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Art Student Creates Backdrop for Poke Sallet Follies

January 24, 2013

ATHENS, Ala. - Before he graduated in December, Athens State University Art Major Jay Keller was enlisted to use his talents for a good cause. The Athens/Limestone Foundation on Aging contacted Professor Gail Bergeron to find students willing to take on the task of painting the backdrops for the group’s upcoming Poke Sallet Follies. Bergeron asked Keller and the match was made.

“Admitting that we were limited in talents and abilities, we reached out to the faculty of the Athens State University Art Department,” states Follies Director Stacey Landtroop Givens. “Gail Bergeron, who was incredibly easy to work with, approached then-student Jay Kellar with a mutually beneficial plan.”

It was arranged that Keller would handle the artwork for the event and earn class credit for his time and work as part of his independent study.

Givens added, “Jay embraced the idea, and we are so fortunate that he did! We received the completed artwork before Christmas putting us far ahead of schedule, and his work is incredible.”

Keller painted many local scenes to use as backdrop for the Follies following its theme of “Home Sweet Home.” One of the most popular and most familiar to him is his recreation of the historic Founders Hall on the Athens State campus.

The 22nd annual Poke Sallet Follies is a three night event that includes dinner and live entertainment. Cost is $35 per ticket with proceeds benefitting seniors of Athens and Limestone area. Show dates are March 6th, 7th and 8th, and tickets go on sale Monday February 10th at the Athens Senior Center on Pryor Street. Tickets may be purchased during Center business hours or on Monday evenings from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Center.

In a letter to Athens State President Bob Glenn, Givens wrote, “We thank the administration of Athens State University which encourages collaborative efforts with the community. We commend the faculty, particularly Gail Bergeron, who truly desire to help their students grow and learn through real-world experiences. Most of all, we appreciate the willingness of your student, Jay Keller, for sharing his wonderful talent with this community. Nearly 1000 people are expected to attend this event and I am certain that his artwork will be a crowd favorite.”


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