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Visual Arts

Visual Arts


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  string(3297) "At the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, a yearlong experiment in arts education is coming to an end. The 11 recipients of WonderRoot's 2012-13 Walthall Artist Fellowship are preparing for One One, a group exhibition of new works made throughout the fellowship, crafting installations, hanging photographs, and coordinating the logistics of performances scheduled for the big opening night. The fellowship, one of local nonprofit WonderRoot's many outreach and education programs, aims to help artists develop a sustainable career path with their creative endeavors.

Executive director Chris Appleton says, "We kept hearing from people who were saying, 'Yes, I've found my voice as an artist, but I don't know how to reach a gallery.' Or, they don't know what do when a curator like Stuart Horodner of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center says he wants to do a studio visit."

With those needs in mind, Appleton and WonderRoot's former creative director Maggie Ginestra spearheaded an annual program less focused on the creative process than on the practical tools that artists need to navigate and launch a career as professional artists. The result is an interesting hybrid of educational practices, a combination of professional and creative nurturing meant to fill or complement the gaps in traditional educational models.

Appleton and Ginestra took applications from Atlanta-based artists, selected a strong group of applicants, and arranged monthly seminars based around a wide spectrum of issues. Drawing on the advice of a diverse group of creative professionals and artists, the seminars addressed everything from financial planning and health insurance to legal issues in the arts and grant writing strategies.

The exhibition at MOCA GA will be the final stage of the program. About week before the opening, choreographer and dancer Helen Hale and Andre Keichian, a film and multimedia artist, took a break from working in the museum's main gallery to chat about the fellowship. Their anecdotes ranged from small creative successes, like having a little extra time to focus on a project during a fellowship retreat on Ossabaw Island, to larger, improved understandings of their responsibilities as artists.

"My undergrad in fine arts hadn't provided me with the tools to work as an artist," Hale says. "I realize now that no one is going to come and write a grant for me. I need to be a grant writer as much as a choreographer."

For Keichian, the fellowship's artist community was a crucial benefit. "I've always wanted a collective and the structure of the fellowship created that. It seems like we've all subconsciously influenced one another. I think that the show at MOCA GA is going to be surprisingly cohesive," Keichian says.

The mood at MOCA GA has the vague feeling of a graduation, an emerging group of artists a bit better prepared to enter the world. "I'm already ready for the reunion," Keichian says.

WonderRoot and new creative director Stephanie Dowda are preparing to enter the program's second year. Aubrey Longley-Cook, Julie Sims, Jessica Caldas, Myrna Pronchuk, Heather Greenway, Nathan Sharratt, Christopher Chambers, Alex Gallo-Brown, Antonio Darden, Iman Person, Jonathan Welsh, and Onur Topul-Sumer have been selected as the 2013-14 Walthall Fellows. "
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Executive director Chris Appleton says, "We kept hearing from people who were saying, 'Yes, I've found my voice as an artist, but I don't know how to reach a gallery.' Or, they don't know what do when a curator like Stuart Horodner [of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center] says he wants to do a studio visit."

With those needs in mind, Appleton and WonderRoot's former creative director [http://clatl.com/atlanta/a-few-questions-with-wonderroots-maggie-ginestra/Content?oid=5307789|Maggie Ginestra] spearheaded an annual program less focused on the creative process than on the practical tools that artists need to navigate and launch a career as professional artists. The result is an interesting hybrid of educational practices, a combination of professional and creative nurturing meant to fill or complement the gaps in traditional educational models.

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"My undergrad in fine arts hadn't provided me with the tools to work as an artist," Hale says. "I realize now that no one is going to come and write a grant for me. I need to be a grant writer as much as a choreographer."

For Keichian, the fellowship's artist community was a crucial benefit. "I've always wanted a collective and the structure of the fellowship created that. It seems like we've all subconsciously influenced one another. I think that the show [at MOCA GA] is going to be surprisingly cohesive," Keichian says.

The mood at MOCA GA has the vague feeling of a graduation, an emerging group of artists a bit better prepared to enter the world. "I'm already ready for the reunion," Keichian says.

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  string(3624) "    The exhibition marks the end of a yearlong fellowship program   2013-04-23T20:16:00+00:00 Emerging artists selected by WonderRoot get a break at MOCA GA   Wyatt Williams 1306426 2013-04-23T20:16:00+00:00  At the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, a yearlong experiment in arts education is coming to an end. The 11 recipients of WonderRoot's 2012-13 Walthall Artist Fellowship are preparing for One One, a group exhibition of new works made throughout the fellowship, crafting installations, hanging photographs, and coordinating the logistics of performances scheduled for the big opening night. The fellowship, one of local nonprofit WonderRoot's many outreach and education programs, aims to help artists develop a sustainable career path with their creative endeavors.

Executive director Chris Appleton says, "We kept hearing from people who were saying, 'Yes, I've found my voice as an artist, but I don't know how to reach a gallery.' Or, they don't know what do when a curator like Stuart Horodner of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center says he wants to do a studio visit."

With those needs in mind, Appleton and WonderRoot's former creative director Maggie Ginestra spearheaded an annual program less focused on the creative process than on the practical tools that artists need to navigate and launch a career as professional artists. The result is an interesting hybrid of educational practices, a combination of professional and creative nurturing meant to fill or complement the gaps in traditional educational models.

Appleton and Ginestra took applications from Atlanta-based artists, selected a strong group of applicants, and arranged monthly seminars based around a wide spectrum of issues. Drawing on the advice of a diverse group of creative professionals and artists, the seminars addressed everything from financial planning and health insurance to legal issues in the arts and grant writing strategies.

The exhibition at MOCA GA will be the final stage of the program. About week before the opening, choreographer and dancer Helen Hale and Andre Keichian, a film and multimedia artist, took a break from working in the museum's main gallery to chat about the fellowship. Their anecdotes ranged from small creative successes, like having a little extra time to focus on a project during a fellowship retreat on Ossabaw Island, to larger, improved understandings of their responsibilities as artists.

"My undergrad in fine arts hadn't provided me with the tools to work as an artist," Hale says. "I realize now that no one is going to come and write a grant for me. I need to be a grant writer as much as a choreographer."

For Keichian, the fellowship's artist community was a crucial benefit. "I've always wanted a collective and the structure of the fellowship created that. It seems like we've all subconsciously influenced one another. I think that the show at MOCA GA is going to be surprisingly cohesive," Keichian says.

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Article

Tuesday April 23, 2013 04:16 pm EDT
The exhibition marks the end of a yearlong fellowship program | more...
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  string(40) "Blow-Up at Poem 88 revels in film themes"
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  string(82) "Five artists tackle the unstable nature of Michelangelo Antonioni's filmic reality"
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  string(3914) "The scene is '60s London; the star, a wildly successful photographer engaged in dubious sexual relationships with models — both super and aspiring — who literally throw themselves at his feet. The conflict: He's witnessed a murder through his camera lens and only realized it after the fact. What follows is his obsessive desire to find the truth, the story behind his snapshots. All the while reality becomes less and less certain as the pot-filled haze that is Swinging London distracts our hero from his search and undermines the established facts. We are left to wonder: Was a murder committed? And if so, does it matter?

The issues that set the stage of Blow-Up, Michelangelo Antonioni's iconic 1966 film, have been adapted to serve as inspiration for a group exhibition of the same name at Poem 88. The film overflows with weighty themes like the tenuous nature of truth, artistic aspirations for clarity and beauty, and the problematic nature of the image, which serve as the starting points for the works in this exhibition. The resulting paintings, photographs, and mixed-media artworks present analyses of Blow-Up's themes and scenes while remaining firmly rooted in the styles of the individual artists.

Sharon Shapiro and InKyoung Chun's paintings are the most explicitly related to the film and as such provide an excellent introduction to this referential exhibition. Shapiro's easily recognizable portraits of the female characters in the film not only showcase their beauty, but also their fraught status. We see the scheming nature of Vanessa Redgrave's mysterious character, and her uncertainty, as well as the starstruck confusion of two teenage aspiring models, including an unrecognizably blond Jane Birkin. InKyoung Chun's contribution, "Catch It If You Can," depicts one of the most memorable scenes in the film, when the lead character becomes a participant in a mimed tennis match, but includes Chun's trademark ki bubbles to symbolize both the invisible tennis ball as well as the spirit and energy of the moment.

Nancy VanDevender and Nikita Gale's installations emphasize the narrative confusion caused from trying to construe a murder scene through still images. VanDevender combines images from Blow-Up with other films that similarly investigate truth and fiction, like Last Year at Marienbad, to create multilayered scenes that are almost impossible to identify. These works tend toward the dense and confusing, but the long wallpaper-like panels VanDevender created for the exhibition are truly stunning. Parisian avenues mix with a multitude of figures, including Poem 88 gallerist Robin Bernat and artist Gale, creating a vibrant pattern with surprising hidden elements. Gale's installation features mixed-up Polaroids that depict and confuse the sequence of events leading up to a broken mirror — not the most exciting work in this show, but certainly in the spirit of the film — and, more intriguingly, silver gelatin prints of letters composing declarative sentences. As per the opening credits of the film, scenes and faces can be seen within the letters, construing an obscured glimpse into another world.

Ben Steele's dazzling paintings — the only works not created specifically for Blow-Up — are the keystone of this intriguing exhibition. Steele's work primarily deals with disconnects between actual spaces and construed reality, thereby fitting a major theme of the film without being derivative. Steele's large canvases depict blue-hued scenes with prismatic splashes of light and obfuscated subject matter in which you're never entirely sure what you're looking at, though there are clues. Steele's paintings are mesmerizing puzzles of fractured forms and divergent light sources in which reality is elusive but beauty is front and center, which, per the exultant though bewildering final scene of Antonioni's film, is all we can hope for in the end. "
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The issues that set the stage of ''[http://poem88.net/blow-up-2013.html|Blow-Up]'', Michelangelo Antonioni's iconic 1966 film, have been adapted to serve as inspiration for a group exhibition of the same name at Poem 88. The film overflows with weighty themes like the tenuous nature of truth, artistic aspirations for clarity and beauty, and the problematic nature of the image, which serve as the starting points for the works in this exhibition. The resulting paintings, photographs, and mixed-media artworks present analyses of ''Blow-Up'''s themes and scenes while remaining firmly rooted in the styles of the individual artists.

Sharon Shapiro and InKyoung Chun's paintings are the most explicitly related to the film and as such provide an excellent introduction to this referential exhibition. Shapiro's easily recognizable portraits of the female characters in the film not only showcase their beauty, but also their fraught status. We see the scheming nature of Vanessa Redgrave's mysterious character, and her uncertainty, as well as the starstruck confusion of two teenage aspiring models, including an unrecognizably blond Jane Birkin. InKyoung Chun's contribution, "Catch It If You Can," depicts one of the most memorable scenes in the film, when the lead character becomes a participant in a mimed tennis match, but includes Chun's trademark ki bubbles to symbolize both the invisible tennis ball as well as the spirit and energy of the moment.

Nancy VanDevender and Nikita Gale's installations emphasize the narrative confusion caused from trying to construe a murder scene through still images. VanDevender combines images from ''Blow-Up'' with other films that similarly investigate truth and fiction, like ''Last Year at Marienbad'', to create multilayered scenes that are almost impossible to identify. These works tend toward the dense and confusing, but the long wallpaper-like panels VanDevender created for the exhibition are truly stunning. Parisian avenues mix with a multitude of figures, including Poem 88 gallerist Robin Bernat and artist Gale, creating a vibrant pattern with surprising hidden elements. Gale's installation features mixed-up Polaroids that depict and confuse the sequence of events leading up to a broken mirror — not the most exciting work in this show, but certainly in the spirit of the film — and, more intriguingly, silver gelatin prints of letters composing declarative sentences. As per the opening credits of the film, scenes and faces can be seen within the letters, construing an obscured glimpse into another world.

Ben Steele's dazzling paintings — the only works not created specifically for ''Blow-Up'' — are the keystone of this intriguing exhibition. Steele's work primarily deals with disconnects between actual spaces and construed reality, thereby fitting a major theme of the film without being derivative. Steele's large canvases depict blue-hued scenes with prismatic splashes of light and obfuscated subject matter in which you're never entirely sure what you're looking at, though there are clues. Steele's paintings are mesmerizing puzzles of fractured forms and divergent light sources in which reality is elusive but beauty is front and center, which, per the exultant though bewildering final scene of Antonioni's film, is all we can hope for in the end. "
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  string(4215) "    Five artists tackle the unstable nature of Michelangelo Antonioni's filmic reality   2013-04-16T08:00:00+00:00 Blow-Up at Poem 88 revels in film themes   Lilly Lampe 7307765 2013-04-16T08:00:00+00:00  The scene is '60s London; the star, a wildly successful photographer engaged in dubious sexual relationships with models — both super and aspiring — who literally throw themselves at his feet. The conflict: He's witnessed a murder through his camera lens and only realized it after the fact. What follows is his obsessive desire to find the truth, the story behind his snapshots. All the while reality becomes less and less certain as the pot-filled haze that is Swinging London distracts our hero from his search and undermines the established facts. We are left to wonder: Was a murder committed? And if so, does it matter?

The issues that set the stage of Blow-Up, Michelangelo Antonioni's iconic 1966 film, have been adapted to serve as inspiration for a group exhibition of the same name at Poem 88. The film overflows with weighty themes like the tenuous nature of truth, artistic aspirations for clarity and beauty, and the problematic nature of the image, which serve as the starting points for the works in this exhibition. The resulting paintings, photographs, and mixed-media artworks present analyses of Blow-Up's themes and scenes while remaining firmly rooted in the styles of the individual artists.

Sharon Shapiro and InKyoung Chun's paintings are the most explicitly related to the film and as such provide an excellent introduction to this referential exhibition. Shapiro's easily recognizable portraits of the female characters in the film not only showcase their beauty, but also their fraught status. We see the scheming nature of Vanessa Redgrave's mysterious character, and her uncertainty, as well as the starstruck confusion of two teenage aspiring models, including an unrecognizably blond Jane Birkin. InKyoung Chun's contribution, "Catch It If You Can," depicts one of the most memorable scenes in the film, when the lead character becomes a participant in a mimed tennis match, but includes Chun's trademark ki bubbles to symbolize both the invisible tennis ball as well as the spirit and energy of the moment.

Nancy VanDevender and Nikita Gale's installations emphasize the narrative confusion caused from trying to construe a murder scene through still images. VanDevender combines images from Blow-Up with other films that similarly investigate truth and fiction, like Last Year at Marienbad, to create multilayered scenes that are almost impossible to identify. These works tend toward the dense and confusing, but the long wallpaper-like panels VanDevender created for the exhibition are truly stunning. Parisian avenues mix with a multitude of figures, including Poem 88 gallerist Robin Bernat and artist Gale, creating a vibrant pattern with surprising hidden elements. Gale's installation features mixed-up Polaroids that depict and confuse the sequence of events leading up to a broken mirror — not the most exciting work in this show, but certainly in the spirit of the film — and, more intriguingly, silver gelatin prints of letters composing declarative sentences. As per the opening credits of the film, scenes and faces can be seen within the letters, construing an obscured glimpse into another world.

