ARTnews Guide On What To Do & See –

Old Atlanta is gone. And those of us who “flew here” rather than “grew here” missed something wild and glorious. Old timers tell tales of the Gambino-funded Gold Club, RuPaul dancing on his go-go milk crate at Weekends disco, a small group of Atlanta University Center students organizing a picnic in 1983 that birthed the cultural and musical revolution that was Freaknik.

There was the southern outpost of the famed New York nightclub Limelight, now a grocery store known as “Disco Kroger,” the time Michelangelo Pistoletto did a citywide Creative Collaboration as an artist-in-residence for various cultural institutions across the city (including Nexus Contemporary Art Center), and then there was the outlandish Dante’s Down the Hatch where one could eat fondue while listening to live jazz and sitting in a theatrical pirate ship above a pool of live crocodiles. I am always chasing old Atlanta.

The city’s seal depicts a phoenix rising from the ashes. But lately it’s been less embers and more bulldozer and crane debris. There is a lot to love about new Atlanta. The city is defined by its dualisms, being both Southern and progressive.

New Atlanta is urban designer Ryan Gravel’s dream of the BeltLine coming to life in the form on a 22-mile greenway loop that connects 45 neighborhoods. It’s all the little community parks that branch off the BeltLine.

New Atlanta is the fight to defund Cop City. It’s the Clermont Lounge, the female-owned strip club whose dancers stay for decades, previously located in the basement of an apartment building, now the basement of a bougie hotel. New Atlanta continues to be Black excellence. New Atlanta is long lines to vote. It’s a city on pace to gain 2.5 million new residents by 2040. New Atlanta is not perfect.

I mourn for old Atlanta, the wonderful, weird place I’ll never know, but I find much of the old energy in the artists who live here now. As the city grows and development pushes and pulls from all sides, there is an abundance of great art making.

Off the top of my head, while fully knowing I’m going to mistakenly leave out 15 people, my list of great Atlanta artists would include Lonnie Holley, Yanique Norman, Erin Jane Nelson, Cosmo Whyte, Kevin Cole, Jiha Moon, Paul Stephen Benjamin, Larry Walker, Myra Greene, Dianna Settles, FRKO, Jill Frank, Dawn Williams Boyd, Y. Malik Jalal, Krista Clark, Zipporah Camille Thompson, Jeremy Bolen, Caleb Jamel Brown, Luzene Hill, Sheila Pree Bright, Alex Christopher Williams, Dana Haugaard, Sonya Yong James, Michi Meko, Elisabeth McNair, Mark Starling, T. Lang, Wihro Kim, Monica Kim Garza, Craig Drennen, Hasani Sahlehe, Courtney McClellan, Ato Ribeiro, and Antonio Darden. And others. 

And, while we’re on the subject, there are plenty of galleries to visit in town: Sandler Hudson, whitespace, Marcia Wood Gallery, September Gray Fine Art, Day & Night Projects, Kai Lin Art, Jackson Fine Art, Hi-Lo Press & Gallery, Wolfgang Gallery, and ZuCot Gallery. Want to know the who, what, when, where, why of the Atlanta art scene (as well as around the South)? Burnaway Magazine is your one-stop shop.

For more cultural offerings (many of them kid friendly!), read on.

Source link

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By agreeing you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

Close Popup
Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

Technical Cookies
In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

We use WooCommerce as a shopping system. For cart and order processing 2 cookies will be stored. This cookies are strictly necessary and can not be turned off.
  • woocommerce_cart_hash
  • woocommerce_items_in_cart

Decline all Services
Accept all Services
Open Privacy settings