Artists make their (Land)mark: Arts wall helps amateurs share work with community
by Sally Litchfield /MDJ Features Editor /
11.21.12 - 12:00 am

From left, artists Hazel Austin, Joyce Mulliniks, teacher Gail Miller and First Landmark Bank's CEO Ron Francis, are photographed with artists Connie Smith, Sandy White, Pam Stowers and Joyce Ricketts, at the Sentimental Journey art show at First Landmark Bank in Marietta. <br>Staff/Emily Barnes Kathy Young of Marietta looks at some of the paintings on display as part of the Sentimental Journey art show, at First Landmark Bank in Marietta. From left, artist Joyce Ricketts of Powder Springs talks to her painting teacher Gail Miller of Woodstock, during the Sentimental Journey art show, at First Landmark Bank.
First Landmark Bank enhances the quality of life in Cobb County through its passion for the arts. Landmark Arts, a program that encourages bank officer and employee involvement in the arts, invites local amateur artists to display their art on the bank’s Landmark Arts Wall. Through Dec. 7, the community is invited to view the art of Sentimental Journey Artists.

The Landmark Arts Wall provides another avenue (in addition to First Friday Art Walk on the Marietta Square) for amateur artists to promote their art. “Amateur artists don’t really have a place to exhibit,” said Sandy White, a member of the Sentimental Journey Artists.

Sentimental Journey Artists meets weekly at the Marietta home of member Joyce Mulliniks to paint under the direction of teacher Gail Miller. Other Sentimental Journey Artists include Freda Allor, Hazel Austin, Joyce Ricketts, Connie Smith and Pam Stowers.

“It is a compliment to be able to show your painting somewhere. (Landmark Arts) is an incredible program,” Sandy said.

In addition to the Landmark Arts Wall, Landmark Art supports United Arts of Cobb through the Cobb Arts Ball. Each year it also creates and sells greeting cards from commissioned artwork with proceeds benefiting charity.

According to Renee White, marketing and shareholder relations, First Landmark’s interest in the arts stems from the top. Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ron Francis is actively involved in promoting the arts in the community in various capacities such as United Arts of Cobb (a nonprofit dedicated to growing an endowment for member nonprofit arts groups) for which he serves as chairman.

Ron’s passion for the arts fueled Bank employees’ desire to establish Landmark Arts. “Ron has had an appreciation of the arts for a lifetime. Ron’s commitment to the arts grew from there. It just surrounded us at the bank,” White said.

The success of Landmark Arts can be seen in the numbers. In its first five years, the Cobb Arts Ball has raised more than $375,000 toward United Arts of Cobb’s endowment goal of $1 million. In its first 3 years, Landmark Arts raised $3,820 through greeting card sales donated to charities such as American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, Cobb Landmarks & Historic Preservation, The Extension, SafePath Children’s Advocacy Center, and Special Needs Development Group-Horizon Field.

Chief Lending officer Terri Guthrie quoted Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

“When I think of Landmark Arts, I am impressed by the truth of (Meads) words. In its support of local artists, United Arts of Cobb and the beneficiary organizations of our greeting card sales, Landmark Arts has enriched the quality of life in our community. I applaud Ron Francis for his passion and vision for the local arts community, and I thank him for sharing that with the employees of First Landmark Bank and for encouraging our volunteer spirit and ideas,” Guthrie said.

“I have worked for Ron Francis for over 30 years and know for a fact his support of the arts community will be his legacy long after he retires from banking,” White said.

Visit First Landmark Bank, 307 North Marietta Parkway Northeast, Marietta. Call (770) 792-8870.
© 2012