Ben Steele's dazzling paintings — the only works not created specifically for Blow-Up — are the keystone of this intriguing exhibition. Steele's work primarily deals with disconnects between actual spaces and construed reality, thereby fitting a major theme of the film without being derivative. Steele's large canvases depict blue-hued scenes with prismatic splashes of light and obfuscated subject matter in which you're never entirely sure what you're looking at, though there are clues. Steele's paintings are mesmerizing puzzles of fractured forms and divergent light sources in which reality is elusive but beauty is front and center, which, per the exultant though bewildering final scene of Antonioni's film, is all we can hope for in the end.              13073204 8003049                          Blow-Up at Poem 88 revels in film themes "
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Article

Tuesday April 16, 2013 04:00 am EDT
Five artists tackle the unstable nature of Michelangelo Antonioni's filmic reality | more...
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  string(2962) "The three concurrent exhibitions showing at Jackson Fine Art portend a story of faraway lands. Looking at George Georgiou, Andrew Moore, and Michael Kenna's photographs hailing from Turkey, Cuba, and Korea, respectively, one might expect themes of exoticism and orientalism. Though the images don't exactly shy away from politically complicated themes, a comparison of formal properties brings forward the best moments of the show.

For his series "Fault Lines/Turkey/East/West," George Georgiou spent four years in Istanbul photographing Turks. Rendered in archival pigment print, the images are distractingly fuzzy up close, yet at two meters back take on a vivid quality — the photography version of a Monet. The initial fuzziness gives way to velvety, full-bodied texture, creating an optical effect that makes objects in the foreground leap off the wall.

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In Andrew Moore's luscious chromogenic prints, the photographer utilizes the depth and fine detail achievable through that process to create disorienting scenes of Cuba. In "Anton's Books, Cuba," a bookshelf stuffed with yellowing paperbacks is many times larger than life-size, making the collection seem doubly crowded and overwhelming. These proportions are flipped in "Cortina Roja," in which a doorway takes on a dollhouse effect due to the vividness of detail and the door's size within the huge print. Moore's "Puente de Bacunayague, Via Blanca," makes the forest seem to extend for miles below what is visible. Moore upends normal perceptions of scale and detail, causing spaces both large and small to appear infinite.

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What is evident in these images is not a tourist's navigation within foreign cultures, but the measured response of expert photographers in new spaces and settings. "
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In Andrew Moore's luscious chromogenic prints, the photographer utilizes the depth and fine detail achievable through that process to create disorienting scenes of Cuba. In "Anton's Books, Cuba," a bookshelf stuffed with yellowing paperbacks is many times larger than life-size, making the collection seem doubly crowded and overwhelming. These proportions are flipped in "Cortina Roja," in which a doorway takes on a dollhouse effect due to the vividness of detail and the door's size within the huge print. Moore's "Puente de Bacunayague, Via Blanca," makes the forest seem to extend for miles below what is visible. Moore upends normal perceptions of scale and detail, causing spaces both large and small to appear infinite.

Michael Kenna's relatively diminutive silver gelatins seem precious in comparison. Scenes from China and Bordeaux, among others, presented in black and white, are studies in contrast. Kenna revels in both a crispness of line and watercolor-like effects made possible through long exposures. In "Chateau Lafite, Study 7, Bordeaux, France," the famed vineyards wash over the image in a sea of blurry gray tones, broken only by the corner of a tiled roof in the bottom left and a measured expanse of sky over the horizon. Kenna's meditative images capture the movement and stillness that hang in every moment, creating miniature landscapes with a natural, unforced vitality.

What is evident in these images is not a tourist's navigation within foreign cultures, but the measured response of expert photographers in new spaces and settings. "
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What is evident in these images is not a tourist's navigation within foreign cultures, but the measured response of expert photographers in new spaces and settings.              13072847 7819066                          The world through three lenses at Jackson Fine Art "
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Article

Monday March 18, 2013 12:00 pm EDT
Three-part exhibition showcases the perspective of photographers in foreign lands | more...

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  string(3392) "Design exhibitions tend to focus on extravagances like fine jewelry, fancy cars, finely wrought spigots, and their ilk. With that in mind, Design with the Other 90%: CITIES, currently on view at the David J. Sencer CDC Museum, throws these notions in high relief by casting a spotlight on design innovation in areas where running water would be a luxury.

This exhibition, the second in a series organized by Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, features 60 projects that address the multiple issues arising from life in informal settlements, commonly known as slums, such as the lack of potable water and crowded living conditions. The resulting design initiatives reveal as much about life in these areas as they present ingenious solutions.

Several designs utilize affordable and plentiful materials to create multi-use structures, shedding light on the landscape, climate, and living conditions in these areas. In Bangladesh, floating community lifeboats designed by architect Mohammed Rezwan provide schools, libraries, and health clinics to areas which suffer flooding on a regular basis. The boats resemble traditional riverboats in design and utilize local materials — a move that gives a nod to Bangladeshi culture as well as renewal and inexpensive materials — with the addition of solar panels for charging computers and medical equipment. In the Philippines, a school made of bamboo also offers shelter for poor residents during typhoons.

Between displays of houses made of sandbags and vertical farming strategies are images of their inhabitants, adding an empathetic note to the exhibition. In one photograph, carefree children run toward stairs in Venezuela that have been redesigned with gutters to prevent flooding and trash buildup. In another, women and children in Cairo sort through waste to generate a small income, most too intent on their task to look up at the camera. The power of the images is not lost on this exhibition; one of the featured projects is street artist JR's 28 Millimetres: Women Are Heroes, in which the faces of local women are imposed in vinyl upon walls and public stairs to bring attention to the impact of women in their communities.

Though the focus of the exhibition is international, there are several ideas that could be applied to issues in the United States. A bicycle-powered phone charger made for electricity-less communities in Tanzania would have been greatly appreciated by New Yorkers in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. A cart with a seat designed to give street vendors dignity and convenience brings attention to a sector of society most dismiss as annoyances, and will give pause to Atlantans who pass through the Five Points MARTA station. And for all MARTA-using Atlantans, the redesigned rapid-transit system in Guangzhou, China, which serves 800,000 passengers a day and has improved its speed and efficiency by 30 percent, will produce flat-out envy.

Indeed, wall text describing the migration of populations into cities in search of work and greater social mobility recalls America's shifts in the past century, and serves as a reminder that many of these issues ring true here. Yet these problems also present opportunities for change. With urban density on the rise and populations continuing to increase, solutions like the ones presented here will become even more crucial in years to come. "
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  string(3662) "    CDC exhibition brings attention to solutions for urban plight   2013-03-06T09:00:00+00:00 Design with the Other 90% hits home   Lilly Lampe 7307765 2013-03-06T09:00:00+00:00  Design exhibitions tend to focus on extravagances like fine jewelry, fancy cars, finely wrought spigots, and their ilk. With that in mind, Design with the Other 90%: CITIES, currently on view at the David J. Sencer CDC Museum, throws these notions in high relief by casting a spotlight on design innovation in areas where running water would be a luxury.

This exhibition, the second in a series organized by Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, features 60 projects that address the multiple issues arising from life in informal settlements, commonly known as slums, such as the lack of potable water and crowded living conditions. The resulting design initiatives reveal as much about life in these areas as they present ingenious solutions.

Several designs utilize affordable and plentiful materials to create multi-use structures, shedding light on the landscape, climate, and living conditions in these areas. In Bangladesh, floating community lifeboats designed by architect Mohammed Rezwan provide schools, libraries, and health clinics to areas which suffer flooding on a regular basis. The boats resemble traditional riverboats in design and utilize local materials — a move that gives a nod to Bangladeshi culture as well as renewal and inexpensive materials — with the addition of solar panels for charging computers and medical equipment. In the Philippines, a school made of bamboo also offers shelter for poor residents during typhoons.

Between displays of houses made of sandbags and vertical farming strategies are images of their inhabitants, adding an empathetic note to the exhibition. In one photograph, carefree children run toward stairs in Venezuela that have been redesigned with gutters to prevent flooding and trash buildup. In another, women and children in Cairo sort through waste to generate a small income, most too intent on their task to look up at the camera. The power of the images is not lost on this exhibition; one of the featured projects is street artist JR's 28 Millimetres: Women Are Heroes, in which the faces of local women are imposed in vinyl upon walls and public stairs to bring attention to the impact of women in their communities.

Though the focus of the exhibition is international, there are several ideas that could be applied to issues in the United States. A bicycle-powered phone charger made for electricity-less communities in Tanzania would have been greatly appreciated by New Yorkers in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. A cart with a seat designed to give street vendors dignity and convenience brings attention to a sector of society most dismiss as annoyances, and will give pause to Atlantans who pass through the Five Points MARTA station. And for all MARTA-using Atlantans, the redesigned rapid-transit system in Guangzhou, China, which serves 800,000 passengers a day and has improved its speed and efficiency by 30 percent, will produce flat-out envy.

Indeed, wall text describing the migration of populations into cities in search of work and greater social mobility recalls America's shifts in the past century, and serves as a reminder that many of these issues ring true here. Yet these problems also present opportunities for change. With urban density on the rise and populations continuing to increase, solutions like the ones presented here will become even more crucial in years to come.              13072694 7704628                          Design with the Other 90% hits home "
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Wednesday March 6, 2013 04:00 am EST
CDC exhibition brings attention to solutions for urban plight | more...
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Friday March 1, 2013 04:00 am EST
Big ambitions and small magic at the High's blockbuster exhibition | more...
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  string(3304) "Early last November, the Spelman Museum of Fine Art invited students, faculty, and friends to select works from its 350-object permanent collection to be shown in an upcoming exhibit, with their personal responses displayed alongside each piece. "We're seeing people's-choice exhibitions and community-curated exhibitions that are popping up," says Anne Collins Smith, the museum's curator of collections. "What happens when you give something to the community?"

In Spelman's case, the result is Multiple Choice: Perspectives on the Spelman College Collection, a show that includes objects as varied as the ironing boards of María Magdalena Campos-Pons' "Spoken Softly with Mama II" to a South African beer pot and a recently acquired sketch of Angela Davis. Cards and television screens display participants' often-intimate responses.

Ayana Cofer, a class of 2003 graduate assistant with the museum, composed a raw plea in response to Valerie Maynard's 1995 print "Get Me Another Heart This One's Been Broken Many Times." Her essay appears next to the work. "I want lemon scented new to wash over my heart and make it hard again," it reads. "These tired feet and battered peace are no longer trusting."

Tamara Y. Solomon, a degree works assistant in the Office of the Registrar, chose a Sierra Leonean mask. In her response, Solomon writes, "I have never experienced a feeling like the one I did when I first saw the Sowei Masks."

"An inclusive space is being able to see work that resonates with you, that may mirror who you are, that may challenge who you are, and that also produces a sense of belonging," Smith says. "Many of the participants we wouldn't typically see in the museum context."

The project resurrected "Praying Ministers," a rare look at the Civil Rights Movement from Jacob Lawrence that was assumed lost in a fire until retired art dealer and critic Clarence White recognized the painting in the collection.

And then there's "Mating Call," a 1980 linocut by Claudia Widdis. "Quite honestly, I didn't know this work was in the collection," Smith says. "Rianne Lippe is a graduating senior; she chose this work from 1980, and while she was choosing it and becoming inspired, she was listening to Jay-Z." Smith says this generational "confluence" infuses the exhibition as a whole. "The students didn't respond to contemporary artwork," she says. "I think they were looking for inspiration."

Take the Jacob Lawrence painting assumed lost. White chose the piece, but so did Taylor Ariel Pettway, a class of 2013 psychology major and social justice fellow. "I was showing this student the more contemporary work, but something about the Jacob Lawrence '60s painting gave her pause," Smith says. Pettway's poem-response "All-Call to the Altar" now appears alongside "Praying Ministers."

Responses like Pettway's "strengthen the history of the collection" and present "innovative ways of documenting the collections besides using the traditional ways," Smith says. "What has really come out is the beautiful symphony of responses, be it verbal, through video, or written."

And the works themselves? "My colleague uses the word 'mashup,'" Smith says. "A mashup of the traditional and the contemporary and the innovative, and honoring all of them and enriching the museum process.""
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In Spelman's case, the result is Multiple Choice: Perspectives on the Spelman College Collection, a show that includes objects as varied as the ironing boards of María Magdalena Campos-Pons' "Spoken Softly with Mama II" to a South African beer pot and a recently acquired sketch of Angela Davis. Cards and television screens display participants' often-intimate responses.

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"An inclusive space is being able to see work that resonates with you, that may mirror who you are, that may challenge who you are, and that also produces a sense of belonging," Smith says. "Many of the participants we wouldn't typically see in the museum context."

The project resurrected "Praying Ministers," a rare look at the Civil Rights Movement from Jacob Lawrence that was assumed lost in a fire until retired art dealer and critic Clarence White recognized the painting in the collection.

And then there's "Mating Call," a 1980 linocut by Claudia Widdis. "Quite honestly, I didn't know this work was in the collection," Smith says. "Rianne Lippe is a graduating senior; she chose this work from 1980, and while she was choosing it and becoming inspired, she was listening to Jay-Z." Smith says this generational "confluence" infuses the exhibition as a whole. "The students didn't respond to contemporary artwork," she says. "I think they were looking for inspiration."

Take the Jacob Lawrence painting assumed lost. White chose the piece, but so did Taylor Ariel Pettway, a class of 2013 psychology major and social justice fellow. "I was showing this student the more contemporary work, but something about the Jacob Lawrence '60s painting gave her pause," Smith says. Pettway's poem-response "All-Call to the Altar" now appears alongside "Praying Ministers."

Responses like Pettway's "strengthen the history of the collection" and present "innovative ways of documenting the collections besides using the traditional ways," Smith says. "What has really come out is the beautiful symphony of responses, be it verbal, through video, or written."

And the works themselves? "My colleague uses the word 'mashup,'" Smith says. "A mashup of the traditional and the contemporary and the innovative, and honoring all of them and enriching the museum process."             13072616 7657969                          In Spelman's Multiple Choice exhibition, the community conducts as curator "
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Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:00 am EST
Artworks are paired with responses from the community | more...
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  string(2625) "If you look to the left side of the gallery when entering Shadow Puppets: Traces of New Documentary Practices, the new group exhibition at GSU's Welch School Galleries, you'll see three photographs credited to Debbie Grossman that more or less sum up the ambitions of the exhibition. The 10 artists included in the show are engaged with what curator Stephanie Dowda calls "realistic illusions," images that appear factual regardless of their veracity. GSU lecturer and photographer Jill Frank co-curated the show - Editor. This is a contemporary phenomenon, to be surrounded by images but rarely know which are real. Grossman's photos are of an unmistakably Depression-era vintage and feature typical scenes: a farmer harvesting cabbage, a family walking down a dirt road, another farmer pointing a rifle to the sky. They stem from the work of photographer Russell Lee in Pie Town, N.M., in 1940, an assignment for the Farm Security Administration that now resides in the Library of Congress. So, why are they credited to Debbie Grossman? Whose pictures are these, exactly?

