The trendy streetwear boutique WISH ATL in Little Five Points is opening an art gallery next month. Called The Gallery, it is located at 453 Moreland Avenue, next to Planet Bombay, steps away from the flagship store. Monica Campana, the founder of the mural-painting organization Living Walls, will serve as curator.
Finishing touches are being put on The Gallery, which launches on February 10 from 8 to 11pm with “Then & Now,” a solo exhibition of street art photography by Martha Cooper. It will feature her well-known 1970s and 1980s graffiti and hip-hop photographs, and black-and-white photos from her books New York State of Mind, Street Play and Tokyo Tattoo, as well as her most recent portraits of street artists at work, including those taken during Living Walls Atlanta in 2012 and 2013.
In a press release, WISH ATL owner Lauren Amos says that “THE GALLERY provides a platform for creatives across the world to showcase their work.”
Speaking by phone, Campana shared plans for the gallery programming, which will include a focus on emerging local and international artists that appeals to the boutique’s youthful customers. After the Cooper show, there will be a show of women artists of color, followed by a show of California artist in May. Be on the lookout for shows including Atlanta artists FKRO, Jurell Cayetano and Gerald Lovell; Swampy and Andrea Sonnenberg aka Teen Witch from California; and a two-person show of Tatyana Fazlalizadeh and Brandon English.
“Every show will have a merch component,” says Campana. For example, in addition to Cooper’s books being on sale at The Gallery, Wish has printed up a T-shirt for the exhibition. There will be branding opportunities (and hopefully sales opportunities for artists). “Lauren has a deep interest in the arts,” says Campana, and isn’t afraid of supporting artists and projects that are challenging.
Campana says the shift in her professional focus is refreshing. “I’ve had fun curating for the WISH audience,” she says, “this is a huge opportunity.” Changes are afoot at Living Walls, but at this time Campana is still directing activities.
In addition to her role at Living Walls, Campana recently curated an exhibition at the Artmossphere Biennale in Moscow, and in 2015 was the project manager for Open Source at the Philadelphia
Cooper will give an artist talk on February 11 from 4 to 7pm, which is followed by a talk with Campana on February 17 at 4-7pm, and a panel discussion with Atlanta street artists on February 24, 4-7pm.
The Gallery’s regular hours will be Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 7pm.