Monday, March 28, 2016

“Words and Music” in Wetumpka Alabama

Words and Music” set for April 3

For Immediate Release
Contact:  PhyllisKennedy ​(334) 300-4088

Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery and the Wetumpka Depot will host a program of Words and Music” at 2 pm on Sunday, April 3, designed to take you back in time. The event is presented in conjunction with the Abandoned Rural America” exhibition, currently showing at KFMG through April 22.

Local musicians Elizabeth Bowles and Donny Tomlin will perform traditional music on early folk music instruments.  The Forgiven Heart gospel group will sing, accompanied by Junior Jones.  David Craig Jones will perform Hank Williams favorites.

Members of the Greensboro (GA) Writers Guild will present selections of their writings around the theme of Abandoned Rural America.  A beautiful video with views of abandoned homesites, barns and farm equipment will provide commentary about farm life in the early to mid twentieth century, including an interview with Bill and Sarah Matthews of Titus.

Kathy Willis, President of KFMG Board of Directors and a talented musician, says The program we have planned with be a little synopsis of the traditional music of our past.  Combined with the lovely visual and oral presentations from our Georgia friends, we think this will be a very pleasant experience.  Please join us at The Depot on April 3.

The Wetumpka Depot is located at  300 S. Main Street in Wetumpka.  The Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery is located on the 2nd floor of City of Wetumpka Administrative Building, 408 S. Main Street and is open during the Citys business hours.  

The Abandoned Rural America project is based in Madison, Georgia and is making its first appearance outside of Georgia.  Local exhibitions entitled The Land: Gods Gift” and Southern Reflections” are running simultaneously.  According to Willis, These shows have been extremely popular.  I encourage everyone to make a point of seeing them as well as joining us at 2 pm on April 3.

The KFMG Board of Directors invites the public to attend.  A reception sponsored by Central Alabama Electric Cooperative will follow the performance.  The event is free and open to the public.  

Wetumpka Depot Community Theatre
Photo by Marc Parker

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Abandoned Rural America Gearing Up to Exhibit in Wetumpka, AL Early Next Year

The Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery - Wetumpka, Alabama, will be hosting the an exhibition of Abandoned Rural America, The American Small Family Farm in Transition. It will be the first ARA exhibit for the 2016 New Year.

Works by American artists, photographers, potters, writers and musicians bring a poignant display of images depicting the disappearing small family farms in America. Paintings, drawings, photography, wet plate collodion photo prints, models, and works in clay representing the changing face of rural America are to be exhibited.

The opening reception will be held Friday, Feb. 12 from 5:30 pm – 7 pm

Also, in conjunction with this exhibition will be a regional invitational show entitled

The Land: God’s Gift
Exhibition Dates:
January 19 – April 22, 2016

This exhibit is sponsored by the Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery, the City of Wetumpka, Alabama and  Central Alabama Electric Cooperative

The Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery is located at 408 S. Main St, Wetumpka, AL 36092 • Phone (334) 567-5147

The ARA Exhibit is comprised of 15 Georgia artists and photographers presenting works in egg tempera, oil, acrylic, pen & ink, photographic prints, clay and ceramic creations, and 3D models of rural structures. There are also 14 members of the Greensboro Writers Guild of Georgia adding their voices to the ARA book and video with 8 framed poetry pieces added to the hanging collection.

The Abandoned Rural America video contains original and traditional music by “Keepers of the Sound” musicians Joe Reynolds and Tom Sparks; singer-songwriters: Amanda Elizabeth Adams; Thomas W. Elliott, Jr.; and Marcus Vess. 

The ARA exhibition series originated in June 2011 the art, photography, pottery, and writings were over 40 years in the making.
Exhibitions at:
Allied Arts-Milledgeville, GA; Steffen Thomas Museum of Art -Buckhead, GA;Saute-Nacoochee Center-Sautee, GA; Monroe Art Guild Gallery-Monroe, GA; Greensboro, GA Festival Hall; the PLAZA Fine Arts Center in Eatonton, GA; the historic Crawford Depot in Crawford, GA;
with several preview exhibits around Georgia.