In the Library of Congress archive, Lee's photograph of the farmer with the rifle is titled "Mr. Leatherman, homesteader, shooting hawks which have been carrying away his chickens." Grossman's version in the gallery bears the slightly altered title, "Nell Leathers, homesteader, shooting hawks which have been carrying away her chickens." A close inspection of Grossman's photograph shows a similarly subtle alteration: The farmer's waist is slimmer and, at the chest, there is the slight shade and curve of a bust. Grossman has switched the gender of the farmer, a technique she has repeated with a number of Lee's Pie Town photos to depict the town as populated exclusively by women.

It's possible to see this as a parlor trick, an exercise in clever photo editing. Indeed, Grossman says, "I've begun to think of Photoshop itself as my medium," in a statement about her Pie Town works. Beyond Grossman's skills for shading and carving pixels, though, is a boundary-pushing exploration of the Documentary Practices that this group show sets out to discuss.

Lee took a camera to Pie Town and photographed the people living there without altering or misconstruing the basic facts of their lives. Grossman's alterations remind us that he arrived with an agenda, made decisions about what should or shouldn't be in the frame. That's the tension that runs throughout Shadow Puppets: the difficulty of locating the line or, in this case, pixel between fact and fiction. As with Lee's, Grossman's photos are simply true to the story she's trying to tell."
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In the Library of Congress archive, Lee's photograph of the farmer with the rifle is titled "Mr. Leatherman, homesteader, shooting hawks which have been carrying away his chickens." Grossman's version in the gallery bears the slightly altered title, "Nell Leathers, homesteader, shooting hawks which have been carrying away her chickens." A close inspection of Grossman's photograph shows a similarly subtle alteration: The farmer's waist is slimmer and, at the chest, there is the slight shade and curve of a bust. Grossman has switched the gender of the farmer, a technique she has repeated with a number of Lee's Pie Town photos to depict the town as populated exclusively by women.

It's possible to see this as a parlor trick, an exercise in clever photo editing. Indeed, Grossman says, "I've begun to think of Photoshop itself as my medium," in a statement about [http://www.debbiegrossman.com/index.php?/projects/more-about-pie-town/|her Pie Town works]. Beyond Grossman's skills for shading and carving pixels, though, is a boundary-pushing exploration of the ''Documentary Practices'' that this group show sets out to discuss.

Lee took a camera to Pie Town and photographed the people living there without altering or misconstruing the basic facts of their lives. Grossman's alterations remind us that he arrived with an agenda, made decisions about what should or shouldn't be in the frame. That's the tension that runs throughout ''Shadow Puppets'': the difficulty of locating the line or, in this case, pixel between fact and fiction. As with Lee's, Grossman's photos are simply true to the story she's trying to tell."
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  string(2958) "    Photoshop works by Debbie Grossman sum up the ambitions of the group exhibition   2013-01-30T13:30:00+00:00 Shadow Puppets explores the blurred edges of documentary   Wyatt Williams 1306426 2013-01-30T13:30:00+00:00  If you look to the left side of the gallery when entering Shadow Puppets: Traces of New Documentary Practices, the new group exhibition at GSU's Welch School Galleries, you'll see three photographs credited to Debbie Grossman that more or less sum up the ambitions of the exhibition. The 10 artists included in the show are engaged with what curator Stephanie Dowda calls "realistic illusions," images that appear factual regardless of their veracity. GSU lecturer and photographer Jill Frank co-curated the show - Editor. This is a contemporary phenomenon, to be surrounded by images but rarely know which are real. Grossman's photos are of an unmistakably Depression-era vintage and feature typical scenes: a farmer harvesting cabbage, a family walking down a dirt road, another farmer pointing a rifle to the sky. They stem from the work of photographer Russell Lee in Pie Town, N.M., in 1940, an assignment for the Farm Security Administration that now resides in the Library of Congress. So, why are they credited to Debbie Grossman? Whose pictures are these, exactly?

In the Library of Congress archive, Lee's photograph of the farmer with the rifle is titled "Mr. Leatherman, homesteader, shooting hawks which have been carrying away his chickens." Grossman's version in the gallery bears the slightly altered title, "Nell Leathers, homesteader, shooting hawks which have been carrying away her chickens." A close inspection of Grossman's photograph shows a similarly subtle alteration: The farmer's waist is slimmer and, at the chest, there is the slight shade and curve of a bust. Grossman has switched the gender of the farmer, a technique she has repeated with a number of Lee's Pie Town photos to depict the town as populated exclusively by women.

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Article

Wednesday January 30, 2013 08:30 am EST
Photoshop works by Debbie Grossman sum up the ambitions of the group exhibition | more...
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  string(3528) "Over coffee on New Year's Eve, a rare slow day at Grant Park's Octane, artist William Downs spreads his arms wide and, with a huge grin, refers to himself as a "spiderweb ... there are lines that go all over the place." For the past 20 years, the Atlanta College of Art graduate, class of 1996, has spun an uncanny art-world web, organizing shows in Atlanta, Baltimore, and New York, and has made the acquaintance of artists in cities as far as Kawasaki, Japan. His latest exhibition, In Unison, at Get This! Gallery marks his return to Atlanta and attempts to provide a visual explanation of his career thus far, without using a single piece of his own art.

If you can judge a man by the company he keeps, perhaps an artist's work can be appraised by his circle of compatriots. In the planning stages of In Unison, Downs operated on this principle, pulling together a crew of other artists who either work in music or with art spaces. Though these professions are disparate, Downs sees them as integral to the exhibition as a portrayal of his own background. Growing up, his family was active in church choirs which instilled a lifelong passion for music (though these days you're more likely to find him listening to Prince than singing gospel).

His adult years suggest a compulsive need to organize group shows, though he's careful to note he "organizes" rather than curates (his partner of 10 years, Amy Mackie, is a curator whose résumé includes high-profile positions at the New Museum in New York and Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans). Before Downs even graduated from ACA, he and classmate Jesse Cregar started organizing shows in what is now the Highland Bakery. From 1993 until 1997, they organized more than 20 group shows, bringing together work by other ACA graduates as well as graduates of SCAD and Georgia State, essentially displaying the extent of Downs' network at the time.

These days, his network includes art friends from graduate school at the Maryland Institute College of Art as well as his years of gallery work in New York and his career as an art educator. Their disciplines range from drawing and painting — Downs' own specialties — to photography, sculpture, and sound. Though the artists in In Unison have dissimilar practices, Downs sees associations in terms of linkages. While his coffee grows cold, Downs mentions that he met Kentucky musician Will Oldham, whose photography is in the show, through Black Lips manager Brian DeRan. Oldham's fundraising activities post-Katrina reminded Downs of Los Angeles artist Eve Fowler's work with queer artist collective Lesbians to the Rescue (LTTR), and Derrick Adams' work with the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, which was started by Adams's uncle, Def Jam founder Russell Simmons, bringing us back to music.

Is your head spinning yet? From piece to piece and artist to artist, In Unison works as a game of association, a six degrees of William Downs. Though the connections are a multilayered blur of professional and personal relationships, the works also have visual links. DeRan's painting "Untitled" features a somber blue eye that gazes at the viewer from a face made of pink diamonds. Its proximity to "Archetype 2" by Michael Gibson causes a faint eye to appear within the radiating silver lines in Gibson's painting. The linear strokes of silver are in winning relation to "Math (Suit)," a floor sculpture by Alyse Ronayne. The show is a surprisingly cohesive mix of media and subject, as multilayered as its organizer. "
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If you can judge a man by the company he keeps, perhaps an artist's work can be appraised by his circle of compatriots. In the planning stages of ''In Unison'', Downs operated on this principle, pulling together a crew of other artists who either work in music or with art spaces. Though these professions are disparate, Downs sees them as integral to the exhibition as a portrayal of his own background. Growing up, his family was active in church choirs which instilled a lifelong passion for music (though these days you're more likely to find him listening to Prince than singing gospel).

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  string(3816) "    The group exhibition offers an indirect portrait of an artist   2013-01-14T12:30:00+00:00 William Downs works In Unison with his peers   Lilly Lampe 7307765 2013-01-14T12:30:00+00:00  Over coffee on New Year's Eve, a rare slow day at Grant Park's Octane, artist William Downs spreads his arms wide and, with a huge grin, refers to himself as a "spiderweb ... there are lines that go all over the place." For the past 20 years, the Atlanta College of Art graduate, class of 1996, has spun an uncanny art-world web, organizing shows in Atlanta, Baltimore, and New York, and has made the acquaintance of artists in cities as far as Kawasaki, Japan. His latest exhibition, In Unison, at Get This! Gallery marks his return to Atlanta and attempts to provide a visual explanation of his career thus far, without using a single piece of his own art.

If you can judge a man by the company he keeps, perhaps an artist's work can be appraised by his circle of compatriots. In the planning stages of In Unison, Downs operated on this principle, pulling together a crew of other artists who either work in music or with art spaces. Though these professions are disparate, Downs sees them as integral to the exhibition as a portrayal of his own background. Growing up, his family was active in church choirs which instilled a lifelong passion for music (though these days you're more likely to find him listening to Prince than singing gospel).

His adult years suggest a compulsive need to organize group shows, though he's careful to note he "organizes" rather than curates (his partner of 10 years, Amy Mackie, is a curator whose résumé includes high-profile positions at the New Museum in New York and Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans). Before Downs even graduated from ACA, he and classmate Jesse Cregar started organizing shows in what is now the Highland Bakery. From 1993 until 1997, they organized more than 20 group shows, bringing together work by other ACA graduates as well as graduates of SCAD and Georgia State, essentially displaying the extent of Downs' network at the time.

These days, his network includes art friends from graduate school at the Maryland Institute College of Art as well as his years of gallery work in New York and his career as an art educator. Their disciplines range from drawing and painting — Downs' own specialties — to photography, sculpture, and sound. Though the artists in In Unison have dissimilar practices, Downs sees associations in terms of linkages. While his coffee grows cold, Downs mentions that he met Kentucky musician Will Oldham, whose photography is in the show, through Black Lips manager Brian DeRan. Oldham's fundraising activities post-Katrina reminded Downs of Los Angeles artist Eve Fowler's work with queer artist collective Lesbians to the Rescue (LTTR), and Derrick Adams' work with the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, which was started by Adams's uncle, Def Jam founder Russell Simmons, bringing us back to music.

Is your head spinning yet? From piece to piece and artist to artist, In Unison works as a game of association, a six degrees of William Downs. Though the connections are a multilayered blur of professional and personal relationships, the works also have visual links. DeRan's painting "Untitled" features a somber blue eye that gazes at the viewer from a face made of pink diamonds. Its proximity to "Archetype 2" by Michael Gibson causes a faint eye to appear within the radiating silver lines in Gibson's painting. The linear strokes of silver are in winning relation to "Math (Suit)," a floor sculpture by Alyse Ronayne. The show is a surprisingly cohesive mix of media and subject, as multilayered as its organizer.              13072021 7307766                          William Downs works In Unison with his peers "
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Monday January 14, 2013 07:30 am EST
The group exhibition offers an indirect portrait of an artist | more...
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  string(3473) "Southerners John Tindel and Michi Meko have a shared history. They're roughly the same age, both grew up and went to college in Alabama, and they now both live and make art in Atlanta. Under the name TindelMichi, they share the canvas, too, together mining the visual and symbolic lexicon of Southern history. In Baptism by Fire, their current show of paintings and sculpture at Barbara Archer Gallery, the duo presents a revised vision of Southern heritage, unwilling to pander to the either/or extremisms of Dixie-cratic patriotism or cloying Civil Rights depictions.

Images alternately hide in the corner of their paintings or splash across the middle, overwhelming the viewer with visions of plantations, lawn jockeys, and riverboats. Iconic symbols — catfish, gourds, cotton, and crows — bear weight in the paintings, blending into a larger narrative. The assault of imagery in the paintings nicely mimics the billboard culture of the car-centric American South.

Graffiti-like phrases such as "envy," "slop surrealism," and "cotton belt route" further accentuate the superimposed quality of the works. Some are scribbled on top of the painting, almost narrating it. Often they even title the work, such as in "Date Night," where the phrase is emblazoned in pink underneath a light-skinned woman with an elaborate coif. Others are more descriptive and carefully designed, such as the 3-D clip-art aesthetic in "Dixie Playboy." In this font, the words "what wondrous love is this" are scrawled above the intricate geometry of a stylized catfish.

A few of TindelMichi's busy, symbolism-laden paintings feature the disembodied heads of African-American figures reminiscent of the plethora of Martin Luther King Jr.'s statues and murals found around Atlanta in which his bust looms like a beneficent Big Brother. "Detritivores of a System" edges close to cliché, showing the face of a black man in the right-hand corner and, on the other side, the torso of a young black kid whose lower half dissipates into a giant cotton flower. The potential lameness of glorifying anonymous men and women reduced to a representation of their race is tempered, though, by placing them among the swirling symbolism and groundless atmosphere in the heavily decorated paintings.

The artists reset the pace of the show from this modern, urban context with their sculptures made of wood and metal. Like something found propped in a barn, "M. Dixon" is a massive work in which slats made of dresser drawers and window shutters are flanked by rusted tin. A portrait of a black man in uniform, modeled as a Civil War tintype, appears on a wooden plank, seen through a dangling chain that also obscures a pair of white doves. Birds reappear in the two other sculptures as creatures who make a home wherever they can, with crude nests made in plows. But in "The Bird Kachina," feathers emerge from a glass bottle filled with what appears to be bird bones — almost like a warning to those who have found freedom.

John Tindel and Michi Meko, a white man and a black man, circumvent the textbook versions of slavery studied in school, which glaze over its cultural implications to emphasize only that we ended it, and the often saccharine abbreviations of Civil Rights imagery. Rather than thinking of these intrinsic facts of Southern heritage as something that happened long ago, that we can only reflect upon, TindelMichi reintroduces it as a cultural weight carried into the present. "
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Images alternately hide in the corner of their paintings or splash across the middle, overwhelming the viewer with visions of plantations, lawn jockeys, and riverboats. Iconic symbols — catfish, gourds, cotton, and crows — bear weight in the paintings, blending into a larger narrative. The assault of imagery in the paintings nicely mimics the billboard culture of the car-centric American South.

