Artist Hebru Brantley held a one-day show at Loews Atlanta Hotel on Peachtree Street on June 7th. The exhibition, Penny Candy, featured 40 of Brantley’s works and two of Atlanta’s hottest DJs, Kemit and Karl Injex. Brantley draws his inspiration from a variety of sources from comic books to African history. Growing up on the southside of Chicago, Brantely describes himself as an Afrofuturist—a “black weirdo”—but it seems that his innovative nature has helped him gain notoriety with current clients such as Jay Z and Lil’ Wayne. The event was sponsored by Skyy Vodka, AllWays Open Creative, and Sam Flax.
Two Atlanta artists and their interracial families have recently publically reacted to the now controversial Cheerios ad released in late May. Carlton Mackey—creator of 50 Shades of Black and recently interviewed on our ARTSpeak program—and his family were featured in an AJC article on June 9th, commenting on the portrayal of an interracial family in the Cheerio’s spot “Just Checking” and the ugly backlash that spammed its YouTube comment board. Mackey, who heads the Emory University Ethics & the Arts Initiative, fails to see why the ad sparked so much controversy, but the struggle over the spot has proven that he’s exploring an area that’s still relevant to the American public.
RASHID JOHNSON OPENS AT HIGH MUSEUM
Recently opening at the High Museum of Art, Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks marks a significant milestone in the career of New York native Rashid Johnson as this is his first major solo museum exhibition [June 8-September 8, 2013]. Many from the Atlanta art community were out to attend the opening on Friday June 7th and they enjoyed complimentary food and beverages while previewing the exhibition and catalog. The exhibition—originally exhibited (though in different form) and organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago by Julie Rodrigues Widholm, Pamela Alper associate curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago—was locally organized by Lily Siegel, the new(ly) appointed High Museum assistant curator of modern and contemporary art. The exhibition examines how Johnson’s work has developed over the first 14 years of his career. Cultural and personal connections are established through the physicality of media; materials that reference childhood and community are manipulated and modernized by their context. An interview between Dan Weiskopf—associate professor of philosophy and an associate faculty member in the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State University—and Rashid Johnson can be read here. A full photo album from the opening reception can be seen here.
BURNAWAY Magazine hosted our second bi-annual Sunday Supper Series on June 9th at the Atlanta Preservation Center in Grant Park. 60 guests, friends, and supporters of the magazine gathered to enjoy live speakers and performances addressing the art of the archive: keynote speaker Richard Pearce-Moses, director of the Master of Archival Studies Program at Clayton State University spoke about the future of archives and how we can reflexively build our personal histories; Boyd Coons, executive director of the Atlanta Preservation Center spoke on the archival nature of historic preservation, Tom Zarrilli delighted with humorous tales from local estate sales, and Lynn Marshall- Linnemeier introduced us her practice building agans in communities across the world. One Eared Stag catered the event, and Straw Hat Press designed custom table settings and centerpieces, which included individual, unique etchings of the GA Archives building (edition of 60) tucked inside library card envelopes for each of the guests to remember their experience by. The evening sparked engaging dialogue down the two long tables where patrons of the magazine relaxed and dined, finally wrapping up with live (candlelit) folk music performed by Margo and Art Rosenbaum. A full photo album from the evening can been seen here.
Atlanta Contemporary Art Center gears up for their 40th year anniversary with a facelift renovation and a new Development Director. As the new Development Director, Veronica Kessenich will be responsible for a variety of fundraising goals and cultivation efforts, especially during this pivotal time. Graduating from St. Andrews, Scotland with a Masters in Philosophy and Art History, Kessenich has been quite present upon the Atlanta arts stage through her role as Gallery Director at Fay Gold Gallery from 2004-2009. She has also experienced working with a range of career development issues and event strategies, while also intensively working along with artists, collectors, members of the press, and other arts professionals. After Fay Gold, she has been operating her personal (virtual) contemporary art gallery and consulting firm, Kessenich Contemporary. She is dropping art consulting in exchange for her position at the ACAC. In addition, she has served on the boards of The Creative Project and Flux Projects.
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, MOCA GA, has announced its Working Artist Project (WAP) call for the year 2013-14. The application process is open for submission through Sunday June 30th at 11:30 pm. Local conversation has been divisive concerning the new guidelines. Although the project award aims to provide devoted support and attention to individual artists through spotlighting, furnishing, and promoting their work, many artists feel troubled concerning the rigorous restrictions: The policy that emphasizes avoidance of institutional conflicts designates a stringent and lengthy time frame [potentially August 1, 2013-March 31, 2015 (20 months)], which could isolate artists from other opportunities and ways to remain available and not too financially upheld by one artist grant. Nonetheless, the WAP award sweeps in significant benefits that many artists dream of obtaining; however, many fear being so limited by one single institution’s roof.
After Saltworks has gone without a physical exhibition space for almost one year, they are reopening a pop up space on the westside. Cultures are set to collide at Saltworks Gallery’s west midtown pop up location with the opening of Four Atlantans which celebrates the uniquely talented works of four Atlanta based artists: Alejandro Aguilera, Brian Dettmer, Craig Drennen and Jiha Moon [June 29-August 3, 2013]. This juxtaposition of artists is united by their artistic endeavors, but distinct in their place of origin (Alejandro Aguilera: Cuba, Brian Dettmer: Chicago, Craig Drennen: West Virginia, Jiha Moon: South Korea) and approach to their craft. We’re excited to see this new space develop and what it can mean for future Saltworks programming.
House rules for commenting:
1. Please use a full first name. We do not support hiding behind anonymity.
2. All comments on BURNAWAY are moderated. Please be patient—we’ll do our best to keep up, but sometimes it may take us a bit to get to all of them.
3. BURNAWAY reserves the right to refuse or reject comments.
4. We support critically engaged arguments (both positive and negative), but please don’t be a jerk, ok? Comments should never be personally offensive in nature.