The original Abandoned Rural America video has been presented at each exhibition as well as special presentations to organized groups.
For information about upcoming ARA events visit the MAG website:
Also available: the Abandoned Rural America book
Please check the ARA website for details.
Coming, summer 2016-
the Abandoned Rural America
5th anniversary exhibition at the
Lyndon House Arts Center

293 Hoyt St, Athens, GA 30601
Nancy Lukasiewicz, Visual Arts Administrator 
(706) 613-3623

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Historic Crawford Depot to be next ARA venue

Hi all

Our Abandoned Rural America exhibition series is really beginning to take off and get recognition around the state and beyond. Our Plaza Arts Center show in Eatonton went off without a hitch and their large theater was a great venue for our updated ARA video.
The PLAZA Arts Center in Eatonton, GA
The PLAZA's board members, led by Janet Kelhoffer, hosted a very fine opening reception on June 15. It was a very well attended show and visitors were treated to readings by members of the Greensboro Writers' Guild adding another dimension to the art exhibition and ARA movie showing.

While visitors on both sides and the back of the reception hall listened, members of the Greensboro Writers' Guild who had contributed stories and poems to the ARA book, gave reading for the enjoyment of all. 

ARA members and visitors listened to Evan Karanovich's presentation of certificates before the showing of the ARA movie.

During the closing reception on July 31st, Evan Karanovich from US Georgia Senator David Perdue's office came to the closing reception to hand out certificates of appreciation for ARA participation in the arts in Washington DC program.

The next ARA venue will be at the historic Crawford Depot just 10 miles east of Athens. The opening reception will be on September 26th at 4 pm with the ARA movie being shown at 6 pm.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Egg Tempera Presentation at Lake Oconee

The Greensboro Arts Alliance is hosting a presentation on Egg Tempera Painting This Wednesday

Egg Tempera by Peter Muzyka

to be March 4th Program

Artist Peter Muzyka will give a slide presentation on

egg tempera painting along with some practical tips

and painting samples.

Peter has created many egg tempera paintings of the

Georgia far country over the last 30 years and will

highlight both his work as well as other egg tempera

artists throughout history.

Here are some examples of Peter's egg tempera work.

Peter is also teaching a class in egg tempera at the

Plaza Arts Center in Eatonton this summer. Info

will be provided at the March meeting.

The New Abandoned Rural America hardcover book

is now available at Genuine Georgia in downtown Greensboro

and on-line at

Pete will also bring a copy to the meeting to pass around.

An eBook interactive version is also available on-line

at the ARA website.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Abandoned Rural America Hardcover Book

The hardcover edition of Abandoned Rural America has arrived

The 8 1/2 x 11 hardcover edition of the Abandoned Rural America book is now available online at the ARA website. With over 104 pages loaded with art and photographic images of the old farmhouses and landscapes complete with stories and poems by the Greensboro Writer's Guild, artists whose images are included in the book, and other guest writers.

You can purchase a copy through our website at or scan the QR Code below to be taken to the website.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Working on an egg tempera painting for the Georgia Writers Museum in Eatonton

Hi all

Here is a link to my YouTube video of a recent egg tempera painting for the Georgia Writers Museum. I was commissioned to paint the Alice Walker original home when she was growing up in Georgia for the Alice Walker room at the museum.I went to the property in early 2014 and photographed the site for reference material. You will see that, after laying in the initial drawing and adding some color with water soluble colored bars, I began painting in egg tempera. One thing I especially added was the color purple wherever feasible to reflect her Pulitzer Prize winning novel "The Color Purple". You'll notice in the video that, as the painting progresses, I paint over areas and repaint in details and color. This is, since egg tempera is translucent and the layers beneath will influence the topmost layers as time goes by, the painting will actually look richer in the future. I hope that you enjoy viewing the process of painting this special work.

Thank you- Here is the link:


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Abandoned Rural America 2 Reception

August 30, 2012, was the opening reception for the not-to-be-missed exhibit, Abandoned Rural America 2, The Small Family Farm in Transition, presented by the Madison Artists Guild with its exhibit partner and host gallery, The Steffen Thomas Museum of Art. This group- exhibit features paintings, photographs, and a film chronicling the changing face of rural Georgia as small family farms dwindle in number and are reclaimed by the forces of nature. Featured artists are Peter Martin Muzyka, Charles St. John Dyer, Don Jolley and Lisa Wheeler. All four artists bring their personal perspectives to the theme and reveal unique stories underlying the inexorable changing landscape of the rural south.