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Images alternately hide in the corner of their paintings or splash across the middle, overwhelming the viewer with visions of plantations, lawn jockeys, and riverboats. Iconic symbols — catfish, gourds, cotton, and crows — bear weight in the paintings, blending into a larger narrative. The assault of imagery in the paintings nicely mimics the billboard culture of the car-centric American South.

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Tuesday December 18, 2012 08:20 am EST
The collaborative duo has no use for Southern cliche in this Barbara Archer exhibition | more...
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  string(3131) "Jennifer Cawley's encaustic and mixed-media paintings play with the natural tension that arises when child-like innocence collides with the dark and daunting realities of the adult word. She counts among her influences authors Roald Dahl and Lewis Carroll, who similarly conveyed senses of wonder and imagination in their works.

Internal struggles manifest as off-kilter mental maps in You Can't Get There From Here, her current exhibit on view at Emily Amy Gallery. In her artist statement, Cawley explains how mental processes follow disjointed, nonlinear paths: "When the brain does not follow expected sequences to problem solve or synthesize information, the result is an alternate perception." This phenomenon can occur in situations as mundane as a visit to a crowded mall or as devastating as dealing with death.

After earning her BFA at the Atlanta College of Art, Cawley studied bookbinding in England. Her works feature youthful storybook elements such as hot-pink silhouettes of pigs, words like "fortune" and "gift" scrawled into the wax with a finger, and peppy primary colors. Paper cutouts, scribbles, amoeba-like splotches of paint, and dictionary pages patch together a subconscious landscape with little spatial logic. Opaque wax encases the collages and distorts the paintings, as if viewing them through a sheer white curtain. In some works, strokes of slick-looking paint sit thickly on top of the wax.

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Cawley's ideas about sensory processing often manifest literally. In "Comfort Level," a stairwell fills the silhouette of a head, out of which comes a speech bubble made from a dictionary page. But Cawley's work is more successful when it has a sketchier, more ambiguous feel. "Hotdog" and "Perhaps," for instance, have more in common with the bold abstractions of a Cy Twombly painting than a page from a children's book. In both cases, the bright hues that dominate most of her paintings are used sparingly to enliven the muted, earth-toned backgrounds. "Perhaps" is particularly whimsical, with a derby hat, a row of disembodied teeth, an encyclopedia cutout of dancing feet, and her signature dots and dashes of paint.

Maybe Cawley intended to have the viewer contemplate the brain's complexities by creating an atmosphere of sensory overload. Her eye-catching symbols and the colorful webs that connect them capture imagination, but might not hold one's attention. Allowing her paintings room to breathe lets her ideas move through the work like a fishing line. Not every one will catch, but there's a soothing rhythm in their capture and release."
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Internal struggles manifest as off-kilter mental maps in ''You Can't Get There From Here'', her current exhibit on view at Emily Amy Gallery. In her artist statement, Cawley explains how mental processes follow disjointed, nonlinear paths: "When the brain does not follow expected sequences to problem solve or synthesize information, the result is an alternate perception." This phenomenon can occur in situations as mundane as a visit to a crowded mall or as devastating as dealing with death.

After earning her BFA at the Atlanta College of Art, Cawley studied bookbinding in England. Her works feature youthful storybook elements such as hot-pink silhouettes of pigs, words like "fortune" and "gift" scrawled into the wax with a finger, and peppy primary colors. Paper cutouts, scribbles, amoeba-like splotches of paint, and dictionary pages patch together a subconscious landscape with little spatial logic. Opaque wax encases the collages and distorts the paintings, as if viewing them through a sheer white curtain. In some works, strokes of slick-looking paint sit thickly on top of the wax.

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Cawley's ideas about sensory processing often manifest literally. In "Comfort Level," a stairwell fills the silhouette of a head, out of which comes a speech bubble made from a dictionary page. But Cawley's work is more successful when it has a sketchier, more ambiguous feel. "Hotdog" and "Perhaps," for instance, have more in common with the bold abstractions of a Cy Twombly painting than a page from a children's book. In both cases, the bright hues that dominate most of her paintings are used sparingly to enliven the muted, earth-toned backgrounds. "Perhaps" is particularly whimsical, with a derby hat, a row of disembodied teeth, an encyclopedia cutout of dancing feet, and her signature dots and dashes of paint.

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  string(3415) "    Cawley leaves a memorable mental note at Emily Amy Gallery   2012-12-11T16:00:00+00:00 Jennifer Cawley paints alternate realities   Grace Thornton 5672689 2012-12-11T16:00:00+00:00  Jennifer Cawley's encaustic and mixed-media paintings play with the natural tension that arises when child-like innocence collides with the dark and daunting realities of the adult word. She counts among her influences authors Roald Dahl and Lewis Carroll, who similarly conveyed senses of wonder and imagination in their works.

Internal struggles manifest as off-kilter mental maps in You Can't Get There From Here, her current exhibit on view at Emily Amy Gallery. In her artist statement, Cawley explains how mental processes follow disjointed, nonlinear paths: "When the brain does not follow expected sequences to problem solve or synthesize information, the result is an alternate perception." This phenomenon can occur in situations as mundane as a visit to a crowded mall or as devastating as dealing with death.

After earning her BFA at the Atlanta College of Art, Cawley studied bookbinding in England. Her works feature youthful storybook elements such as hot-pink silhouettes of pigs, words like "fortune" and "gift" scrawled into the wax with a finger, and peppy primary colors. Paper cutouts, scribbles, amoeba-like splotches of paint, and dictionary pages patch together a subconscious landscape with little spatial logic. Opaque wax encases the collages and distorts the paintings, as if viewing them through a sheer white curtain. In some works, strokes of slick-looking paint sit thickly on top of the wax.

Several paintings have the fresh-looking paint formed into rows of serpentine dashes. In "Amble," the lines loop around parasitic imagery that looks like worms writhing in the holes of a tree. A simple illustration of a man and woman eating at a nearly bare table heightens the painting's melancholy undertone. Red dashes curl atop an inky blue bloom of dyed wax and transform into a loose bouquet of flower petals in "Gift." The sinuous lines escort the eye through the works, effectively conjuring the show's title, You Can't Get There From Here.

Cawley's ideas about sensory processing often manifest literally. In "Comfort Level," a stairwell fills the silhouette of a head, out of which comes a speech bubble made from a dictionary page. But Cawley's work is more successful when it has a sketchier, more ambiguous feel. "Hotdog" and "Perhaps," for instance, have more in common with the bold abstractions of a Cy Twombly painting than a page from a children's book. In both cases, the bright hues that dominate most of her paintings are used sparingly to enliven the muted, earth-toned backgrounds. "Perhaps" is particularly whimsical, with a derby hat, a row of disembodied teeth, an encyclopedia cutout of dancing feet, and her signature dots and dashes of paint.

Maybe Cawley intended to have the viewer contemplate the brain's complexities by creating an atmosphere of sensory overload. Her eye-catching symbols and the colorful webs that connect them capture imagination, but might not hold one's attention. Allowing her paintings room to breathe lets her ideas move through the work like a fishing line. Not every one will catch, but there's a soothing rhythm in their capture and release.             13071616 7070810                          Jennifer Cawley paints alternate realities "
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Tuesday December 11, 2012 11:00 am EST
Cawley leaves a memorable mental note at Emily Amy Gallery | more...
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  string(2613) "There is a witchy tone to Tommy Nease's grainy photographs. The words death, demon, mystic, and flesh kept coming to mind during a visit to Phantasm, Nease's current show at Get This! Gallery. The exhibit contains three series — "Phantasm," "Pneuma," and "Explor//ations" — that all deal in otherworldly investigations. As his artist statement explains, "Nease ... uses his obsessions with imagery to unearth deep secrets within his subconscious. Nease's work lies in a no man's land between the spiritual polars of light and dark."

A primitive motif runs through some images, expressing a connection with an unearthly realm summoned by death alone. Like flashes of a dream, figures symbolic of death and dying are cast into black shadows surrounded by a haze of gray. In "Untitled — Phantasm series," (all of the show's images are untitled) a hooded black figure carrying a child in a white bodysuit emerges from a gray background. The white form glows against the shadows, articulating a stark contrast between light and dark.

Animal imagery also conveys notions of ritual sacrifice and pagan spirituality. One image shows a man's arm extended, a dismembered deer hoof balancing on his forearm. Other works visualize a peaceful spirituality associated with the afterlife, where a monument or person seems to be lifted into the sky: In one, a woman levitates above the tree line. In another, a rudimentary ladder leans against an empty bed, suggesting an ascent from a deathbed into heaven.

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In some cases, the symbolism is too obvious, such as one work depitcing a dome encircled with astrological signs. Nease's photographs are like scary camp stories everyone's heard, but retold by a good storyteller. And when his pictures capture only a moment of an otherworldly atmosphere, the supernatural feels thrillingly intimate. "
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A primitive motif runs through some images, expressing a connection with an unearthly realm summoned by death alone. Like flashes of a dream, figures symbolic of death and dying are cast into black shadows surrounded by a haze of gray. In "Untitled — Phantasm series," (all of the show's images are untitled) a hooded black figure carrying a child in a white bodysuit emerges from a gray background. The white form glows against the shadows, articulating a stark contrast between light and dark.

Animal imagery also conveys notions of ritual sacrifice and pagan spirituality. One image shows a man's arm extended, a dismembered deer hoof balancing on his forearm. Other works visualize a peaceful spirituality associated with the afterlife, where a monument or person seems to be lifted into the sky: In one, a woman levitates above the tree line. In another, a rudimentary ladder leans against an empty bed, suggesting an ascent from a deathbed into heaven.

Many of the photographs are rendered fuzzy or unfocused, their snowy textures lending them an authenticity, as though lucky snapshots of rare, otherworldly occurrences. The show's largest work, a 12-foot-by-12-foot wheatpaste print, depicts a grainy black void with a blurry set of vampire-like teeth floating in the expanse. Other times, Nease sharpens part of an image to focus on an object. One image depicts a pair of socks against an oriental rug. Each sock has a clearly defined woolen texture. The image's realism is unhinged by the appearance of the empty socks standing on tiptoe, as is if there were feet arched inside of them. The commingling of the mundane and the supernatural here suggests that the earthly and spiritual realms are accessible and interconnected.

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  string(2896) "    Ghostly photos blur the lines between this world and the next   2012-11-20T09:00:00+00:00 Tommy Nease conjures spirits in Phantasm   Grace Thornton 5672689 2012-11-20T09:00:00+00:00  There is a witchy tone to Tommy Nease's grainy photographs. The words death, demon, mystic, and flesh kept coming to mind during a visit to Phantasm, Nease's current show at Get This! Gallery. The exhibit contains three series — "Phantasm," "Pneuma," and "Explor//ations" — that all deal in otherworldly investigations. As his artist statement explains, "Nease ... uses his obsessions with imagery to unearth deep secrets within his subconscious. Nease's work lies in a no man's land between the spiritual polars of light and dark."

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Animal imagery also conveys notions of ritual sacrifice and pagan spirituality. One image shows a man's arm extended, a dismembered deer hoof balancing on his forearm. Other works visualize a peaceful spirituality associated with the afterlife, where a monument or person seems to be lifted into the sky: In one, a woman levitates above the tree line. In another, a rudimentary ladder leans against an empty bed, suggesting an ascent from a deathbed into heaven.

Many of the photographs are rendered fuzzy or unfocused, their snowy textures lending them an authenticity, as though lucky snapshots of rare, otherworldly occurrences. The show's largest work, a 12-foot-by-12-foot wheatpaste print, depicts a grainy black void with a blurry set of vampire-like teeth floating in the expanse. Other times, Nease sharpens part of an image to focus on an object. One image depicts a pair of socks against an oriental rug. Each sock has a clearly defined woolen texture. The image's realism is unhinged by the appearance of the empty socks standing on tiptoe, as is if there were feet arched inside of them. The commingling of the mundane and the supernatural here suggests that the earthly and spiritual realms are accessible and interconnected.

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Tuesday November 20, 2012 04:00 am EST
Ghostly photos blur the lines between this world and the next | more...
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  string(83) "Artist's subjects find their happy places in Parker's Whitespace exhibit Letting Go"
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  string(3148) "Unrefined clay sculpture and computer-generated imagery recall the relatively tech-deficient cultures of eras past. Movies such as 1987's A Claymation Christmas Celebration and even Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, released in 1999, now seem kitschy because of their animation's crude feel. For the photo illustrations in Suellen Parker's current show at Whitespace, Letting Go, the artist embraces such rudimentary techniques, photographing clay figures against intentionally amateurish computer-animated backgrounds. Parker's simple presentation reveals a calm joy in each of her characters.

Modern art is riddled with desperate, lonely, and imbalanced figures. It's difficult to authentically portray someone in a moment of joy without going sickeningly sweet or turning it into an overwrought display of emotion. But the cartoonish qualities of Parker's clay figures counter the realism that might have made these portraits cloying, had they been shot with real people. Parker's settings serve as symbols of the characters' states of mind, with figures perched atop rocky cliffs or lying nude on a beach. Others are in more personalized spaces, such as the grandmother sitting near her many knickknacks in "Moments of Pleasure." Clearly they're in their respective happy places, which gives the viewer an easy entrée into the characters' personal lives.

The characters also appear to be seeking an escape from social expectations such as beauty or popularity. Many of the figures are gender nonspecific, lumpy, and/or bald. Each is seen alone, reposing during a calm moment. As Parker explains, "My characters are attempting to find a sacred space, a place of vulnerability, a place where they allow themselves to be really seen. By quieting one's life, even momentarily, an opportunity is presented to learn truths about oneself."

Some of Parker's works seem like a snapshot of a stolen few minutes in which the figure drops its social roles. Take "Dressing's" androgynous person, who is outfitted in the classic male uniform of jeans and a white T-shirt. The dresser in the background, however, overflows with bright blue floral dresses and a pink polka dot shirt. A classical portrait of a woman, reminiscent of a Renoir painting, is reflected in the mirror. The woman in the painting gazes at the scene, faintly smiling, perhaps representing the alter ego of "Dressing's" subject.

Other characters unabashedly embrace their quirks. In "Twirling," a particularly clumsily sculpted little girl, hairless and awkward, lets her girly pink dress float gracefully around her knees as she spins atop a coffee table. Her complete ease is similar to that of the businessperson in "The Tie That Binds." Also ambiguously gendered, this person crosses one socked foot over a knee while kicking back in the office. A record player, a portrait of a Tibetan monk, and a delicate picture of ballet slippers are nestled into a series of cubbyholes.

