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AMA welcomes back artwork affected by January 2017 storms

Video from WALB
Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 6:43 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Five years after the January 2017 storms, artwork that was donated by many people from Southwest Georgia is finally back in its place.

After the roof of the museum was ripped off during the storms, art had to be transported to either Atlanta or Chicago.

Katie Dillard is not only helping unpack and re-stage that artwork now, but she was also there the day after the storms packing it up.

“It was definitely shocking to see the museum in such a state, but we didn’t have time to sit with our mouths open. We had to jump into action,” said Dillard.

Losing both power and their roof, rain poured into the museum for hours.

“Because we lost power, we lost climate control, which means there was no air conditioning, no humidity control to protect the artwork,” said Dillard.

Artwork taken to Atlanta was mostly for storage, but the nearly 2,000 pieces shipped to Chicago had to be treated. That, along with COVID-19, extended the recovery timeline to five years.

Katie Dillard is not only helping unpack and re-stage that artwork now, but she was also there...
Katie Dillard is not only helping unpack and re-stage that artwork now, but she was also there the day after the storms packing it up.(WALB)

“Experts in Chicago, it took them a couple years to go through everything because extracting water from a wooden object for example is not a quick or easy thing to do,” said Dillard.

Displaying the collection in mid May, they’re looking forward to southwest Georgia coming in to welcome it back home.

“We’re just proud to have it all back and we’re excited to share it with the community again,” said Dillard.

This is part of their summer exhibit, so visitors will have until August to view it.

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