Neda Abghari is the lady behind the idea and lens of the Atlanta Creatives Project, which she describes as “a photographic documentation of Atlanta’s creative core.” So far, Atlanta Creatives has featured photo shoot interviews with local artists such as Rene Arriagada, Charlie Owens, and Kiki Blood, as well as several designers and musicians native to the ATL.
Abghari went to school for fine art with a concentration in arts education. After graduating, she taught and then later went into commercialized editorial photography. While shooting for magazines and record labels, she decided on a large personal project that she expects will last her lifetime.
In August 2007, Abghari, an Atlanta native, was living in New York. She got tired of people there talking down about the Atlanta art scene and being naïve of the artists coming out of this city. In response, she came up with the idea to pair the faces of artists with their names in an effort to educate and raise awareness that Atlanta has a lot to offer creatively.
The images in the project are collaborations between Abghari and the artists she photographs. She chooses subjects who create work that inspires her on a day-to-day basis, and who set the bar in terms of commitment to their craft and innovation. The artists she covers range from painters to performance artists to DJs.
Abghari says she works with photography because she loves connecting with her subjects; she wants to get to know them and understand their work. Once an artist is chosen, she meets with them and talks about their work so she can come up with scenes inspired by their art, and that reflect their style. Abghari states, “Whether it is a unique object, eccentric article of clothing, or a special chosen location, these specific aspects of the image act as clues in understanding the artist’s work and aesthetic.”
Currently, Neda has about 12 photos posted, and 20 more shot. The project has been well received and, due to demand, is now expanding to include other cities, such as Miami. Although these cities will be part of “The Creatives Project,” Abghari will always focus more on Atlanta. Her vision for the final output is a book and an exhibition. While her blog is a great way to document the project, she feels it’s not the best way to present her work in its entirety because it only shows us one image of each artist. The book and exhibition will include multiple images displayed in numerous ways that relate the artists to their work.