Letting Go fondly points out the primitive aspects of elementary CGI and claymation. The sentimentality is unironic, which opens the door to an elegant study of small joys and self-fulfillment. "
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  string(3164) "Unrefined clay sculpture and computer-generated imagery recall the relatively tech-deficient cultures of eras past. Movies such as 1987's ''A Claymation Christmas Celebration'' and even ''Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace'', released in 1999, now seem kitschy because of their animation's crude feel. For the photo illustrations in Suellen Parker's current show at Whitespace, ''Letting Go'', the artist embraces such rudimentary techniques, photographing clay figures against intentionally amateurish computer-animated backgrounds. Parker's simple presentation reveals a calm joy in each of her characters.

Modern art is riddled with desperate, lonely, and imbalanced figures. It's difficult to authentically portray someone in a moment of joy without going sickeningly sweet or turning it into an overwrought display of emotion. But the cartoonish qualities of Parker's clay figures counter the realism that might have made these portraits cloying, had they been shot with real people. Parker's settings serve as symbols of the characters' states of mind, with figures perched atop rocky cliffs or lying nude on a beach. Others are in more personalized spaces, such as the grandmother sitting near her many knickknacks in "Moments of Pleasure." Clearly they're in their respective happy places, which gives the viewer an easy entrée into the characters' personal lives.

The characters also appear to be seeking an escape from social expectations such as beauty or popularity. Many of the figures are gender nonspecific, lumpy, and/or bald. Each is seen alone, reposing during a calm moment. As Parker explains, "My characters are attempting to find a sacred space, a place of vulnerability, a place where they allow themselves to be really seen. By quieting one's life, even momentarily, an opportunity is presented to learn truths about oneself."

Some of Parker's works seem like a snapshot of a stolen few minutes in which the figure drops its social roles. Take "Dressing's" androgynous person, who is outfitted in the classic male uniform of jeans and a white T-shirt. The dresser in the background, however, overflows with bright blue floral dresses and a pink polka dot shirt. A classical portrait of a woman, reminiscent of a Renoir painting, is reflected in the mirror. The woman in the painting gazes at the scene, faintly smiling, perhaps representing the alter ego of "Dressing's" subject.

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''Letting Go'' fondly points out the primitive aspects of elementary CGI and claymation. The sentimentality is unironic, which opens the door to an elegant study of small joys and self-fulfillment. "
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  string(3473) "    Artist's subjects find their happy places in Parker's Whitespace exhibit Letting Go   2012-11-13T20:33:00+00:00 Suellen Parker's claymation figures break the mold   Grace Thornton 5672689 2012-11-13T20:33:00+00:00  Unrefined clay sculpture and computer-generated imagery recall the relatively tech-deficient cultures of eras past. Movies such as 1987's A Claymation Christmas Celebration and even Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, released in 1999, now seem kitschy because of their animation's crude feel. For the photo illustrations in Suellen Parker's current show at Whitespace, Letting Go, the artist embraces such rudimentary techniques, photographing clay figures against intentionally amateurish computer-animated backgrounds. Parker's simple presentation reveals a calm joy in each of her characters.

Modern art is riddled with desperate, lonely, and imbalanced figures. It's difficult to authentically portray someone in a moment of joy without going sickeningly sweet or turning it into an overwrought display of emotion. But the cartoonish qualities of Parker's clay figures counter the realism that might have made these portraits cloying, had they been shot with real people. Parker's settings serve as symbols of the characters' states of mind, with figures perched atop rocky cliffs or lying nude on a beach. Others are in more personalized spaces, such as the grandmother sitting near her many knickknacks in "Moments of Pleasure." Clearly they're in their respective happy places, which gives the viewer an easy entrée into the characters' personal lives.

The characters also appear to be seeking an escape from social expectations such as beauty or popularity. Many of the figures are gender nonspecific, lumpy, and/or bald. Each is seen alone, reposing during a calm moment. As Parker explains, "My characters are attempting to find a sacred space, a place of vulnerability, a place where they allow themselves to be really seen. By quieting one's life, even momentarily, an opportunity is presented to learn truths about oneself."

Some of Parker's works seem like a snapshot of a stolen few minutes in which the figure drops its social roles. Take "Dressing's" androgynous person, who is outfitted in the classic male uniform of jeans and a white T-shirt. The dresser in the background, however, overflows with bright blue floral dresses and a pink polka dot shirt. A classical portrait of a woman, reminiscent of a Renoir painting, is reflected in the mirror. The woman in the painting gazes at the scene, faintly smiling, perhaps representing the alter ego of "Dressing's" subject.

Other characters unabashedly embrace their quirks. In "Twirling," a particularly clumsily sculpted little girl, hairless and awkward, lets her girly pink dress float gracefully around her knees as she spins atop a coffee table. Her complete ease is similar to that of the businessperson in "The Tie That Binds." Also ambiguously gendered, this person crosses one socked foot over a knee while kicking back in the office. A record player, a portrait of a Tibetan monk, and a delicate picture of ballet slippers are nestled into a series of cubbyholes.

Letting Go fondly points out the primitive aspects of elementary CGI and claymation. The sentimentality is unironic, which opens the door to an elegant study of small joys and self-fulfillment.              13071242 6874465                          Suellen Parker's claymation figures break the mold "
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Tuesday November 13, 2012 03:33 pm EST
Artist's subjects find their happy places in Parker's Whitespace exhibit Letting Go | more...

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  string(2854) "All truth is hard truth.

That's the word from Alabama artist Thornton Dial, whose current exhibit at the High Museum, Hard Truths, represents the largest retrospective of his work ever assembled. Dial, now 85, has endured rural poverty, a life of manual labor, the segregated South, and, in recent years, the death of his wife, hernia surgery, pneumonia, a stroke, and heart problems. Now using a wheelchair but still making art every day, Dial is patient with questions, but speaks little about his work. "Ain't no need for me to tell you too much about it," he says modestly.

The self-taught and illiterate Dial has often been classified as a "folk" or "outsider" artist, especially when he first started to gain national attention in the late '80s and early '90s. But the work resists such simple classification. His canvases and sculptural assemblages are richly layered with paint and found objects, such as tree branches, metal, clothing, paint, dolls, broom heads, ironing boards, barbed wire, and twisted fencing. The artwork takes on monumental questions of identity, American history, contemporary politics, power, oppression, the individual, and the natural world. His textured visual language demands prolonged or repeated attention to appreciate its astounding complexity.

"One of the interesting things abut this exhibition is that from the very beginning, we didn't talk about Dial as a folk, self-taught, or even as an African-American artist," says Joanne Cubbs, curator of the show, which arrives in Atlanta after enormously successful runs in Indianapolis, Charlotte, and New Orleans "We talked about him as a contemporary artist or an American artist. It's where the world will end up, but it's where Mr. Dial has always been."

The show and Dial have been the subject of major profiles in the New York Times, Time, and the Wall Street Journal, with many prominent art critics proclaiming the exhibition one of the most significant shows in years, and placing it alongside blockbuster exhibits of Degas and Kandinsky in their annual top 10 lists. "We went from starting at about 10 miles an hour to about 100 miles an hour in no time," says Cubbs of the sudden flurry of national attention.

When asked about the title of his exhibition, Dial says, "Well, life is hard. You know it's the truth. Things have been rough for Negroes. It ain't nothing easy now." And then, indicating the more than 20 years of work in the gallery around him, he adds, "None of this stuff you see down in here was easy ... Anything you go do — I don't care if it's just building a house — it's hard. You just start. You have to do it because life is hard ... When you finish something, that's when the enjoyment comes. You look at something and say, 'That's a nice piece.' You always know it when you're finished because you were working for that." "
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  string(3101) "All truth is hard truth.

That's the word from Alabama artist Thornton Dial, whose current exhibit at the High Museum, ''Hard Truths'', represents the largest retrospective of his work ever assembled. Dial, now 85, has endured rural poverty, a life of manual labor, the segregated South, and, in recent years, the death of his wife, hernia surgery, pneumonia, a stroke, and heart problems. Now using a wheelchair but still making art every day, Dial is patient with questions, but speaks little about his work. "Ain't no need for me to tell you too much about it," he says modestly.

The self-taught and illiterate Dial has often been classified as a "folk" or "outsider" artist, especially when he first started to gain national attention in the late '80s and early '90s. But the work resists such simple classification. His canvases and sculptural assemblages are richly layered with paint and found objects, such as tree branches, metal, clothing, paint, dolls, broom heads, ironing boards, barbed wire, and twisted fencing. The artwork takes on monumental questions of identity, American history, contemporary politics, power, oppression, the individual, and the natural world. His textured visual language demands prolonged or repeated attention to appreciate its astounding complexity.

"One of the interesting things abut this exhibition is that from the very beginning, we didn't talk about Dial as a folk, self-taught, or even as an African-American artist," says Joanne Cubbs, curator of the show, which arrives in Atlanta after enormously successful runs in Indianapolis, Charlotte, and New Orleans "We talked about him as a contemporary artist or an American artist. It's where the world will end up, but it's where Mr. Dial has always been."

The show and Dial have been the subject of major profiles in the ''[http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/20/arts/design/20dial.html?pagewanted=all|New York Times]'', ''[http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2056700,00.html|Time]'', and the ''[http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703551304576260752078927400.html|Wall Street Journal]'', with many prominent art critics proclaiming the exhibition one of the most significant shows in years, and placing it alongside blockbuster exhibits of Degas and Kandinsky in their annual top 10 lists. "We went from starting at about 10 miles an hour to about 100 miles an hour in no time," says Cubbs of the sudden flurry of national attention.

When asked about the title of his exhibition, Dial says, "Well, ''life'' is hard. You know it's the truth. Things have been rough for Negroes. It ain't nothing easy now." And then, indicating the more than 20 years of work in the gallery around him, he adds, "None of this stuff you see down in here was easy ... Anything you go do — I don't care if it's just building a house — it's hard. You just start. You have to do it because ''life'' is hard ... When you finish something, that's when the enjoyment comes. You look at something and say, 'That's a nice piece.' You always know it when you're finished because you were working for that." "
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That's the word from Alabama artist Thornton Dial, whose current exhibit at the High Museum, Hard Truths, represents the largest retrospective of his work ever assembled. Dial, now 85, has endured rural poverty, a life of manual labor, the segregated South, and, in recent years, the death of his wife, hernia surgery, pneumonia, a stroke, and heart problems. Now using a wheelchair but still making art every day, Dial is patient with questions, but speaks little about his work. "Ain't no need for me to tell you too much about it," he says modestly.

The self-taught and illiterate Dial has often been classified as a "folk" or "outsider" artist, especially when he first started to gain national attention in the late '80s and early '90s. But the work resists such simple classification. His canvases and sculptural assemblages are richly layered with paint and found objects, such as tree branches, metal, clothing, paint, dolls, broom heads, ironing boards, barbed wire, and twisted fencing. The artwork takes on monumental questions of identity, American history, contemporary politics, power, oppression, the individual, and the natural world. His textured visual language demands prolonged or repeated attention to appreciate its astounding complexity.

"One of the interesting things abut this exhibition is that from the very beginning, we didn't talk about Dial as a folk, self-taught, or even as an African-American artist," says Joanne Cubbs, curator of the show, which arrives in Atlanta after enormously successful runs in Indianapolis, Charlotte, and New Orleans "We talked about him as a contemporary artist or an American artist. It's where the world will end up, but it's where Mr. Dial has always been."

The show and Dial have been the subject of major profiles in the New York Times, Time, and the Wall Street Journal, with many prominent art critics proclaiming the exhibition one of the most significant shows in years, and placing it alongside blockbuster exhibits of Degas and Kandinsky in their annual top 10 lists. "We went from starting at about 10 miles an hour to about 100 miles an hour in no time," says Cubbs of the sudden flurry of national attention.

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Monday November 5, 2012 01:05 pm EST
Alabama artist's high-profile retrospective opens at the High Museum | more...
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  string(3551) "Laurel Nakadate: Photographs, Video & Performances, now on view at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, highlights the well-established artist's recent work. In the last three years alone, Nakadate has shown a 10-year retrospective of her work at MoMA PS1, earned an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival for her feature-length film Stay the Same Never Change, and another film, The Wolf Knife, was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.

Nakadate's art focuses on voyeuristic tendencies, particularly those aimed toward young women. While stating that women are frequently objectified is not novel or shocking, it is undeniably relevant, particularly in this heated election season. The overwhelming scope of women's issues often transfers into artwork quite clumsily, the themes too broad and blatant, the tone generally admonishing. Nakadate's movies and photographs, however, are portraits of vulnerability that thoughtfully consider the scrutiny and sexualization women experience in their lives.

A broad collection of photos and videos comprise the ACAC exhibit. Some works are excerpts from past series, such as 365: A Catalogue of Tears, in which Nakadate photographed herself crying once a day for a year. Though these images are the show's least intellectually stimulating, the concept's simplicity effectively translates the cerebral artist's fascination with intimacy and the nature of performance.

Taking up the gallery's large, central room, the 365 series creates a foundation for the more esoteric works that border the room like peepshow booths in the back of a sex shop. In the three-minute film "Say you Love Me," a middle-aged man sits on a bed, looking out of sliding glass doors toward a glimmering body of water. A few seconds in, Nakadate walks into view on the balcony, looks at the man through the glass, and lifts her dress up as the words to Dusty Springfield's "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" kick in. She poses and sways as the man orchestrates her movements, raising and lowering his hand like a puppeteer to indicate that she do the same with her dress.

Adjacent to "Say You Love Me," the film "Good Morning Sunshine" shows the artist rousing teenage girls from their beds. From behind her handheld camera, Nakadate sweetly persuades each of them to strip. Nakadate makes her requests for a sock or shirt to be removed sound like trivial, unassuming favors. As she coos, "You know you're the prettiest girl, right?" over and over, followed by, "Just let me look at you," the girls' resistance crumbles until they're left in their bras and underwear. It's devastating to see how well the lame lines work: First, because all women have heard some variation of this "C'mon, it's not that big a deal" shtick from men, and second, because watching the film quickly becomes an act of voyeurism, making the viewer feel that the girls are disrobing for his or her benefit.

Feminist art of the '90s, such as Kiki Smith's sculptures of practically faceless ladies with their internal organs exposed, tended to simplify individuals into a representation of all womankind. Nakadate represents a generational shift in female artists who prefer to explore pathos over politics. Her subjects, both male and female, are humanized to a point that would seem pathetic, if not for the extreme isolation of the worlds Nakadate creates. Within these small scenes, she effectively constructs an aversion to the watchful gaze cast on women. And instead of being punished for it, we are asked to watch and to empathize. "
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A broad collection of photos and videos comprise the ACAC exhibit. Some works are excerpts from past series, such as ''365: A Catalogue of Tears'', in which Nakadate photographed herself crying once a day for a year. Though these images are the show's least intellectually stimulating, the concept's simplicity effectively translates the cerebral artist's fascination with intimacy and the nature of performance.

