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Dunwoody arts poised to expand this year

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Dunwoody Mural 1

The city's newest public art installation, "Be Kind," was completed by artist Megan Watters this month.

DUNWOODY, Ga. — Dunwoody’s non-profit organizations are coming out strong in 2022.

From expanded programs at Spruill Center for the Arts and the Dunwoody Nature Center and the installation of new public arts projects, the city’s leisure offerings are returning stronger than ever, organizers say.

The year began with the introduction of “Be Kind,” Brook Run Park’s first permanent art mural, which artist Megan Watters designed and installed along a wall in the back of the park adjacent to Barclay Drive.

The mural uses pastels to create a vibrant border of flower-shaped designs and geometric patterns along the walkway, with the words “Be Kind” introducing the display.

Watters was inspired by Dunwoody Nature Center’s Beehive Garden and Dunwoody’s designation as a member of Bee City USA when she created the installation.

“I’m very interested in environmentalism, and I like the message of being kind,” Watters said. “I also like that it’s right near some flowers that were planted as part of the Daffodil Project, so it’s going to be very bright and colorful in the spring.”

The Daffodil Project aspires to build a worldwide Living Holocaust Memorial by planting 1.5 million daffodils in memory of the children who perished in the Holocaust and in support of children suffering in humanitarian crises today.

Dunwoody Mural 2

Megan Watters sits in front of her mural entitled "Be Kind," the city's latest art installation. It's located at Brook Run Park near the DeKalb County Fire Station #18 on Barclay Drive.

Watters said the “Be Kind” project took about a week to plan and a week to execute. The 500-square-foot mural runs 120 feet along a low wall near the DeKalb County Fire Station 18, adjacent to Barclay Drive.

Spruill Center for the Arts is rolling out 219 classes during the winter quarter, up from 163 classes during the same time last year, according to Spruill Executive Director Alan Mothner. The center is also offering 40 one- to-two-day workshops during the winter session.

“We are offering more classes because we are limiting our class sizes to an average of 13 students,” Mothner said. “We are very excited that we have not only more classes and workshops, but a greater variety of both.”

Interest is high, Mothner said, with more than 140 people on waiting lists.

“We are struggling with capacity right now,” he said. “For example, for our stained-glass class, we have 13 people enrolled and 13 on the waiting list.”

Another city art installation, a piece called “Sky Dancers” that consists of seven 40-inch steel butterflies, created by Kathy Walton, will be installed this week at Spruill’s education building on Chamblee Dunwoody Road.

In addition, the gallery on Ashford Dunwoody Road is preparing for the Jan. 20 opening of Ilona Cutts’ exhibit, “Homecoming.”

The Dunwoody Nature Center’s offerings begin with yoga and Tai Chi classes throughout January and beyond. Tai Chi in the Woods runs through January, with classes on Wednesday and Friday from 10-11:30 a.m., starting Wednesday. Fireside yoga will be held Friday Jan. 16 and Feb. 20 from 4-5 p.m.

In addition, the center is gearing up for its annual Martin Luther King Day of Service on Jan. 17 from 9 a.m. to noon. Opportunities exist for individuals and groups. Visit www.dunwoodynaturecenter.org for more information

Stage Door Theatre (www.stagedoortheatrega.org) continues its 2022 season with “Valentine’s Day Cabaret” and “The Importance of Being Earnest” in February, followed by “The Pirates of Penzance” in April.

Its Performing Arts Academy is registering students for its spring programs, which include jazz dance techniques, voice lessons, virtual performance classes and several other dance and acting classes.

Cathy covers local government and community news for the Dunwoody area.

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