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Museum opens with local artist's exhibit

Old jail now is offices, exhibit space

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POSTED: February 4, 2009 11:27 a.m.
Photo by Patty Leon/

Artist Christina Mansfield opened her first exhibit at the historic Liberty Jail and Museum building with a private showing on Friday. Her exhibit is open to the public until April 25. The exhibit features photos from around Liberty County and a few from the Savannah area.

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A dash of color fills the grey interior of the historic Liberty Jail and Museum. An eclectic mix of old and new forms an attractive palette for art aficionados. The visual chemistry currently on display was created by Christina Mansfield and her first exhibit is now open to the public.
Mansfield specializes in mixed mediums, including digital photography, paintings and enhanced graphics photography and her exhibit pays tribute to the beauty of Liberty County.
“I see a lot of beautiful things in Hinesville,” Mansfield, 28, said. “There is a lot of beautiful architecture and beautiful scenery.”
The walls of the jail are lined with colorful works, showing flowers, colonial era cannons, tree-lined roadways and some of the county’s historic buildings, done in brilliant colors.
Mansfield has been an artist for 15 years and said she was inspired by watching her mother, a fashion and clothing designer and painter, and watching artist Norman Ross on Georgia Public Television.
“Basically they inspired me to get into the painting aspect of it,” she said. “In 1995 I got involved with graphic arts.”
Mansfield was born in Kentucky but her family moved to Hinesville when she was 3 years old because her father was transferred to Fort Stewart.
She is a graduate of Bradwell Institute and began to study art at Morristown College. Currently she attends Brewton-Parker College.
She said she fell in love with Liberty County as a child and still loves it.
“It’s a beautiful town,” she said. “Sometimes when you take a picture the camera doesn’t always capture the same beauty that you see with your eyes. So what I do is … I graphically enhance it. However, it’s more of an artist approach … I stick to vivid colors, bright and happy colors. Anytime I see that in a picture I enhance that part and it appears the same way I saw it.”
As for paint, she prefers acrylics for their flow and bright colors.
Creativity and art flow in Mansfield’s blood. Before putting her talent on canvas, she modeled for Talent Source Studios in Savannah from 1997-98. In 2002 she acted for a community theater company in Decatur called Divine Productions.
Her mother said she tried to instill a love of art in her children.
“I took time with both of my children, Christina and Patrick, 24, and at a very early age I introduced them to art and from there it grew,” Christina’s mother, Angela, said. “She has a knack for getting the right pose in a picture and you know a picture says a thousand words and she displays that with her art.”
It’s Mansfield first exhibit and she hopes to bring attention and inspire folks, especially children to notice the beauty in Hinesville.
“There are a lot of beautiful things here and I think sometimes people just pass them by. But if you stop and take a look you’ll notice all the nature and architecture.”
Downtown Development Authority Director Vicki Davis said the exhibit is a way to introduce the old jail as a permanent museum and provide a venue for artists to display their work.
“We really don’t have a lot of opportunities for local artists to display their work,” she said. “Christina is right here from Hinesville and I found her through photos she posted on the Courier’s Web site. I loved her photos and her passion for Liberty County and nature. I called and asked her if she would be willing to share her work with us.”
Davis hopes folks from the community as well as students will visit the exhibit and learn about art and the history of the jail as well.
“In the future we would love to display the work of other local artists, whether adult or school-age children, or college students,” Davis said. “Maybe someone who has a collection of work they’ve had for years. We would love to be able to share them. We are open and flexible and hope to bring in works that people will be interested in. Anytime you can bring in cultural arts into the downtown area it really enhances the success of the businesses by bringing more people in and really establishes a downtown area.”
Mansfield’s exhibit will be on display until April 25.
 

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