The BURNAWAY Art Writers Mentorship Program launched in January 2015. Each cycle is six months long and features a mix of local and national critics. Here are some of the terrific writers who have made our program such a success!
Jami Moss Wise is a contributor to BURNAWAY and owner of Fred Wise Studio with her artist husband. A native of Tennessee, she spent several years in academia, including one year as a Brittain Fellow at Georgia Tech. In 2002 she joined the development office at Columbia Theological Seminary, on to Duke University. She holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. from Duke. She is particularly interested in racial and class politics informing contemporary artistic practices. She also writes about food.
Ariana Yandell is a second-year graduate student of Art History at Georgia State University, with a focus on Modern and Contemporary Art. She is also the fall 2016 graduate resident at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, a position in which she will experience every facet of a museum setting. Previously she was a special events intern at The Tubman Museum in Macon, Georgia, and assisted with curating a textile exhibition with SEFAA and the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center. She received her BA in Art History from Georgia College and State University.
Shelley Danzy is completing her MFA in writing at Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta and believes art is a gift in itself. With a background in broadcast and print communications, she contributes to SCAD’s newspaper, The Connector. Select nonfiction work has been published in The Huffington Post and SCAD’s Ivy Hall Review, Document, and SCAN magazine. She also works closely with SCAD’s Ivy Hall Writers Series and its Young Writers Workshop. She has a BA degree in communications from Morgan State University.
Madeline Bates is a writer based in Athens, Georgia where, in December 2015, she received a BA in Art History from the University of Georgia. A lifelong musician, she was drawn to art history for the resonance she felt between the visual and musical arts. Intersections of the arts are the main focus of her work. Madeline’s published work appears primarily in the Flagpole Magazine, Athens’s major arts and culture publication. She is also the curator for local contemporary art shows at Creature Comforts Brewing Co. in Athens.
Mery Lynn McCorkle
Mery Lynn McCorkle is a visual artist living in Rome, GA. An MFA graduate of the University of Oregon in 1979, she has patiently plied her craft. Additionally, she has written three novels revolving around art scenes she knows intimately, New York and Los Angeles, where she was also an independent curator of thematic group exhibitions.
Ellesse Garvin is a recent graduate of the Art History program at Spelman College. There she immersed herself in Spelman College Museum of Fine Art to learn about art programming, administration and curation. She participated in the United Negro College Fund and Association of Art Museum Directors joint initiative to foster diversity in museum professionals, was an apprentice to Fahamu Pecou, and participant in the Mellon Curatorial Summer Academy at the High Museum. Though she loves contemporary art, she also studied painting as well as Renaissance and modern art in various parts of Italy. Her other interests include art of the Africa Diaspora, visual/popular culture, race and representation, black feminist criticism, womanism, and identity politics.
Anne Collins Smith
Anne Collins Smith is the Curator of Collections at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. She is a cultural curator, art historian, and cultural worker in the literary, visual, and performing arts. Smith received a B.A. in English and Art History from Spelman College and an M.A. in Visual Arts Administration at New York University. She served as an intern at the Cinque Gallery, as the Romare Bearden Fellow at the Saint Louis Art Museum, and the Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow at the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College Smith’s interests include: arts, the economy, and social uplift; arts leadership; audience development; cosmopolitanism; the evolving role of the curator; material culture; public art; visual culture; and African Diasporic continuity in artistic and cultural practices.
Elizabeth Vogan graduated from the University of Georgia with a BA in studio art in 2014. There she spent her time with ceramics and video installations. She first started writing about art for Ampersand magazine in Athens, GA and has since become an editorial intern for BURNAWAY. By combining her love of the arts with her passion for writing, she has discovered a new element to writing that she continues to explore. Words are endlessly expressive and she is excited to learn more about the art of writing about art through this mentorship program.
Susan Mackey is an arts professional currently working as the Assistant to the Director at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Prior to that, Susan interned in the African Art Department of the High, and did exhibition and archival work at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Art and Culture in Charlotte, North Carolina. She received a dual degree with highest honors in Art History and Women’s Studies from Appalachian State University. Her primary interests are contemporary feminist art, art of the African Diaspora, and gender and racial equality within art museums.
Hannah Spears is a writer and curator from Oxford, MS. Since receiving her BA in Art History from Vassar College in 2014, she has been working as gallery assistant and assistant curator at Southside Gallery in Oxford and has begun to pursue a degree in Digital and Graphic Design through Parsons online. Her first published review appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of Number: Inc, an independent arts publication based in Memphis. She is also currently working on developing a website called Contemporary Art South that documents contemporary art exhibitions as they happen throughout the Southeastern US.
