By Hailea Boykin

Van Gogh Exhibit

Coming to Augusta for the first time is the Beyond Van Gogh: Immersive Experience with over 300 of his artworks on display using projection technology that animates and brings new life to familiar faces, places and atmospheres.

As the largest immersive experience in the country, 30,000 square feet in the James Brown Arena will be transformed to teleport patrons into the heart and soul of Van Gogh’s life work.

(Photos courtesy of

Automotive Service Training Center

Augusta National Golf Club and Jim Hudson Automotive Group made donations of $1 million each to Augusta Technical College for the development of a new automotive service training center.

In recent months, Augusta Technical College has met and worked with local automotive entities regarding the training needs throughout the region. The college’s flagship location for extensive automotive training will be built in the Laney Walker neighborhood and will focus in the areas of electrical/hybrid technology, heavy and light duty diesel, auto body and collusion repair, motorsports technology, and a host of other emerging technologies in the automotive industry. The college also looks to expand into OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) training programs with manufacturers such as Toyota, GM, Honda/Acura, just to name a few. Uniquely, the college seeks to incroporate new programming that not only teaches the technician level curriculum, but also the business side of running a car dealership to include management of service, parts, sales and finance departments.

“Cars have always been in my blood and this partnership with Augusta Technical College will allow young men and women the opportunity to be educated and trained in the automotive world. Our company was built on three pillars: our employees, our customers and the community. My main objective with this donation is to strengthen our community and for us to see a lasting impact on the future,” stated Jim Hudson, Founder of Jim Hudson Automotive Group.

The new facility will quadruple Augusta Technical College’s current training footprint to meet the rising demand for automotive technicians and professionals in the area. Once operational, the center will offer 16 certification programs to approximately 1,270 students annually as the region’s leading automotive training center. Augusta National’s donation will allow the center to open later this year.

“The launch of this training program will prepare a quality workforce for readily available jobs here in Augusta,” said Augusta National Golf Club Chairman Fred Ridley. “This contribution reflects our commitment to promoting opportunities for residents and families in the Laney Walker community and across the City of Augusta. I commend Augusta Technical College and President Dr. Jermaine Whirl for identifying the need for this exciting program that will have a meaningful impact on economic and workforce development in the area.”

The donation to Augusta Technical College represents Augusta National’s latest effort to support ongoing development in the Harrisburg and Laney Walker community.

(Photo by Sten Rademaker on Unsplash)

Phinizy Swamp Nature Park

Summer weather is the perfect time for outdoor exploration, though you’ll want to be mindful of the heat. Between the flora and the fauna there is plenty to see and experience at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park.

(Photo by Diann Payne)


Remembering the Washingtons
By Aimee Serafin  |  Photos by Randy Pace

Washington Hall at Augusta University’s Summerville campus is named after two influential and lifelong educators whose lives and legacy were honored April 13th. Drs. Justine and Isaiah Washington served as dedicated leaders in Richmond County for decades.

A gifted teacher in French, English and Hebrew, Justine Washington also played various musical instruments and conducted high school and church choirs. She graduated from Spelman College, taught at Paine College and was appointed a Jeanes Supervisor of Teachers in 84 rural schools in Aiken County (Jeanes Supervisors were teachers who helped support education and vocational programs for African Americans in rural communities from 1908 to the 1960s). Justine sat on the Richmond County Board of Education for more than 20 years and she was the organization’s first Black female president.

A graduate of Walker Baptist Institute and Paine College, Dr. Isaiah “Ike” Washington has an equally impressive list of educational achievements, serving nearly 40 years as a Richmond County teacher and administrator. He was principal of Craig-Houghton Elementary, C.T. Walker Elementary and A.R. Johnson Junior High and Lucy Craft Laney High School where he retired. He also dedicated 17 years or service to the city of Augusta as a councilman.

The legacy of life commemoration included the presentation of two quilts commissioned by the Brown Sugar Stitchers (a diverse group of 101 quilters in the Atlanta area who foster the history of quilting with an emphasis on African American traditions). The group created two quilts for the event; one is housed on Augusta University’s Summerville campus but will travel as an educational tool throughout the community to tell the Washingtons’ story. The second quilt is part of the permanent collection on display at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History.

The announcement of The Ike and Justine Washington Scholarship fund for underserved students in the Augusta area was also part of the event. This scholarship will be awarded annually to an outstanding incoming freshman from the Savannah River Region who meets the required qualifications.


Riverfront Clean Up

With a nickname like Garden City, it’s important that we keep our best foot out into the foliage. Of course, during the month of the Masters everyone pays close attention to the color of the grass, shapes of the bushes and vibrancy of the flowers but after the chips have been made and Augusta has a new Masters Champion, how do we keep our public spaces clean?

Two Dudes & a Boat have made it part of their mission to keep the Augusta Riverfront clean for most of the year. Of course during the colder months it becomes more difficult, but in the spring, through the summer and for most of the fall, Two Dudes and their volunteers use the first Saturday morning of every month to clean up our riverfront.

Register for the next Keep Augusta Beautiful — Riverfront Clean-Up at

(Photos courtesy of Two Dudes and a Boat Kayak Rentals on Facebook)


Voices and Votes: Democracy in America
An Aiken County Celebration

Voices and Votes: Democracy in America is a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit on display at the Aiken County Historical Museum from July 23 – September 3, 2022. In an effort to honor those Americans who fought for voting rights, the free exhibit and associated programs offer wide-ranging reflections on the storied history of voting rights in America, and in Aiken County.

For more information visit

(Photos courtesy of


Appears in the June/July 2022 issue of Augusta Magazine.

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RSS Augusta Magazine’s Front Porch

  • Episode 11: Jay Jefferies
    Jay Jefferies stops by to deliver the weather and much more!
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    We had the pleasure of sitting down with Nesia Wright, owner and CEO of the Georgia Soul Basketball Team. Ashlee and Nesia discuss life as the owner of a basketball team, retirement and more.
  • Episode 9: Venus Morris Griffin
    Venus Morris Griffin, one of the top real estate agents in the Augusta area, stops by our front porch to talk about her success and her upcoming book. This episode is sure to set a fire in you to go for your dreams!
  • Episode 8: Michael Romano
    Michael Romano, self-proclaimed carbohydrate king and executive pastry chef for Edgar's Hospitality Group stopped by our front porch to chat with Ashlee.


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