Taking up the gallery's large, central room, the ''365'' series creates a foundation for the more esoteric works that border the room like peepshow booths in the back of a sex shop. In the three-minute film "Say you Love Me," a middle-aged man sits on a bed, looking out of sliding glass doors toward a glimmering body of water. A few seconds in, Nakadate walks into view on the balcony, looks at the man through the glass, and lifts her dress up as the words to Dusty Springfield's "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" kick in. She poses and sways as the man orchestrates her movements, raising and lowering his hand like a puppeteer to indicate that she do the same with her dress.

Adjacent to "Say You Love Me," the film "Good Morning Sunshine" shows the artist rousing teenage girls from their beds. From behind her handheld camera, Nakadate sweetly persuades each of them to strip. Nakadate makes her requests for a sock or shirt to be removed sound like trivial, unassuming favors. As she coos, "You know you're the prettiest girl, right?" over and over, followed by, "Just let me look at you," the girls' resistance crumbles until they're left in their bras and underwear. It's devastating to see how well the lame lines work: First, because all women have heard some variation of this "C'mon, it's not that big a deal" shtick from men, and second, because watching the film quickly becomes an act of voyeurism, making the viewer feel that the girls are disrobing for his or her benefit.

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A broad collection of photos and videos comprise the ACAC exhibit. Some works are excerpts from past series, such as 365: A Catalogue of Tears, in which Nakadate photographed herself crying once a day for a year. Though these images are the show's least intellectually stimulating, the concept's simplicity effectively translates the cerebral artist's fascination with intimacy and the nature of performance.

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Adjacent to "Say You Love Me," the film "Good Morning Sunshine" shows the artist rousing teenage girls from their beds. From behind her handheld camera, Nakadate sweetly persuades each of them to strip. Nakadate makes her requests for a sock or shirt to be removed sound like trivial, unassuming favors. As she coos, "You know you're the prettiest girl, right?" over and over, followed by, "Just let me look at you," the girls' resistance crumbles until they're left in their bras and underwear. It's devastating to see how well the lame lines work: First, because all women have heard some variation of this "C'mon, it's not that big a deal" shtick from men, and second, because watching the film quickly becomes an act of voyeurism, making the viewer feel that the girls are disrobing for his or her benefit.

Feminist art of the '90s, such as Kiki Smith's sculptures of practically faceless ladies with their internal organs exposed, tended to simplify individuals into a representation of all womankind. Nakadate represents a generational shift in female artists who prefer to explore pathos over politics. Her subjects, both male and female, are humanized to a point that would seem pathetic, if not for the extreme isolation of the worlds Nakadate creates. Within these small scenes, she effectively constructs an aversion to the watchful gaze cast on women. And instead of being punished for it, we are asked to watch and to empathize.              13071055 6782563                          Laurel Nakadate gives a command performance at ACAC "
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  string(3248) "S. Patricia Patterson's latest body of work and first major solo show, Back to the Future, is the result of her 2012 Emerging Artist Award. The Forward Arts Foundation gifted Patterson with a $10,000 grant, which she used to continue the motifs of youth, memory, and nostalgia she often employs in her multimedia works. Patterson mixes watercolor, screen-printing, and bold geometric patterns in scenes that recreate an idealism found both in childhood and a certain kind of consumer-based American patriotism.

"Trigger Keeper" and "Yankee Doodle Dandy" make the best use of what Patterson describes in her artist's statement as a "confluence of hazily recollected childhood astonishment and mid-century collective ambition." Patterson tempers the preciousness of nostalgia with a series of off-putting cultural references.

In "Trigger Keeper," a pair of young boys, presumably brothers, wear matching flannel shirts and John Deere caps. Guns in hand, they stand in front of a T-Top Trans Am Firebird parked at a 45-degree angle, the familiar muscle car pose, echoed in the dark turquoise chevron stripes covering the ground. This self-consciously masculine branding seems too adult, as if they are emulating the uniform of a working-class man.

It might seem like an innocently romanticized portrait of male youth, but Patterson's soft watercolors and the mauve of the boys' shirts clash with the image's machismo. The guns hang flaccid in their small arms. Already incongruous, the scene becomes absurd when the connection is made between the chevron pattern and eerie cult TV show "Twin Peaks." (The Red Room at the Black Lodge featured similar flooring.) With "Trigger Keeper," Patterson is pointing out both the illusory qualities of memory and the bizarreness of indoctrinating children into gender politics at such a young age.

Patterson takes a similar approach to female conditioning in "Yankee Doodle Dandy." A wide-eyed girl in a red leotard, tap shoes, and an Uncle Sam-style top hat poses on a tabletop. She stands with her hands on hips and smile fixed, a precursor to the "Toddlers & Tiaras" version of over-the-top child pageantry. She has no audience to appreciate her efforts; the office chairs that surround the table are unoccupied. Despite the room's emptiness, the painting feels claustrophobic, as if the tabletop and ceiling are moving in to crush her. The pattern covering the walls mimics Hicks' hexagon, the same design on the hotel carpet in The Shining. The reference recalls the film's murdered twin girls that famously ask Danny to play with them.

When Patterson layers glimpses of childhood fun with the serious implications of adulthood, the works take on a complex, nightmarish quality. A few paintings are left wanting, however, feeling less like strange dreams than straightforward portraits. "A Good Man is Hard to Find," in which a family is pictured taking a break from a road trip, is sweet but lacks the intellectual depth of something like "Trigger Keeper." The same goes for "Santa's Little Helpers," a simple depiction of two kids on Santa's lap. Although some works can veer toward Hallmark card-style reminiscence, Patterson's tender visual rendering is captivating when imbued with darker themes. "
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"Trigger Keeper" and "Yankee Doodle Dandy" make the best use of what Patterson describes in her artist's statement as a "confluence of hazily recollected childhood astonishment and mid-century collective ambition." Patterson tempers the preciousness of nostalgia with a series of off-putting cultural references.

In "Trigger Keeper," a pair of young boys, presumably brothers, wear matching flannel shirts and John Deere caps. Guns in hand, they stand in front of a T-Top Trans Am Firebird parked at a 45-degree angle, the familiar muscle car pose, echoed in the dark turquoise chevron stripes covering the ground. This self-consciously masculine branding seems too adult, as if they are emulating the uniform of a working-class man.

It might seem like an innocently romanticized portrait of male youth, but Patterson's soft watercolors and the mauve of the boys' shirts clash with the image's machismo. The guns hang flaccid in their small arms. Already incongruous, the scene becomes absurd when the connection is made between the chevron pattern and eerie cult TV show "Twin Peaks." (The Red Room at the Black Lodge featured similar flooring.) With "Trigger Keeper," Patterson is pointing out both the illusory qualities of memory and the bizarreness of indoctrinating children into gender politics at such a young age.

Patterson takes a similar approach to female conditioning in "Yankee Doodle Dandy." A wide-eyed girl in a red leotard, tap shoes, and an Uncle Sam-style top hat poses on a tabletop. She stands with her hands on hips and smile fixed, a precursor to the "Toddlers & Tiaras" version of over-the-top child pageantry. She has no audience to appreciate her efforts; the office chairs that surround the table are unoccupied. Despite the room's emptiness, the painting feels claustrophobic, as if the tabletop and ceiling are moving in to crush her. The pattern covering the walls mimics Hicks' hexagon, the same design on the hotel carpet in ''The Shining''. The reference recalls the film's murdered twin girls that famously ask Danny to play with them.

When Patterson layers glimpses of childhood fun with the serious implications of adulthood, the works take on a complex, nightmarish quality. A few paintings are left wanting, however, feeling less like strange dreams than straightforward portraits. "A Good Man is Hard to Find," in which a family is pictured taking a break from a road trip, is sweet but lacks the intellectual depth of something like "Trigger Keeper." The same goes for "Santa's Little Helpers," a simple depiction of two kids on Santa's lap. Although some works can veer toward Hallmark card-style reminiscence, Patterson's tender visual rendering is captivating when imbued with darker themes. "
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"Trigger Keeper" and "Yankee Doodle Dandy" make the best use of what Patterson describes in her artist's statement as a "confluence of hazily recollected childhood astonishment and mid-century collective ambition." Patterson tempers the preciousness of nostalgia with a series of off-putting cultural references.

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It might seem like an innocently romanticized portrait of male youth, but Patterson's soft watercolors and the mauve of the boys' shirts clash with the image's machismo. The guns hang flaccid in their small arms. Already incongruous, the scene becomes absurd when the connection is made between the chevron pattern and eerie cult TV show "Twin Peaks." (The Red Room at the Black Lodge featured similar flooring.) With "Trigger Keeper," Patterson is pointing out both the illusory qualities of memory and the bizarreness of indoctrinating children into gender politics at such a young age.

Patterson takes a similar approach to female conditioning in "Yankee Doodle Dandy." A wide-eyed girl in a red leotard, tap shoes, and an Uncle Sam-style top hat poses on a tabletop. She stands with her hands on hips and smile fixed, a precursor to the "Toddlers & Tiaras" version of over-the-top child pageantry. She has no audience to appreciate her efforts; the office chairs that surround the table are unoccupied. Despite the room's emptiness, the painting feels claustrophobic, as if the tabletop and ceiling are moving in to crush her. The pattern covering the walls mimics Hicks' hexagon, the same design on the hotel carpet in The Shining. The reference recalls the film's murdered twin girls that famously ask Danny to play with them.

When Patterson layers glimpses of childhood fun with the serious implications of adulthood, the works take on a complex, nightmarish quality. A few paintings are left wanting, however, feeling less like strange dreams than straightforward portraits. "A Good Man is Hard to Find," in which a family is pictured taking a break from a road trip, is sweet but lacks the intellectual depth of something like "Trigger Keeper." The same goes for "Santa's Little Helpers," a simple depiction of two kids on Santa's lap. Although some works can veer toward Hallmark card-style reminiscence, Patterson's tender visual rendering is captivating when imbued with darker themes.              13070850 6674293                          S. Patricia Patterson re-imagines the American Dream in Back to the Future "
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Wednesday October 17, 2012 04:00 am EDT
Forward Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award winner's vision has a nightmarish twist | more...
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  string(2633) "About three years ago, Atlanta artist Fabian Williams read a blog post on an Ebony/Jet-run site about the depiction of African-American men in the work of Fahamu Pecou. A fellow Atlanta artist, Pecou often satirizes male hip-hop culture in his large-scale paintings. Williams responded to comments by a woman about irresponsible behavior from black men, saying that she should date "some nice guys." Soon after, another artist joined the fray, pelting Williams with questions about his artistic merit. What ensued led to the makings of his next creative move.

"I challenged her to an art battle," he says. "If you're gonna attack me academically or artistically, then we've got a major beef." Williams backed away from his potential opponent so as not seem like a bully and decided to channel the energy elsewhere. "That felt good to talk shit like that," he says with a laugh.

So Williams founded the World Wide Arts Federation and began hosting art battles, wildly theatrical confrontations between artists that put race and gender politics at the fore. (The WWAF was CL's 2011 Critics Pick for Best Local Art Beef). WWAF art battles are as much about the paint as they are about the pageantry. Originally held at Stuart McClean Gallery in the Old Fourth Ward, past showdowns have included "The Art of the War of Art" and "Composition of Chaos" in which competitors channeled influences ranging from the ostentatiousness of wrestler Ric Flair to the sublime cool of painter Bob Ross.

This time, the battle is political. Williams, aka the Occasional Superstar, decided to capitalize on Decision 2012 with "The Election of the First President" of the WWAF. Pecou will provide commentary and participants will vote for a representative from one of three competing parties: the conservative Renaissancecan, the forward-thinking Contemporaricrat, or the independent/libertarian-inclined Urbatarian.

Unlike a campaign, proceeds for this election won't fund any particular candidate. Instead, they'll go toward the Grace Kisa Donation Fund. Kisa, an Atlanta-based visual artist and participant in previous shows, recently suffered a stroke. Williams wanted to rally his peers to assist in her recovery. "She's a beautiful person and we want her back on her feet," he said on his Facebook page.

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"I challenged her to an art battle," he says. "If you're gonna attack me academically or artistically, then we've got a major beef." Williams backed away from his potential opponent so as not seem like a bully and decided to channel the energy elsewhere. "That felt good to talk shit like that," he says with a laugh.

So Williams founded the World Wide Arts Federation and began hosting art battles, wildly theatrical confrontations between artists that put race and gender politics at the fore. (The WWAF was [http://clatl.com/atlanta/best-local-art-beef/BestOf?oid=3986668|''CL'''s 2011 Critics Pick for Best Local Art Beef]). WWAF art battles are as much about the paint as they are about the pageantry. Originally held at Stuart McClean Gallery in the Old Fourth Ward, past showdowns have included "The Art of the War of Art" and "Composition of Chaos" in which competitors channeled influences ranging from the ostentatiousness of wrestler Ric Flair to the sublime cool of painter Bob Ross.

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Unlike a campaign, proceeds for this election won't fund any particular candidate. Instead, they'll go toward the Grace Kisa Donation Fund. Kisa, an Atlanta-based visual artist and participant in previous shows, recently suffered a stroke. Williams wanted to rally his peers to assist in her recovery. "She's a beautiful person and we want her back on her feet," he said on his Facebook page.

For the election battle, Williams wanted to go deeper. "I thought it would be a cool way to address politics and our weird political system; how nasty it can be sometimes," he says. "It's getting bigger than the artist-on-artist dis. It's about the institutions that each artist represents; the system that creates the conflict.""
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  string(2976) "    Beef spells relief for Fabian Williams, aka the Occasional Superstar   2012-10-08T15:00:00+00:00 World Wide Arts Federation gets political with art battle No. 6   Shannon Barbour 1699889 2012-10-08T15:00:00+00:00  About three years ago, Atlanta artist Fabian Williams read a blog post on an Ebony/Jet-run site about the depiction of African-American men in the work of Fahamu Pecou. A fellow Atlanta artist, Pecou often satirizes male hip-hop culture in his large-scale paintings. Williams responded to comments by a woman about irresponsible behavior from black men, saying that she should date "some nice guys." Soon after, another artist joined the fray, pelting Williams with questions about his artistic merit. What ensued led to the makings of his next creative move.

"I challenged her to an art battle," he says. "If you're gonna attack me academically or artistically, then we've got a major beef." Williams backed away from his potential opponent so as not seem like a bully and decided to channel the energy elsewhere. "That felt good to talk shit like that," he says with a laugh.

So Williams founded the World Wide Arts Federation and began hosting art battles, wildly theatrical confrontations between artists that put race and gender politics at the fore. (The WWAF was CL's 2011 Critics Pick for Best Local Art Beef). WWAF art battles are as much about the paint as they are about the pageantry. Originally held at Stuart McClean Gallery in the Old Fourth Ward, past showdowns have included "The Art of the War of Art" and "Composition of Chaos" in which competitors channeled influences ranging from the ostentatiousness of wrestler Ric Flair to the sublime cool of painter Bob Ross.

