In 1962 a chartered plane crashed in Orly, France, killing 106 of Atlanta’s core art patrons. Afterward, it seemed the light went out of the art scene here. But three years later, a group of energetic, civic-minded women lit the spark again, establishing the Forward Arts Foundation to support the visual arts, the group’s mission then and now.
Jewelry artist Judie Raiford’s multidisciplinary gallery has been a Roswell institution since 1996. She talked with us about how she began making jewelry and whether the DIY movement has helped or hurt galleries.
“I find embracing so-called women’s work to be very cathartic and meditative,” says Zipporah Camille Thompson. “I’m creating my own narrative, while embracing the narrative of those matriarchs who came before and used their hands to create things.”
Every morning, Anita Darling walks barefoot to her backyard greenhouse in Suwanee. She stands still, feeling the dew under her feet, sips her coffee, and prays—in order to align herself with God and nature before starting to draw.
Painter Niki Zarrabi is not the first artist to draw inspiration from the femininity, fertility, and mortality of flowers, but her surrealist series on the subject, Femme Petale, feels fresh and modern.
An autographed poster by painter Varnette Honeywood from the 1990 National Black Arts Festival hangs in muralist Ashley Dopson’s living room. Family visits to the festival inspired her own interest in art. “That era was a time when people were very aware of the legacy of Black art,” Dopson, 37, says. “For a little girl like me, I felt like I could do this and make a living at it.”
An avid student of contemporary art, Tracy Murrell made it her career after first working in nonprofits and music marketing. But looking back on her childhood in Biloxi, she realizes the draw was perhaps inevitable.
In a 1957 Time magazine article, the iconic German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe famously said of furniture made by architects: “A chair is a very difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier. That is why Chippendale is famous.” That’s why, when Atlanta architect Jonathon Quinn decided to become a furniture maker, he started with a chair.
Experimental artist Leisa Rich expresses her creativity using fabrics, found objects, and eco-plastics
The Atlanta artist talks about working with fiber, her upcoming Invisible:VisAble exhibit at the Abernathy Arts Center, and the children's book she wrote and illustrated.