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Local professionals showcase artwork at Olde Town Gallery

Conyers attorney TK Read stands by her painting, "Goddess of Learning." Read is one of several artists who will show her work at the Olde Town Gallery in September.

Conyers attorney TK Read stands by her painting, "Goddess of Learning." Read is one of several artists who will show her work at the Olde Town Gallery in September.

An art exhibit opening on Friday features people known locally for their professional accomplishments -- a lawyer, a retired non-profit director, a graphic artist, and a retired insurance executive -- but not necessarily for their artistic abilities.

"A Private Side to Public Figures" is an art show featuring the works of former or current leaders in the Conyers community, who also paint and create art through other mediums. Sponsored by the Olde Town Gallery and Studio, located at 909 Commercial St. in Conyers, the art show runs from 2 to 6 p.m. Sept. 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29.

The nonprofit Olde Town Gallery closed last year but has been reopened on a part-time basis for specific shows. Recent shows included art by Rockdale County teachers, and a photography exhibit of images from Africa created by Jeff and Greta Beech.

Gallery board member Sue Chappell said the "Private Side to Public Figures" exhibit is meant to highlight the hidden talents of people who are well known in the community for their careers and contributions to the county.

"We started realizing how many people who are in the public as leaders or otherwise and how many of them are artists in their own right and quite good so we started looking at them," Chappell said.

"A Private Side to Public Figures" will feature the following artists.

-- Karen Winstead Ruetz of Marietta is a graphic designer who lived in Rockdale County and continues to work in Conyers. Ruetz served on the boards of many community organizations including the Conyers Rockdale Chamber of Commerce, American Business Women's Association and Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts, where she also worked from 2003 to 2006.

Ruetz's artistic interests include painting in oils and acrylics as well as making beaded jewelry.

-- Joy Jones of Conyers is retired as the executive director of Rockdale Emergency Relief, a nonprofit designed to help those in financial need, which she led for 15 years.

Jones will show her watercolors and glass mosaics.

-- TK Read is an attorney and mediator who has an office in Olde Town Conyers. She and her husband, Rockdale County District Attorney Richard Read, are the parents of three children, one a student at Boston Conservatory, and the other two attending Salem High School and Rockdale County Magnet School for Science and Technology.

Read will be showing her paintings at the show.

-- Conyers native Ron Simpson is retired from the insurance industry and has served on the Conyers City Council and the Conyers Rockdale Chamber of Commerce. He is currently president of Phoenix Pass, a transitional home facility for single women and their children.

He will show his oil, acrylic, watercolor and pastel paintings.