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Unlike a campaign, proceeds for this election won't fund any particular candidate. Instead, they'll go toward the Grace Kisa Donation Fund. Kisa, an Atlanta-based visual artist and participant in previous shows, recently suffered a stroke. Williams wanted to rally his peers to assist in her recovery. "She's a beautiful person and we want her back on her feet," he said on his Facebook page.

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Article

Monday October 8, 2012 11:00 am EDT
Beef spells relief for Fabian Williams, aka the Occasional Superstar | more...
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  ["title"]=>
  string(34) "Young Blood turns the big one-five"
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  string(75) "Indie art space celebrates 15 years in Atlanta with a retrospective exhibit"
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  string(4978) "Three locations and more than 1,000 artists after its humble beginnings in a West End house, Young Blood Gallery & Boutique will celebrate its 15-year anniversary this weekend. Here, co-owners/founders Kelly Teasley and Maggie White discuss the house parties that helped shape an underground art movement in the late '90s and early 2000s and continue to inform the newest generations of emerging Atlanta artists and gallerists. For the The 15 Year Anniversary Retrospective, opening Sat., Oct. 6, 7-10 p.m., White and Teasley reached out to the artists they've done major shows with since 1997 and will be exhibiting 95 of them.

What were the origins of Young Blood?

Maggie White: Well we lived in the historic West End and we had found a house that was a three-bedroom, three-bathroom house, and it had a cathedral ceiling living room and we were inspired by the DIY music culture that we were a very much a part of in the early '90s. We went to a lot of house shows — you know bands were tired of trying to get major venues to host their shows so they decided to start hosting them themselves and at their friends' houses. It occurred to us that we could do with art what bands were doing with music and house shows.

Kelly Teasley: We did it for a couple years and then we literally had to move all our furniture from our living room and dining room into our garage. We took everything out, and did that every two or three months and it just got to the point where it was kind of a pain to do that.

Were your first artists friends?

MW: No, we did an open call. We really didn't know anyone. It's funny to think about how everyone we know now is more or less from Young Blood.

KT: We just made flyers and put them mostly in art supply stores and around some of the schools. Our first couple shows were like that, where we were just like bring whatever and people brought whatever. After we did a few, we started to meet some people and actually started seeing work that we liked so we could feature artists and start coming up with themes.

So how long did it take for you guys to move out of the house?

KT: Two years. We started to notice there was a lot of response and a lot of artists and people coming in, so we needed to find a space that we could fit more people in and kind of be more permanent — where we didn't have to move our furniture — so we looked around and found this old TV repair shop in Grant Park.

MW: That definitely dates us. And that was around the time the whole indie craft movement was gaining popularity. That was a whole new concept at that time and people really believed in it, even as a political way of life, so we primarily wanted to support these indie crafters because we started to think maybe we could make a business out of this. It is interesting to see how much an artist can grow when given an opportunity. That was our mission from the beginning. We were fine from the beginning with being a stepping-stone gallery; we don't rep artists and we encourage them to show with other galleries and pursue their personal art career.

Now it sounds like you might want to have that shift.

MW: There are challenges to doing shows with only emerging artists. And we've changed and grown. We are interested in working with artists who want to change and grow. We absolutely want to continue to show local emerging artists' work, but with artists who take their art seriously and who want to possibly make a living at it. And we are excited about the idea of bringing in some better known artists — even nationally if we can — and having a local artist be like the opening band and show on a smaller wall.

KT: I feel like we're filling another hole like we did in the past, which is showing kind of contemporary work that is different, that has a big following with a younger crowd, and is in kind of the same genre that we've dealt with before as far as street work and graffiti, more raw skateboard culture. A lot of people our age have grown up and now they have the money to spend on work that they want to collect. They're in a position now that they can do that and we want to be in a position where we can show it to them.

What are some of the biggest shifts you've seen in the arts in Atlanta over the last 15 years?

KT: I think a lot of it is the Internet. When we started, that didn't exist and there was no way to reach out to anyone besides people that you physically saw, so you kinda had to go out a lot and go to other spaces and other shows to meet artists.

MW: The professionalism that the newer independent art organizations have is really impressive to me. WonderRoot and Mint Gallery have really established themselves as serious art advocates and I've seen already how much it's changed the perception of art from within and outside of the art community.

Did you ever have a "Come-to-Jesus" moment where you were like, this might not work at all?

MW & KT: Every day."
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  string(5082) "Three locations and more than 1,000 artists after its humble beginnings in a West End house, [http://youngbloodgallery.com/|Young Blood Gallery & Boutique] will celebrate its 15-year anniversary this weekend. Here, co-owners/founders Kelly Teasley and Maggie White discuss the house parties that helped shape an underground art movement in the late '90s and early 2000s and continue to inform the newest generations of emerging Atlanta artists and gallerists. For the ''The 15 Year Anniversary Retrospective'', opening Sat., Oct. 6, 7-10 p.m., White and Teasley reached out to the artists they've done major shows with since 1997 and will be exhibiting 95 of them.

__What were the origins of Young Blood?__

__Maggie White__: Well we lived in the historic West End and we had found a house that was a three-bedroom, three-bathroom house, and it had a cathedral ceiling living room and we were inspired by the DIY music culture that we were a very much a part of in the early '90s. We went to a lot of house shows — you know bands were tired of trying to get major venues to host their shows so they decided to start hosting them themselves and at their friends' houses. It occurred to us that we could do with art what bands were doing with music and house shows.

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__Were your first artists friends?__

__MW__: No, we did an open call. We really didn't know anyone. It's funny to think about how everyone we know now is more or less from Young Blood.

__KT__: We just made flyers and put them mostly in art supply stores and around some of the schools. Our first couple shows were like that, where we were just like bring whatever and people brought whatever. After we did a few, we started to meet some people and actually started seeing work that we liked so we could feature artists and start coming up with themes.

__So how long did it take for you guys to move out of the house?__

__KT__: Two years. We started to notice there was a lot of response and a lot of artists and people coming in, so we needed to find a space that we could fit more people in and kind of be more permanent — where we didn't have to move our furniture — so we looked around and found this old TV repair shop in Grant Park.

__MW__: That definitely dates us. And that was around the time the whole indie craft movement was gaining popularity. That was a whole new concept at that time and people really believed in it, even as a political way of life, so we primarily wanted to support these indie crafters because we started to think maybe we could make a business out of this. It is interesting to see how much an artist can grow when given an opportunity. That was our mission from the beginning. We were fine from the beginning with being a stepping-stone gallery; we don't rep artists and we encourage them to show with other galleries and pursue their personal art career.

__Now it sounds like you might want to have that shift.__

__MW__: There are challenges to doing shows with only emerging artists. And we've changed and grown. We are interested in working with artists who want to change and grow. We absolutely want to continue to show local emerging artists' work, but with artists who take their art seriously and who want to possibly make a living at it. And we are excited about the idea of bringing in some better known artists — even nationally if we can — and having a local artist be like the opening band and show on a smaller wall.

__KT__: I feel like we're filling another hole like we did in the past, which is showing kind of contemporary work that is different, that has a big following with a younger crowd, and is in kind of the same genre that we've dealt with before as far as street work and graffiti, more raw skateboard culture. A lot of people our age have grown up and now they have the money to spend on work that they want to collect. They're in a position now that they can do that and we want to be in a position where we can show it to them.

__What are some of the biggest shifts you've seen in the arts in Atlanta over the last 15 years?__

__KT__: I think a lot of it is the Internet. When we started, that didn't exist and there was no way to reach out to anyone besides people that you physically saw, so you kinda had to go out a lot and go to other spaces and other shows to meet artists.

__MW__: The professionalism that the newer independent art organizations have is really impressive to me. WonderRoot and Mint Gallery have really established themselves as serious art advocates and I've seen already how much it's changed the perception of art from within and outside of the art community.

__Did you ever have a "Come-to-Jesus" moment where you were like, this might not work at all?__

__MW & KT__: Every day."
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  string(5301) "    Indie art space celebrates 15 years in Atlanta with a retrospective exhibit   2012-10-02T20:42:00+00:00 Young Blood turns the big one-five ben.eason@creativeloafing.com Ben Eason Debbie Michaud 1223919 2012-10-02T20:42:00+00:00  Three locations and more than 1,000 artists after its humble beginnings in a West End house, Young Blood Gallery & Boutique will celebrate its 15-year anniversary this weekend. Here, co-owners/founders Kelly Teasley and Maggie White discuss the house parties that helped shape an underground art movement in the late '90s and early 2000s and continue to inform the newest generations of emerging Atlanta artists and gallerists. For the The 15 Year Anniversary Retrospective, opening Sat., Oct. 6, 7-10 p.m., White and Teasley reached out to the artists they've done major shows with since 1997 and will be exhibiting 95 of them.

What were the origins of Young Blood?

Maggie White: Well we lived in the historic West End and we had found a house that was a three-bedroom, three-bathroom house, and it had a cathedral ceiling living room and we were inspired by the DIY music culture that we were a very much a part of in the early '90s. We went to a lot of house shows — you know bands were tired of trying to get major venues to host their shows so they decided to start hosting them themselves and at their friends' houses. It occurred to us that we could do with art what bands were doing with music and house shows.

Kelly Teasley: We did it for a couple years and then we literally had to move all our furniture from our living room and dining room into our garage. We took everything out, and did that every two or three months and it just got to the point where it was kind of a pain to do that.

Were your first artists friends?

MW: No, we did an open call. We really didn't know anyone. It's funny to think about how everyone we know now is more or less from Young Blood.

KT: We just made flyers and put them mostly in art supply stores and around some of the schools. Our first couple shows were like that, where we were just like bring whatever and people brought whatever. After we did a few, we started to meet some people and actually started seeing work that we liked so we could feature artists and start coming up with themes.

So how long did it take for you guys to move out of the house?

KT: Two years. We started to notice there was a lot of response and a lot of artists and people coming in, so we needed to find a space that we could fit more people in and kind of be more permanent — where we didn't have to move our furniture — so we looked around and found this old TV repair shop in Grant Park.

MW: That definitely dates us. And that was around the time the whole indie craft movement was gaining popularity. That was a whole new concept at that time and people really believed in it, even as a political way of life, so we primarily wanted to support these indie crafters because we started to think maybe we could make a business out of this. It is interesting to see how much an artist can grow when given an opportunity. That was our mission from the beginning. We were fine from the beginning with being a stepping-stone gallery; we don't rep artists and we encourage them to show with other galleries and pursue their personal art career.

Now it sounds like you might want to have that shift.

MW: There are challenges to doing shows with only emerging artists. And we've changed and grown. We are interested in working with artists who want to change and grow. We absolutely want to continue to show local emerging artists' work, but with artists who take their art seriously and who want to possibly make a living at it. And we are excited about the idea of bringing in some better known artists — even nationally if we can — and having a local artist be like the opening band and show on a smaller wall.

KT: I feel like we're filling another hole like we did in the past, which is showing kind of contemporary work that is different, that has a big following with a younger crowd, and is in kind of the same genre that we've dealt with before as far as street work and graffiti, more raw skateboard culture. A lot of people our age have grown up and now they have the money to spend on work that they want to collect. They're in a position now that they can do that and we want to be in a position where we can show it to them.

What are some of the biggest shifts you've seen in the arts in Atlanta over the last 15 years?

KT: I think a lot of it is the Internet. When we started, that didn't exist and there was no way to reach out to anyone besides people that you physically saw, so you kinda had to go out a lot and go to other spaces and other shows to meet artists.

MW: The professionalism that the newer independent art organizations have is really impressive to me. WonderRoot and Mint Gallery have really established themselves as serious art advocates and I've seen already how much it's changed the perception of art from within and outside of the art community.

Did you ever have a "Come-to-Jesus" moment where you were like, this might not work at all?

MW & KT: Every day.             13070656 6542084                          Young Blood turns the big one-five "
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Tuesday October 2, 2012 04:42 pm EDT
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Monday September 24, 2012 11:33 am EDT
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Wednesday September 12, 2012 11:55 am EDT
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Tuesday August 28, 2012 02:01 pm EDT
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Monday August 20, 2012 11:53 am EDT
Artist's gessoed wood drawings full of intricate twists and turns | more...
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Wednesday July 25, 2012 04:05 am EDT
From Cosmology to Neurology and Back Again is ambitious, cerebral, and worth your time | more...
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Tuesday July 10, 2012 12:58 pm EDT
Terminal Velocity examines the power of mobility and place in our lives | more...
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Mike Germon's two collages combine worldviews from disparate periods throughout history into a compatible, compressed ideology. Presented against a celestial background, "Untitled Prayer (Daedalean Resurrection)" seems to see the sky through a holy man's eyes as he clasps his hands and pleads with an angel. But a globe encircles his head instead of a halo. And the angel is in fact the famed classic Greek sculpture "Winged Victory of Samothrace." A complex geometric shape replaces her missing head and a geode with a texture like jagged feathers substitutes for her right wing. These pseudo-religious images collapse faith and reason upon each other, as if humanity, by discovering the workings of the stars, could unveil the machinery of the universe. "Madonna Enthroned by the Six Earths" elaborates on Germon's invented myths by bundling together belief systems: god-kings of Egypt, the Virgin Mother, phrenology, palmistry, astrology, and colonialism. Depending on one's particular superstitions, seeing these iconic images scrapbooked together appears either as a testament to the power of human faith or marks a daunting cycle of belief in false knowledge.

Other stories feel more personal. In Chelsea Raflo's 3-D collage "This Is Not an Intersection," the artist has layered a rural landscape with paper cutouts. A barefoot young woman dropped into the scene stands with her feet parallel and knees slightly bent, arms hinged at her sides. Behind her there is a ramshackle house and a mountain range stunted by distance. One seems too far and the other too close. Raflo communicates a lack of connection, as if defining linearity by its negative space.

Marcy Starz presents a subject as frustrated as Raflo's. In muted tones, "Don't Get Up" tells a tale of defeat in the simplest of terms. The figure appears like a dancer, slumped on the floor in second position with bare legs, bare feet, bare shoulders, and hair tied up in a bun. Her shrugging posture diminishes her athletic appearance, as does the looming presence of an oversized wooden chair. The sense of inertia conjures an inner monologue for the woman: "I want to get in that chair; I cannot. I am small and injured, the chair is far and tall." Starz presents a linearity in which one of the points prevents the other from completing the connection, like trying to force magnets of the same polarity to touch.

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  string(3634) "    Show's best work explores what happens between points A and B   2012-06-26T14:58:00+00:00 MINT Gallery's Linearity forges connections through storytelling   Grace Thornton 5672689 2012-06-26T14:58:00+00:00  MINT Gallery's 25-person show Linearity, curated by Kelly McKernan, explores "what happens in the connection between point A and point B." The theme provokes a range of responses, from extraordinarily simple to theoretical and complex. Many artists rely on the literal imagery of lines, while others leave it up to the viewer to determine the connections. The show's most engaging works visualize events that might unfold while traveling from place to place or during explorations of identity.

