How I Got Over – A Lockdown Collection

The Cultural Arts Center of Douglasville/ Douglas County (CAC) anticipates the relevant and restorative exhibit about making it through the unknown of the pandemic. Six superb artists are on display this August in a group collection representing overcoming during a time when the world as we know it was on pause. How I Got Over – A Lockdown Collection will be on display August 5-25, and will celebrate an opening reception on the evening of August 5, 5-7 pm, hosted by Hudson’s Hickory House.

Six artists feature artwork created through one of the difficult chapters of life through their unique styles and subject matters. Tiffany Charesse, rEN Dillard, Akua Hardy, Crystal Jin Kim, Joseph McKinney, and Sean Mulkey join together to express the theme and share the work they have created when faced with the unknown of the Covid-19 quarantine. In rhythm with Mahalia Jackson’s iconic song of the same title, “How I Got Over,” the artists explore the theme of resiliency, escape from uncertainty and isolation, and above all the determination in hope. From the words of Co-curator rEN Dillard, “This collection of work compels the viewer never to confuse a single defeat with a final blow, and the idea that we can either find a way – or make one. The exhibit will give viewers a chance to see what creatives naturally do when they are locked down.” Director Emily Lightner states, consistent with her mission of the arts in every phase of life, “Art is therapy; not just one art form but all forms of creativity, and they are all outlets to express our thoughts, feelings, and concerns in the daily battles we can’t control.” As we continue seeking a way out of events we can’t control and battle circumstances we never expected, the artwork on display will celebrate the means by which we can continue to live freely and define our existence through creativity – art.

Crystal Jin Kim is an independent filmmaker and multidisciplinary artist exploring themes of devotion, tension, and tenderness. Vernita Akua Hardy works within the local and global communities creating works of art that build bridges for social change and speak to the spirited, vivacious genius in us all. Tiffany Charesse explores inner consciousness as well as rearranged space and time in her artwork, all with a love for portraiture and a background in graphic design to create unique figurative works with geometric flair. Joseph McKinney’s murals can be seen across the City of Atlanta, including a recent mural honoring the first responders during the Covid-19 Pandemic, commissioned by 9 international consulates: Germany, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Haiti, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Japan, Canada, and Israel. Sean Mulkey creates mind-bending perspectives of urban scenes that draw a viewer in like a story; his art has been featured on album covers, music videos, TV/web series, and you can catch him performing live paintings at events.

rEN Dillard, artist and Co-curator of the exhibit, suggests, “The focus of my work has always been about communicating ideas that challenge people to be curious about their own internal nature. I would like for people to see themselves in my work…” When Dillard first reached out to the CAC with the vision for the show and the immediacy of its need for the public, it seemed he was indeed living through these morals, creating an opportunity for art to help others illuminate “knowledge of self” in tough times. View the exhibit that was literally created to “help people through difficult times” and gaze into the visuals of survival, weekdays, August 5-25, 9 am – 5 pm at the center.

Hudson’s Hickory House will host the night of August 5, 5-7 pm. On the menu will be baked potatoes to customize with BBQ chicken or pork. Grab a bun and put yourself together a BBQ sandwich. Hudson’s Hickory House BBQ opened in 1971 and has seen three generations of Hudsons keep the doors open for the love of community and Hickory BBQ. The Creative Hud Food Truck has most recently taken creative BBQ liberty out on the road with Elena Hudson driving the mission. Elena grew up in the restaurant, “working in the restaurant as soon as [she] started walking,” and now she’s driving it around to the community.

The Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville/ Douglas County, located at 8652 Campbellton Street in historic downtown Douglasville, Georgia, is open Mondays through Fridays, 9 am to 5 pm. For directions and more information, visit or contact the Cultural Arts Council at 770.949.2787.

The mission of the Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville/ Douglas County is to nurture, guide and stimulate the enjoyment of and participation in the arts among Douglas County residents by providing an atmosphere conducive to the arts, broadening the spectrum of quality exhibits and performances available to the community, and fostering individual interactions with the arts through a wide range of satellite groups. The Cultural Arts Council is supported in part by the City of Douglasville and the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.