A treasure in itself, The Steffen Thomas Museum is located in the very heart of this southern rural landscape and was the logical choice for the ARA 2 exhibit, having previously opened in Milledgeville. Also lending its support to the show is the Madison-Morgan Conservancy, an organization that recognizes the importance of the history and future of rural Morgan County and the southern landscape in general. The Opening Reception for this important show was held at the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art on August 30, 6 p.m., and featured refreshments with a farmhouse flair and poignant roots music. The exhibit runs through October 27. The museum is located at 4200 Bethany Road, Buckhead, Ga., 30625. For information on hours of operation, membership, programs, directions, and future events, contact (706)342-7557,, or www.steffenthomas,org.

The reception photos above include some of the newest egg tempera paintings that I have created for the new ARA exhibit. Another ARA exhibit is planned for 2013 (TBA) with more new paintings, photographs, some additional artists and a new, updated variation of the video.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Abandoned Rural America 2 is Opening on August 30th

Hello Valued Reader

The second of the Abandoned Rural America series is about to have its opening at the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art. The Madison Artists Guild and the Madison-Morgan Conservancy have joined with STMA in sponsoring our updated show honoring the memory of the small family farmer in our country. We have added a new member to out team, photographer Lisa Wheeler, as well as artist and model maker Eugene Swain who is supplying one of his amazing lifelike models of an old family farmhouse for our show's reception on August 30th. After the show opening I will post some of the new works that can be seen (and purchased) at the show which goes from August 30th until October 27th. Here is a link to more information on the show from Karen Strelecki, Arts Outreach Coordinator and Marketing Associate: STMA/ARA2 and below is a copy of our current poster announcing the show. I plan to see you all there at the reception. Please click on the image to make it larger.
Best Regards, Pete

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Update to the Old Pennsylvania Farmhouse

The painting that I did in my last post was an indication of how the old farmhouse next to my parent's Pennsylvania property looked 2 and a half years ago. I came up for a visit and took a few new photos showing the state of the property in late June 2012. Here is the result.

As you can see, the back side of the house, after the split, has collapsed. The front is leaning to the left and I expect that within a year or so, the entire farmhouse will be just a pile of rubble.

This is one of the buildings on the farm and all is overgrown by weeds and brush dotted with a few Tiger Lilies.

My next post with outline some of the farms that I came across wile traveling through Virginia and Penna in June and early July 2012.

To see more of the old abandoned farmsteads as well as the beautiful landscapes that comprise our eastern United States rural farmland, attend the upcoming Abandoned Rural America 2 show at the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art in Buckhead GA. The opening is August 30th and it will run through the later part of October 2012 with paintings, drawings photos and a video from myself and painter Don Jolley as well as photograhers Charles St John Dyer and Lisa Wheeler.

For more information visit: or download the info PDF at:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Painting an Abandoned Farmhouse in Pennsylvania

This old farmhouse is on property near my parents' house in the north eastern Pennsylvania countryside. It has been vacant for decades after the head of the family had passed away. One of his sons moved to the city to pursue his career while the other son lived in a trailer next to the main farm house. The farm itself went into disuse long before the father passed away. I believe that the family, as a whole, lost heart in farming and just gave up in the property. This is the process that i go through when I paint an egg tempera on watercolor paper instead of a gessoed panel. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

An April 2012 Visit to Saint Mary's Georgia

Here is a slide show of some of our Saint Mary's shots wile visiting there last week. Hope you enjoy the view.


Monday, April 30, 2012

A Short Trip Through Okefenokee National Park

Hello Friends and Family

Jewel and I recently went on a little trip to Saint Mary's Georgia and the Okefenokee National Park. I took some additional reference photos for Abandoned Rural America show series along the way as well as flora and fauna in the southern Georgia region.

Here is a short slide video of Okefenokee and I will post another of Saint Mary's later in the week.

I hope that you enjoy the images. Music is by Martin Denny.