The Lilburn Art Alliance's first public exhibition held Jan. 12 is being touted as a great, positive achievement for the city.
Just 50-100 people were expected at the event, which was held inside the old Blue Rooster Cafe and catered by Decatur's Sprig restaurant. However, according to organizers, at least double that flocked in to enjoy art, entertainment, food and conversation.
Officials are hoping the art exhibition is one of many more monthly activities held by the Lilburn Art Alliance.
Mayor Johnny Crist called the event a "smashing success."
Sonny Franks, a member of the newly formed Lilburn Art Alliance and an organizer of the Saturday event, said he was "so stoked" at the turnout and enthusiasm.
"As soon as we opened the doors people started rolling in," he said. "I think it's fantastic."
He's hoping the number of artists who came to the event -- even those who were not showing their work -- increases the awareness and excitement around the Lilburn Art Alliance.
"I think it's a great idea," said Terri Enfield, who showed her paintings at the exhibition. "We have lots of interest here."
The alliance took shape at the latter part of 2012, as a way to encourage public art and art appreciation in the city. In addition, the alliance wants to give local artists another place -- outside of notables like Decatur -- to show their work.
Artists such as Alan Harp, Diana Dice, Terri Enfield, and Peggy Sullens are among the creative masters who presented their work during the exhibition, but they also are members of the alliance.
During the exhibition, the artists were able to engage curious city residents and boast about their work. At the same time, guests were able to enjoy art and entertainment with their neighbors and friends.
"Everybody's artsy today," Franks added, while standing in the middle of the showcase. "People are doing exactly what I was hoping."
David Raderstorf, president of the Kudzu Art Zone in Norcross, also was thrilled at the turnout.
As an organizer of the event who also showed his on work during the exhibition, the interest seems promising. Art will bring cultural awareness, as well as be an economic driver, Raderstorf.
"There's a place for art in every city," he said. "Every great city -- whether it's small or large -- is impacted by the arts."