AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A local artist is using her gift to display the power of dreams coming true with her own exhibit.

Billie Holliday, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, and Prince: they all had this one thing in common.  

“They all started with a dream,” artist Francie Klopotic states.  

And with that came the inspiration behind her latest exhibition: Souls of the Midnight Dreamers.

Born and raised in East Atlanta Village, Francie Klopotic had a love for art at an early age.  

“I taught myself how to draw at 10 years old. About two years ago or so, I thought, ‘I wonder if I could paint?’ So, I picked up the paint brush and started playing with it. And the first painting I did was Frida Kahlo, and it sold, and I’ve been doing it ever since,” says Klopotic.

Because of a job transfer, Klopotic then moved to Augusta and began to learn more about the history of the city. However, it was one person that made an impact on where her latest project would be.   

“It was the fact that James Brown was from here, and he’s a big part of my growing up time, I just wanted it to be here especially in this museum for the community to bring all kinds of people together,” says Klopotic.

The museum she is referring to is the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, which is the home of the “Souls of the Midnight Dreamers” exhibit.   

This exhibition features 36 of Klopotic’s original paintings and drawings, which includes local legends like Wycliffe Gordon, Sharon Jones, Brenda Lee, Jessye Norman, and the Godfather of Soul, James Brown – individuals who all had a dream.  

“All of these people started somewhere, and they were all like us. They had a dream, they pursued it, and they made something of themselves because they believed in themselves. The point of this show is that we all have a dream and we all can pursue and achieve that dream,” says Klopotic.  

And with that, Francie is encouraging others to chase after their dreams.  

“If you have a dream, follow it. Pursue it. Don’t let anything stand in your way because you can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it. It takes work, but if it’s something that you want, you will do the work, and you will achieve your dream no matter how big or small,” says Klopotic.  

Souls of the Midnight Dreamers will run until September 30th. If you would like more information on how you can view the exhibit or reserve a spot for a guided tour of the museum, you can contact the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History at (706) 724-3576 or you can visit their website.

The Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History is located at 1116 Phillips Street in Augusta, Georgia.