spotlight on the arts in a number of ways.

“The Gallery art store is going to be open officially for the first time,” she says. “We’re going to have some theater performances, live music and dance performances in the Henry Players theater. A lot of our artists will be on hand demonstrating their work, and we’re going to have food trucks and activities for families.”

The art center was the brainchild of McDonough sculptor Andy Davis, who passed away following an accident on his motorcycle in July. Healy says although she is saddened by the loss, she is excited about continuing Davis’ vision for the facility.

“It’s an emotional time,” she says. “It’s been a very difficult road after he died to try to pick up where he left off and get ourselves organized enough to get the place open. We’re not done yet, but every step is a milestone.”

In recent years, Henry Players’ productions have been featured in a 700-seat theater at Henry County Performing Arts Center. The Hood Street Art Center, says Healy, will seat about 200 people, providing a more intimate setting for theater-goers to enjoy performances.

The acting group will present its first production at the Hood Street Art Center, “Christmas Belles,” in December.

The grand opening will also include an invitation-only portion from 7-10 p.m., featuring a silent art auction, refreshments, live music and dancing. Healy says during the silent auction, works by local artists, including Davis, will be up for sale with proceeds going toward renovations for the art center.

For more information, visit www.hoodstreetartcenter.com.