Comings and goings
The Atlanta gallery scene is a story of ebb and flow. Just when it seems the city has reached a critical density of galleries and it's blue skies from here on out, something or someone departs, upsetting the balance.
On the blue skies front, 2003 saw the opening of some significant galleries in unexpected locations. Skot Foreman brought his eponymous gallery with its high-end investment-oriented work to the up-and-coming environs of Castleberry Hill. And down the road a piece, enterprising artists Andy Wallace and Denise King teamed up with Atlanta businessman Rusty Reddish to open Elevation Gallery. The cavernous 5,200-square-foot space in the West End's alternative art grotto, the Candler-Smith warehouse district, is devoted to shows of emerging artists.
On a more established strip of Buckhead real estate, the Savannah Gallery opened on Roswell Road in April. This commercial satellite of the Savannah College of Art and Design mixes work by SCAD faculty, students and alum, as well as other contemporary work.
There were departures in 2003 as well, including the lamentable passing of the funky alternative gallery ArtSpot, after a mere two years in business. Husband and wife partners Ann-Marie Manker and Chris Downs shuttered the space this December, but they hope to launch free-floating ArtSpot events at various venues in the future. Robert Cheatham replaced Woody Cornwell as Eyedrum's director, while former Eyedrum board member/community relations liaison Stan Woodard moved to the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center to serve as their communications and development coordinator.
The city's arts curators wouldn't sit still for long either. City Gallery East curator Karen Comer left her post to start her own art consulting business. Both City Gallery East and City Gallery Chastain, which consolidated their operations before Comer's departure, now operate without staff curators. Lynne E. Spriggs, who has worked since 1997 as curator of folk art at the High Museum of Art, returned to Montana for a job as executive director of the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art. The museum is currently conducting a national search for Spriggs' successor. Susan Crawley is currently serving as the High Museum's interim curator of folk art.