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50 Years Art Show Opening Night

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Agents of Change: Gina Hurry's art project celebrates 50 Years of Hopes and Dreams (Edward Bowser)

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Paintings created by Gina Hurry of In*Spero. (courtesy of Gina Hurry).

Edward T. Bowser | ebowser@al.com

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Edward T. Bowser | ebowser@al.com 
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on August 27, 2013 at 10:37 AM, updated

August 27, 2013 at 10:40 AM

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Gina Hurry is leading "50 Years of Hopes and Dreams," a collaborative pop-up art project set at Cahaba Brewing Company. The project kicks off Sept. 6 at 6 p.m.(courtesy of Gina Hurry)

Inspiration comes in many forms.

Even a cool cup of water.

A few years ago, artist Gina Hurry was at a crossroads. She pondered abandoning her art career, questioning if it mattered in the grand scheme of life.

But a chance encounter in Atlanta changed her mind.

While visiting the city, Hurry was approached by a homeless man. The gentleman pleaded for the cup of water Hurry was holding.

For Hurry, it was just a simple cup. She could easily get another. For that gentleman, it was much more.

"He needed what I had," she said. "I had to give it to him."

"It was his hope," she added. "Beauty is like a cup of cool water for those who need hope."

That day, Hurry rediscovered her inspiration. 

Hurry and her colleagues aim to refresh a parched community with "50 Years of Hopes and Dreams," a collaborative pop-up art project set at Cahaba Brewing Company. The project kicks off Sept. 6 at 6 p.m.

Artists of various ages and backgrounds were asked to create works based on three themes: reconciliation, forgiveness and healing for the good of Birmingham. The works will be on display through the month of September during Cahaba Brewing Company's tasting hours.

"This is a chance for people to share their heart," Hurry said. "These visual artists have created something that serves as their prayer. We hope we have work that is redemptive."

Hurry knows that a within the brushstrokes of a great painting lies a great story. There's even a story hidden in the name of her nonprofit group, In*Spero. Hurry says "In" is short for "inspire" and "spero" is Latin for "to hope for."

According to Hurry, artwork is more than eye-catching beauty. It makes a statement about our communities, our homes. 

One of Hurry's original works, pictured in the photo gallery above, features a figure standing above many smaller figures. The faceless figures add mystery and intrigue, but overall it's a warm, inviting piece.

Hurry says that piece was dedicated to a family that had a heart for caring for orphans. She says it's "representative of the father's heart."

And at the core, it's also a portrait of the goals of 50 Years of Hopes and Dreams. As we reflect on 50 years of progress in Birmingham, our attention shouldn't be placed solely on struggles and strife. Like the orphans in Hurry's image, growth was the result of different faces coming together and finally realizing they were family. 

That's the journey that should be celebrated.

Be it a cup of water or a simple painting, inspiration truly comes in many forms.

For more about the 50 Years of Hopes and Dreams collaborative art project, visit its Facebook page.