BURNAWAY’s Best of 2013: The Movers, Shakers, and Newsmakers

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We asked our experts to describe who and what is shaping the art scene in their cities and the South.

 

Roy Lichtenstein's House III, 1997, installed outside the High Museum, a gift of John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods. © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein
Roy Lichtenstein’s House III, 1997, installed outside the High Museum, a gift of John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods. © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.

John Wieland’s carefully, methodically, and lovingly selected collection [in Atlanta] of home-related works is a special and unmatched treasure, both reflecting his personal commitment to creating and providing homes for people and his keen appreciation of the resonance of shelter themes across virtually every artistic medium.
Shana Berger and Nathan Purath are the dedicated curators and overseers of the Coleman Center for the Arts who continue to bring top artists to a small Alabama town as part of an ongoing engagement with this rural community, combining artistic creativity with social change and civic problem solving.
Michael Straus, board chair, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York; trustee, Birmingham Museum of Art
Judith Alexander (posthumously) for providing the funds that enabled us to do Drawing Inside the Perimeter.
Michael Rooks, curator of modern and contemporary art, High Museum of Art

Michael Rooks. (Photo: Ben Rose)
Michael Rooks and Julie Delliquanti at the Fallen Fruit opening at the ACAC.
(Photo: © Ben Rose Photography)

Michael Rooks has provided an incredible injection of support and love to the Atlanta art community.
Louis Corrigan has been the quiet supporter of so many of the best art projects around town. Atlanta would not be what it is right now without him.

Anne Lambert Tracht, art consultant, Atlanta

SCAD - Derrick Adams

Susan Bridges with Carl Rojas (l) and a drag queen (r) at her Holiday Party. (Photo: Carl Rojas)
Susan Bridges with Carl Rojas (l) and a drag
queen (r) at the Whitespace Holiday Party on December 13, 2013. (Photo: Carl Rojas)

Brava to Susan Bridges for creating Whitespec, a haven for experimental work, emerging artists and student exhibitions in an 8-by-10 basement space across the courtyard from her gallery Whitespace.
V. Elizabeth Turk has been teaching photography at the Atlanta College of Art and now the Savannah College of Art and Design for 26 years. She has inspired a generation of photography students.
Alexandra Sachs, assistant curator, Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta
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Guido Maus

Guido Maus has changed the landscape for local galleries. Not only does his gallery, beta pictoris, represent Artforum darlings who show at MOMA and the Whitney, it doesn’t shy away from challenging subjects that might have been unthinkable in Birmingham a decade ago. Now, it seems like a month doesn’t go by that a local gallery isn’t exploring subjects like racial identity, gender equality, modernity, obsession, and pure abstraction. Maus has been one critically important agent in that shift.
Walter Lewellyn, online editor for Weld for Birmingham

In a city that is always looking somewhere else, it usually takes an outsider to show it what it is missing. Brooklyn transplant Guido Maus and his beta pictoris gallery do precisely this. With an exhibition program highlighting emerging and established contemporary artists, Maus steps in to fill a void. The 2013 program included projects by Willie Cole and John Bankston, while 2014 opens with Sharon Louden. In a space smaller than most Birmingham living rooms, Maus shows that size isn’t everything.

Brett Levine, independent writer and curator, Birmingham
 

The Buzz in 2013

The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center renovation.

The revamped entrance of the ACAC.
The revamped entrance of the ACAC.

BLDG’s rehab of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center’s gallery and public areas. Thank you Brian Bell and David Yocum for doing such thoughtful and elegant work on a building that means so much to me.
Louise Shaw, executive director of the ACAC from 1983 to 1998
The smart, efficient, and brilliant re-articulation of the ACAC space takes our art center to a new level and is a gift to the city (and it was on time and under budget)!
Michael Rooks, curator of modern and contemporary art, High Museum of Art
JR comes to Atlanta!!!
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JR in front of one of his murals in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward. (Photo: Stephanie Cash)

The French artist and TED Prize winner helped commemorate the 1963  civil rights March on Washington with three mural projects.
Anne Lambert Tracht, art consultant
Big Prizes to Atlanta Artists
Pam Longobardi on the Gyre expedition to Alaska.
Pam Longobardi on the Gyre expedition to Alaska.

The Stansells with their winning tequila barrel.
The Stansells with their winning tequila barrel.

Pam Longobardi wins the $50,000 Hudgens Prize, and Whitney and Micah Stansell win $100,000 for their Herradura tequila barrel.
Lisa Tuttle, director, Fulton County Department of Arts and Culture
St. Pete’s Loses Two Galleries
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The new Tempus Projects location, opening January 18.

Two St. Petersburg galleries disappeared from the city’s scene: Mindy Solomon packed her bags and moved her four-year-old gallery to Miami’s Wynwood arts district, and C. Emerson Fine Arts owner Lori Johns adopted a virtual and fairs-only program. With Tempus Projects a nonprofit, artist-run space in Tampa, also closed down from June to December, it seemed briefly as if the area had suffered a gallery apocalypse. In mid-December, though, Tempus opened a new storefront in hipster barrio Seminole Heights; exhibitions (TBD) are set to begin in January.
Megan Voeller, columnist, Creative Loafing, Tampa
Samuel Mockbee’s Rural Studio Turns 20
The Rose Lee House, 2009, constructed by Auburn University's Rural Studio.
The Rose Lee House, 2009, constructed by Auburn University’s Rural Studio. (Photo: Timothy Hursley)

The Rural Studio in Hale County, Alabama, celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. The brainchild of architect Samuel Mockbee (1944-2001), it combines architectural bravado with aw-shucks community mindedness to create some of the most experimental architecture ever seen.
Brett Levine, independent curator and writer, Birmingham
Prison Project Goes Viral
Surrogate Project for Harold Wayne Nichols: The Night Sky Series (Photo: Tom Williams)
Surrogate Project for Harold Wayne Nichols: The Night Sky Series at Unit 2, Nashville. (Photo: Tom Williams)

Nashville’s first “prison project” exhibition, Unit 2, went viral. Undertaken by composed of Watkins College of Art faculty and students who, under the leadership of Vanderbilt philosophy professor Lisa Guenther, conduct weekly discussion and artistic collaborations with the death row inmates at Riverbend Maximum Security. The story was picked up by Hyperallergic, which released the review Dreaming on Death Row, and within a week The Guardian of London, along with several other international publications, featured stories on the project that discussed the American death row system. The image, taken by Robin Paris, is a surrogate image. For one part of the show, artists went out into the world and captured images that prisoners had no access to.
Veronica Kavass, contributor, Nashville Scene; professor at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, Nashville
Art on Community Walls
The confluence of artists and community revitalization has been prevalent in Birmingham. In the East Lake neighborhood, there have been a number of Purple House Parades, where artists and realtors teamed up to showcase both art and homes for sale. The group Revive Birmingham ramped up this concept with the Street Life Project, which included pop-up events in different neighborhoods, bringing together artists, artisans, small businesses, and residents for street parties, workshops, property tours, and exhibitions. One component of the Revive project is large-scale murals, many undertaken by the Magic City Mural Collective. According to their Facebook page, the MCMC “is a group of artists and designers who aim to elevate the aesthetic presence of our City, reflected by its buildings and walls.”
Rebecca Dobrinski, contributor, Weld for Birmingham
Mural by the Magic City Mural Collective.
Mural by the Magic City Mural Collective.