Madeleine Peck-Wagner received her BFA from Clark University and received her MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She has exhibited her work in Miami, Los Angeles, Asheville, Orlando, and Savannah. She has been a guest curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville and is currently an artist-in-residence at UF Health, a trauma one hospital in the urban center of Jacksonville, Florida. Engaged primarily in a drawing practice, her work addresses issues of consumerism, imperfection, and the myth of beauty.
Liz Constable is an educator, artist and writer living in Northern California where she teaches in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies and the University Writing Program at UC Davis. She has published articles in queer feminist film studies, contemporary European cinema and 19th- and 20th-century French and Francophone literature. Passionate about arts education and the power of the arts to raise critical issues about social justice, she brings her practice as a fiber artist into dialogue with art education to write about contemporary intersections of art and cultural activism.
Jovonna Jones is a writer, editor, and facilitator from New England. In May 2015, she received her B.A. with highest honors in African-American Studies from Emory University. As a Mellon Mays Fellow, Jovonna studied critical theory and photography at NYU, and at archives in Birmingham and London, England. Her work investigates tensions of Black visibility in public space and social thought. Jovonna is the co-founder of BlacQurl.com, a publication that amplifies black women’s voices in art and media. She has also published for Blavity and the Mellon Mays Peer-Reviewed Journal.
Stephanie Fritz works as the programs director for a non-profit arts organization in Macon, GA. She holds her B.S. in New Media and Communications from Middle Georgia State University. She has published an article in The Telegraph for Art Matters, a program engaging her local community through embedded arts journalism. As programs director, Fritz works on professional development workshops for artist’s entrepreneurs and is the gallery curator at Macon Arts Alliance.
Lauren M. Kritsas originally hails from the west coast of Florida, however relocated back to Macon just a few years ago where she now serves as the Director of Communications at the Macon Arts Alliance. Lauren earned a B.B.A. from the Mercer University Stetson School of Business and Economics, concentrating in marketing, management and advertising. Lauren continues to work in the public relations sector as she is passionate about storytelling and brand advocacy. Working in the arts challenges Lauren to be more creative and see more colorfully.
Claire Helm is a Southwest to South transplant living in Macon, Georgia. She graduated from Wesleyan College in 2014 with a degree in political science and international relations and currently works in marketing for a Middle Georgia nonprofit, is Director of Youth for a literary nonprofit, and is behind Pyhura Photo, her photography studio. Most of her work is inspired by nature and she loves working as a boudoir photographer in the Macon area. In her spare time she enjoys being with her rescue pit and painting.
Kellie Bornhoft is an artist and writer working in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 2013, she received her BFA in Fine Art from Watkins College of Art and Design in Nashville, Tennessee. Since graduation, she has exhibited her kinetic installation work at CAM in Raleigh, North Carolina; at Georgia State University in Atlanta; and at Kultur Anker in Magdeburg, Germany. Originating from a desire to see more dialogue in the Triangle Area, writing for Bornhoft is an integral part of her studio process.
Marea Haslett was born in Birmingham, Alabama, but grew up in the Atlanta area. As an MFA candidate in painting at the Savannah College of Art and Design, she enjoys the mental processes of painting, sculpting, and writing. She graduated from the University of North Georgia before entering the field of teaching. As an art educator, she assists in writing curriculums, grants, promotional materials, and the school’s literary magazine. Recently, she completed an internship with The Art Section.
Logan Lockner is a writer living in Atlanta. As a Robert W. Woodruff Scholar, Logan studied English literature and linguistics at Emory University and University College London, concentrating on the work of Virginia Woolf. He has written about art, music, and politics for The Emory Wheel, and his writing has also appeared online in Oxford American, Paste, on the blog of The Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. [Logan is now BURNAWAY’s Assistant Editor.]
Stephanie S. Scott, a native of Southern California, began her career in the arts while still an undergraduate at Spelman College. She has worked in a variety of arts professions, including film and television casting, theatrical stage management, and arts festival management. In addition to a BA in English and drama, Stephanie holds an MLIS from Long Island University and a M.Div. from the Interdenominational Theological Center. She writes and has taught graduate seminars on the intersection of the arts and religious practice.
Matthew Terrell works as a communications professional in the Atlanta arts nonprofit community. Terrell currently works for Dad’s Garage Theatre as communications director. He writes regularly for BURNAWAY Magazine and Huffington Post. Terrell’s writing focuses on queer culture and art, technology’s influence on culture, and the photographic image. His proudest moment was, while researching an article on Keith Haring’s work in Atlanta, finding a missing fragment of a Haring mural. Terrell exhibits his surrealistic photography. He has a BFA and MFA in writing from SCAD, and an MA in communications from Georgia State University.
