Talk of the Town - Through the Looking Glass March 23 2005

Exploring the world of Chris and Julie Warner

Chris Warner, owner of the Alcove Gallery, is equal parts artist, art collector and toy enthusiast. Located in Buckhead, his gallery offers an eclectic selection of bright paintings and sculptures, as well as small, handmade trinkets. Similarly styled and decorated, Warner's home is testament that his passion for art is not just a job, but a way of life.

His Clarkston abode, shared with his wife, Julie, and their two canine kids - Cleo and Lula - houses assorted interests, including his own canvases and her own photography. Whimsical children's stories and antique novels fill the bookcase, while paintings (some of which were purchased at his own gallery), knickknacks and toys abound in every corner. Even the laundry room boasts its own art, with brightly colored creatures seemingly staring from the walls. Posing on top of the shelves are childhood favorites from Where the Wild Things Are, while the living room table hosts the decidedly more grown-up Pad Parties: The Guide to Ultra-Entertaining.

Creative Loafing: I see you're interested in entertaining.

Julie: We have thrown some serious dinner parties here, I love to cook.

Do you find that, owning a gallery, the distinction between work and play is blurred?

Julie: Our work and our play is all one thing. It is also a good opportunity to expose some of the more conservative community of Buckhead to a more eclectic art form and also to the underground artwork of Atlanta.

Chris: We like to dedicate ourselves to serve the masses and bring more of a variety of artists to the area.

This neighborhood is a lot different from the hustle and bustle of Buckhead. Do you enjoy the different pace?

Chris: It is like a sanctuary away from the city - you can kind of escape because everything seems to merge together. Also the farmer's market is close by.

Julie: We don't have to get on the highway to go to work, it takes me 20 minutes in the morning and we are accessible to all the major arteries of the city.

Chris, I've seen your artwork on the walls - do you still paint at home?

No, not anymore. I used to paint out of the garage, but I left markings all over the floor.

Is any particular piece your favorite?

I tend to not like my own work. But it reflects your past, like a diary. In general I favor my earlier works, which resulted [after being sold] in things like the first apparel, the first shower curtains and financial stability.

Your pets seem to play a prominent role in your lives. How do they fit into your busy schedules?

Chris: They're everything.

Julie: They're like our children. We love them so much. Chris gets up and runs them in the mornings and on the weekends they get to go out with us.

cityhomes@creativeloafing.comFor more information on the Alcove's next show, opening March 26, featuring Mark Henderson and Matthew Lively, visit www.alcovearts.com.

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