Mike Germon's two collages combine worldviews from disparate periods throughout history into a compatible, compressed ideology. Presented against a celestial background, "Untitled Prayer (Daedalean Resurrection)" seems to see the sky through a holy man's eyes as he clasps his hands and pleads with an angel. But a globe encircles his head instead of a halo. And the angel is in fact the famed classic Greek sculpture "Winged Victory of Samothrace." A complex geometric shape replaces her missing head and a geode with a texture like jagged feathers substitutes for her right wing. These pseudo-religious images collapse faith and reason upon each other, as if humanity, by discovering the workings of the stars, could unveil the machinery of the universe. "Madonna Enthroned by the Six Earths" elaborates on Germon's invented myths by bundling together belief systems: god-kings of Egypt, the Virgin Mother, phrenology, palmistry, astrology, and colonialism. Depending on one's particular superstitions, seeing these iconic images scrapbooked together appears either as a testament to the power of human faith or marks a daunting cycle of belief in false knowledge.

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Marcy Starz presents a subject as frustrated as Raflo's. In muted tones, "Don't Get Up" tells a tale of defeat in the simplest of terms. The figure appears like a dancer, slumped on the floor in second position with bare legs, bare feet, bare shoulders, and hair tied up in a bun. Her shrugging posture diminishes her athletic appearance, as does the looming presence of an oversized wooden chair. The sense of inertia conjures an inner monologue for the woman: "I want to get in that chair; I cannot. I am small and injured, the chair is far and tall." Starz presents a linearity in which one of the points prevents the other from completing the connection, like trying to force magnets of the same polarity to touch.

The works in Linearity that lack the kind of storytelling exemplified by Germon, Raflo, and Starz read as before-and-after snapshots where one can see points of connection, but not the process of change itself. It is the in-between that warrants emotional investment from the viewer, contextualizing the significance of the beginnings and endings. The shortest path between point A and point B isn't always the best path.              13068753 5672690                          MINT Gallery's Linearity forges connections through storytelling "
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Article

Tuesday June 26, 2012 10:58 am EDT
Show's best work explores what happens between points A and B | more...
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  string(52) "MODA shuts down Peachtree Street for skateboard show"
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  string(91) "Skate it or Hang it!? opens three-month run with public skate parade and professional demos"
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  string(91) "Skate it or Hang it!? opens three-month run with public skate parade and professional demos"
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  string(4912) "For W. Todd Vaught, hawking the dozens of old-school skate decks he'd accumulated during a work project on Craiglist or eBay wasn't an option. He called the Museum of Design Atlanta and pitched a skateboard design exhibit instead. MODA jumped at the idea and suddenly Vaught, an industrial designer, found himself the curator/creative force behind Skate it or Hang it!?, opening June 16.

Vaught grew up skating and obsessing over his boards' graphics: "Everybody would kind of mess with me about it, like, 'Dude you don't need to be riding these things because you don't want them to be scratched,'" he says. Skate it or Hang it!? indulges Vaught's teenage obsession and offers some context for the art and cultural scenes that sprung up around skateboarding with more than 175 decks from the '70s to the present, work by a dozen design heavy-hitters, including Sean Cliver, Wes Humpston, and Michael Sieben, as well as installations by local artists HENSE and Charlie Owens. To open the exhibition, Vaught and MODA are shutting down Peachtree Street from the Fox Theatre to 16th Street to host a Skate Parade and skate demos by New York's 5boro crew.

How did this project come about?

I was working on project for AOL, which had just bought this little blog office down in Orlando. I just wanted to get like 100 skateboards, old classic skateboard graphics, and hang them on the wall and then get a graffiti artist to come in and tag all the walls. So I bought all these boards and [[AOL said], "What if we actually just painted the boards and hung them up and they were sort of this composition of graffiti on these boards?" I was like, shit man, I don't want to screw up all the graphics on the boards. I went online and bought a bunch of blanks. I kept all the boards and sent the blanks down there. Now I suddenly have 40 skateboard decks that I don't know what to do with. I started talking to MODA and they were looking for ideas for future shows and I thought, "They'll never go for this but I'll throw it out there ..."

How many boards are in the show?

There are more than 175 boards in one gallery. The goal is to see the chronological change of how these skateboard graphics have evolved.

Did you have to purchase all the boards?

We borrowed a lot from a lot of collectors. Very early on it was impossible to even get collectors to talk to me. There is this whole underground world of skateboard collecting. Certain boards go for $6,000 or $7,000 [[on eBay]. It's crazy.

So why didn't they want to exhibit them?

Because they were like, if anything happens to them, my $7,000 deck has just been scratched. But once this whole thing got put together and I got people involved, like their heroes from when they were little they started emailing me out of the blue: "Hey! I've got this giant collection!" So I've taken a couple of them up on it and borrowed some boards that are really hard to find because some of these things are just gone. There's one particular board I had, and I think one sold on eBay for $9,000 or $10,000 and you cannot find them. They don't exist anymore, the originals, so we don't have all originals.

Now that you've curated this exhibit, what has it revealed about skateboard art?

There are a couple of things that shifted the paradigm of skateboard art of the '80s to today. One is simply technology. Back then everything was screen-printed, which meant [[designs] had to lay down flat. But because of the [[concave] shape of the boards, where the tail is, you couldn't do anything. All the graphics had to be right in the middle. Now screen-printing isn't the only way. A lot of the boards [[are designed using] a heat transfer process. Because it's pliable it allows [[the designers] to put graphics from edge to edge. So it's this huge technological advancement that changed the way that graphics can go over the entire surface rather than just in the middle of the board.

As you could produce more boards and more graphics more easily, the graphics started to shift away from individual skaters into more of a corporate-based look. So it was no longer about you've got a skull and sword that signifies you as a person or personifies you as a skateboarder. Now you work for or you skate for my company and my company has this general look — whatever aesthetic you want to apply to that company — you skate for us and your graphics are going to look like us, not like you.

What do you want to accomplish with the show?

I think that skateboard art has never been seen as something that has deserved to be in a museum. It's always made its way into galleries, but not museums. And I think that this is a viable museum venue. I want people to know that skateboarders aren't just punks. They grow up to do real things and I thought there were some interesting stories to tell as to how art evolved through the lens of skateboarding."
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_raw"]=>
  string(5138) "For W. Todd Vaught, hawking the dozens of old-school skate decks he'd accumulated during a work project on Craiglist or eBay wasn't an option. He called the Museum of Design Atlanta and pitched a skateboard design exhibit instead. MODA jumped at the idea and suddenly Vaught, an industrial designer, found himself the curator/creative force behind ''Skate it or Hang it!?'', opening June 16.

Vaught grew up skating and obsessing over his boards' graphics: "Everybody would kind of mess with me about it, like, 'Dude you don't need to be riding these things because you don't want them to be scratched,'" he says. ''Skate it or Hang it!?'' indulges Vaught's teenage obsession and offers some context for the art and cultural scenes that sprung up around skateboarding with more than 175 decks from the '70s to the present, work by a dozen design heavy-hitters, including [http://www.disposablethebook.com/|Sean Cliver], [http://www.bulldogskates.com/|Wes Humpston], and [http://www.msieben.com/|Michael Sieben], as well as installations by local artists [http://www.hensethename.com/|HENSE] and [http://charlieowensart.tumblr.com/|Charlie Owens]. To open the exhibition, Vaught and MODA are shutting down Peachtree Street from the Fox Theatre to 16th Street to host a Skate Parade and skate demos by New York's [http://5boro.com/|5boro] crew.

__How did this project come about?__

I was working on project for AOL, which had just bought this little blog office down in Orlando. I just wanted to get like 100 skateboards, old classic skateboard graphics, and hang them on the wall and then get a graffiti artist to come in and tag all the walls. So I bought all these boards and [[[[AOL said], "What if we actually just painted the boards and hung them up and they were sort of this composition of graffiti on these boards?" I was like, shit man, I don't want to screw up all the graphics on the boards. I went online and bought a bunch of blanks. I kept all the boards and sent the blanks down there. Now I suddenly have 40 skateboard decks that I don't know what to do with. I started talking to MODA and they were looking for ideas for future shows and I thought, "They'll never go for this but I'll throw it out there ..."

__How many boards are in the show?__

There are more than 175 boards in one gallery. The goal is to see the chronological change of how these skateboard graphics have evolved.

__Did you have to purchase all the boards?__

We borrowed a lot from a lot of collectors. Very early on it was impossible to even get collectors to talk to me. There is this whole underground world of skateboard collecting. Certain boards go for $6,000 or $7,000 [[[[on eBay]. It's crazy.

__So why didn't they want to exhibit them?__

Because they were like, if anything happens to them, my $7,000 deck has just been scratched. But once this whole thing got put together and I got people involved, like their heroes from when they were little they started emailing me out of the blue: "Hey! I've got this giant collection!" So I've taken a couple of them up on it and borrowed some boards that are really hard to find because some of these things are just gone. There's one particular board I had, and I think one sold on eBay for $9,000 or $10,000 and you cannot find them. They don't exist anymore, the originals, so we don't have all originals.

__Now that you've curated this exhibit, what has it revealed about skateboard art?__

There are a couple of things that shifted the paradigm of skateboard art of the '80s to today. One is simply technology. Back then everything was screen-printed, which meant [[[[designs] had to lay down flat. But because of the [[[[concave] shape of the boards, where the tail is, you couldn't do anything. All the graphics had to be right in the middle. Now screen-printing isn't the only way. A lot of the boards [[[[are designed using] a heat transfer process. Because it's pliable it allows [[[[the designers] to put graphics from edge to edge. So it's this huge technological advancement that changed the way that graphics can go over the entire surface rather than just in the middle of the board.

As you could produce more boards and more graphics more easily, the graphics started to shift away from individual skaters into more of a corporate-based look. So it was no longer about you've got a skull and sword that signifies you as a person or personifies you as a skateboarder. Now you work for or you skate for my company and my company has this general look — whatever aesthetic you want to apply to that company — you skate for us and your graphics are going to look like us, not like you.

__What do you want to accomplish with the show?__

I think that skateboard art has never been seen as something that has deserved to be in a museum. It's always made its way into galleries, but not museums. And I think that this is a viable museum venue. I want people to know that skateboarders aren't just punks. They grow up to do real things and I thought there were some interesting stories to tell as to how art evolved through the lens of skateboarding."
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  string(5293) "    Skate it or Hang it!? opens three-month run with public skate parade and professional demos   2012-06-12T14:11:00+00:00 MODA shuts down Peachtree Street for skateboard show ben.eason@creativeloafing.com Ben Eason Debbie Michaud 1223919 2012-06-12T14:11:00+00:00  For W. Todd Vaught, hawking the dozens of old-school skate decks he'd accumulated during a work project on Craiglist or eBay wasn't an option. He called the Museum of Design Atlanta and pitched a skateboard design exhibit instead. MODA jumped at the idea and suddenly Vaught, an industrial designer, found himself the curator/creative force behind Skate it or Hang it!?, opening June 16.

Vaught grew up skating and obsessing over his boards' graphics: "Everybody would kind of mess with me about it, like, 'Dude you don't need to be riding these things because you don't want them to be scratched,'" he says. Skate it or Hang it!? indulges Vaught's teenage obsession and offers some context for the art and cultural scenes that sprung up around skateboarding with more than 175 decks from the '70s to the present, work by a dozen design heavy-hitters, including Sean Cliver, Wes Humpston, and Michael Sieben, as well as installations by local artists HENSE and Charlie Owens. To open the exhibition, Vaught and MODA are shutting down Peachtree Street from the Fox Theatre to 16th Street to host a Skate Parade and skate demos by New York's 5boro crew.

How did this project come about?

I was working on project for AOL, which had just bought this little blog office down in Orlando. I just wanted to get like 100 skateboards, old classic skateboard graphics, and hang them on the wall and then get a graffiti artist to come in and tag all the walls. So I bought all these boards and [[AOL said], "What if we actually just painted the boards and hung them up and they were sort of this composition of graffiti on these boards?" I was like, shit man, I don't want to screw up all the graphics on the boards. I went online and bought a bunch of blanks. I kept all the boards and sent the blanks down there. Now I suddenly have 40 skateboard decks that I don't know what to do with. I started talking to MODA and they were looking for ideas for future shows and I thought, "They'll never go for this but I'll throw it out there ..."

How many boards are in the show?

There are more than 175 boards in one gallery. The goal is to see the chronological change of how these skateboard graphics have evolved.

Did you have to purchase all the boards?

We borrowed a lot from a lot of collectors. Very early on it was impossible to even get collectors to talk to me. There is this whole underground world of skateboard collecting. Certain boards go for $6,000 or $7,000 [[on eBay]. It's crazy.

So why didn't they want to exhibit them?

Because they were like, if anything happens to them, my $7,000 deck has just been scratched. But once this whole thing got put together and I got people involved, like their heroes from when they were little they started emailing me out of the blue: "Hey! I've got this giant collection!" So I've taken a couple of them up on it and borrowed some boards that are really hard to find because some of these things are just gone. There's one particular board I had, and I think one sold on eBay for $9,000 or $10,000 and you cannot find them. They don't exist anymore, the originals, so we don't have all originals.

Now that you've curated this exhibit, what has it revealed about skateboard art?

There are a couple of things that shifted the paradigm of skateboard art of the '80s to today. One is simply technology. Back then everything was screen-printed, which meant [[designs] had to lay down flat. But because of the [[concave] shape of the boards, where the tail is, you couldn't do anything. All the graphics had to be right in the middle. Now screen-printing isn't the only way. A lot of the boards [[are designed using] a heat transfer process. Because it's pliable it allows [[the designers] to put graphics from edge to edge. So it's this huge technological advancement that changed the way that graphics can go over the entire surface rather than just in the middle of the board.

As you could produce more boards and more graphics more easily, the graphics started to shift away from individual skaters into more of a corporate-based look. So it was no longer about you've got a skull and sword that signifies you as a person or personifies you as a skateboarder. Now you work for or you skate for my company and my company has this general look — whatever aesthetic you want to apply to that company — you skate for us and your graphics are going to look like us, not like you.

What do you want to accomplish with the show?

I think that skateboard art has never been seen as something that has deserved to be in a museum. It's always made its way into galleries, but not museums. And I think that this is a viable museum venue. I want people to know that skateboarders aren't just punks. They grow up to do real things and I thought there were some interesting stories to tell as to how art evolved through the lens of skateboarding.       0,0,10      13068525 5577487                          MODA shuts down Peachtree Street for skateboard show "
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Article

Tuesday June 12, 2012 10:11 am EDT
Skate it or Hang it!? opens three-month run with public skate parade and professional demos | more...