Anne Weems is a second year graduate student at Georgia State University, having previously completed her BA at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. She is now completing her MA in art history, with a focus on globalization and cultural hybridity in contemporary art. Anne is the president of the Art Student Union at GSU, a position in which she organizes and curates student exhibitions through the city of Atlanta. In addition, she currently works as an intern at MINT Gallery, acting as the assistant to the Gallery & Creative Director.
Not pictured: Patrice Worthy, Carolyn Rose Milner, and Greg Head.
Our Inaugural Class
Shantay Robinson earned an MFA in Writing from SCAD. There, she studied art history and criticism, as well as writing for publications. She served as a Docent at the High Museum of Art, where she learned about the museum’s exhibitions and how to speak publicly about art. She also presented a paper at the SCAD Symposium on Art and Fashion: From Peplos to Petticoat to Punk. Hosting her blog, The Third Eye Site, allowed her to look closely at the arts in Atlanta. She has also written artists profiles for AFROPUNK and Urban Lux Magazine.
Linnea West, a recently returned native of Athens, Georgia, is a writer and art blogger pursuing a master’s degree in art history at the University of Georgia. Prior to this, Linnea lived in New York City and worked in book publishing. In 2012-13, she researched contemporary Hungarian art and national identity at the Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art in Budapest on a Fulbright grant.
Caroline is a native of Teaneck, NJ, where she grew up with a strong connection to the performing arts in New York City. Caroline graduated from Rutgers College with a major in English and served as Arts Editor of the campus newspaper. Her professional career took her to New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, where she has worked in publishing, advertising, and artist representation. She is married to film production designer Garreth Stover. They have two sons, Sam (22) and Jake (20).
Meta Gary has worked as an artist in Atlanta since 2005, making paintings and, more recently, video and installations. In 2012, she completed an MFA in graphic design from Georgia State University and is currently completing her MA, also at Georgia State University, in art history, with a focus on social practice in contemporary art.
Sean Mills attended the University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art. BASELINE SPORTSMEDIA first hired Sean to design print media for NCAA, NHL, NBA, and MLB franchises. As a studio artist, Sean has shown his oil paintings in regional juried exhibitions and national group shows. While exploring the art market of Beijing, he was encouraged to begin writing about contemporary art. Sean currently focuses on artists and trends in the visual arts. He writes articles for various online publications and creates “Best of” lists for CBS Atlanta.
Michelle Hamilton is an aspiring arts writer and student, fresh from Athens and the University of Georgia with a BA in history and art history. She is currently continuing her academic studies in pursuit of an MLIS degree, taking frequent study breaks for voracious reading, avid museum-going, and occasional visits to the zoo. A staunch supporter of local artists, Michelle can usually be found on the volunteer staff or among the crowd at art fairs and festivals all over North Georgia.
Katarina McClellan graduated with a BA in Art History and French Language from the University of Georgia in 2014. Having grown up in the cultural melting pot of the South, Katarina is constantly scouring Atlanta for new people, new places, and new opportunities with a vigorous interest in all things artistic, cinematic, and literary. When she’s not at home writing alongside her cat Tolstoy, Katarina works at R. Alexander Fine Art in marketing, gallery assistant, and translator for international artists.
Maggie Davis began writing art reviews in 2011. She has written about the High Museum’s acquisition of Julie Mehretu’s Mogamma IV, and reviewed the exhibitions “Painter’s Painter: Gifts from Alex Katz” and “Toulouse-Lautrec & Friends,” all of which appeared on BURNAWAY. Davis was co-moderator for the conversation series for Tanz Farm, Season III: FEED “The Artist Who Never Lies” and moderated the panel discussion “Who’s Suburbia” with photographer Sheila Pree Bright for the Roswell Roots Festival of Black History and Culture. Davis maintains a studio practice at the Goat Farm Arts Center where she explores painting as a means of thinking.
Rebecca Brantley lives in Athens, Georgia, and teaches for Piedmont College and the University System of Georgia. She serves as board president and occasional curator for ATHICA: Athens Institute for Contemporary Art. Her reviews of contemporary art have appeared in local and national periodicals. Recent publications include an essay on sculptor and filmmaker Matthew Barney in Contemporary Art About Architecture: A Strange Utility (Ashgate, 2013). Brantley maintains a part-time, though sporadic, studio practice; her paintings have appeared in regional and national exhibitions.