Atlanta’s Hathaway Gallery has announced a solo show by Atlanta-based artist Tori Tinsley as the inaugural exhibition at its new location on Howell Mill Road, just around the corner from where it currently operates. The gallery’s move, which was previously announced in late July, makes way for the redevelopment of the current gallery space into a mixed-use, high-rise office building called 8West. Hathaway will oversee curation of artwork for the forthcoming lobby of the high-rise and commission a public artwork to be installed at the development.
Comprised of work she’s completed since receiving a grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation in 2016, Tinsley’s exhibition “Down is the Valley” is her first since the birth of her first child earlier this year. Since 2010, Tinsley’s work—including paintings, drawings, animations, and sculptures—has largely been centered on the artist’s relationship with her mother, who suffers from a rare form of dementia. (In a 2017 feature for BA, Tinsley discussed her experiences caring for a parent with Dashboard executive director Beth Malone, whose father also experiences frontotemporal dementia.) According to the press release from Hathaway, the work in “Down in the Valley” was created “in the transitional space between caring for ailing parent and nurturing a newborn son.” Tinsley described the new works as “abstracted representations of lyrics taken from the American folk song ‘Down in the Valley,'” from which the exhibition takes its name. The artist said she originally learned the song to sing it with her mother but has recently found herself singing it to her newborn while rocking him to sleep. “Down in the Valley” opens on Thursday, November 15 and will run through January 2019.
The gallery’s recent announcement also included details about the final exhibition at its current location, a group show called “Til the Lights Go Out” curated by artist Scott Ingram, whose work was included in “Easy Air” at Hathaway earlier this year. The exhibition will feature site-specific wall drawings, paintings, and installations by a remarkable roster of artists including Paul Stephen Benjamin, Krista Clark, William Downs, Craig Drennen, Lonnie Holley, Wihro Kim, Kirstin Mitchell, Joseph Peragine, and Amy Pleasant, among others. According to Hathaway’s announcement, the artwork will be torn down with the building. In his statement accompanying news of the show, Ingram said that “curating an exhibition in an art gallery that will be destroyed just days after [it] closes shouldn’t be surprising. It is hard to meet an artist in Atlanta who hasn’t been affected by these shifts in our landscape.” Making the most of the building’s imminent destruction, he called “Til the Lights Goes Out” “an opportunity to create without the limitations of a future functioning space.” The group exhibition will open concurrently with Tinsley’s “Down in the Valley” on Thursday, November 15.
As a note of disclosure, Tori Tinsley worked part-time as development coordinator at BURNAWAY prior to going on maternity leave preceding the birth of her son.