Mark and Suzette Verbeck have been regular connoisseurs of art for years, though they only began collecting art in 2011. When asked how they decided to begin purchasing art, Mark replied with the inspiration: Phillipians 4:8 from the New Testament of the Bible. The passage reads: “"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." The creations of artists fit the bill.
The first art they acquired was a painting by Augusta artist Jay Jacobs. “We’d never seen anything quite like Jay Jacobs,” Mark said excitedly. In the last six years, the Verbecks have added artwork by Staci Swider, Jeff Birchill, Troy Campbell, and Leonard Zimmerman to name a few. The Verbecks are interested in getting to know the artist, and Mark especially enjoys learning about the different creative processes, how the artists move through problem-solving, and catching glimpses of the creative energy. Though it doesn’t stop there. Their intent is to support local artists by purchasing their work.
Along with purchasing the work of artists, the Verbecks have also commissioned paintings. Their first commission was a return to Jay Jacobs. Mark said he just whispered to Jay, “Carmina Burana,” an opera by Carl Orff. He recounts that Jay’s eyes lit up. Jay was already working on the piece in his head.
Suzette first became intrigued with Matisse at a young age. While in high school in Michigan, she wanted to discover the work of a living artist; someone she could hopefully meet one day. Eventually, she found the artwork of Phillip Morseberger. Fast-forward through living in Texas and Florida over the years to the Verbecks arrival in Augusta, where Mr. Morseberger just happened to live. As is prone to happen at an art opening, not long after Suzette purchased her first Morseberger, she was finally able to meet the living artist whom she admired so greatly. She told Mr. Morseberger of her discovering him while in high school and her recent acquisition. Following a short conversation, with a smile, he told he was going to paint and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Phillip had made Suzette’s day, to say the least.