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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.”
Whitespace gallery owner Susan Bridges and Living Walls founder Monica Campana on what Atlanta's artists' community needs and what the future holds.
Brandon Sadler's work caught the eye of Hannah Beachler, who hired him to paint the walls in Shuri’s (T’Challa’s sister) laboratory for Black Panther—one of the sets that helped Beachler become the first African American to be nominated for, and then the first to win, an Oscar for production design.
Louder Than Words: Zuckerman Museum of Art’s newest exhibition spotlights artists who practice nonverbal communication
Zuckerman Museum of Art’s new exhibition, Louder than Words, focuses on the idea that a strong voice doesn’t necessarily need words. Teresa Bramlette Reeves, the museum’s director of cultural affairs, curated the exhibition to focus on 21 artists who practice nonverbal communication in all its forms, from protest or sign language to silent performance. We chatted with three of the show’s Atlanta-based artists about their work.
For the past 20 years, Corrina Sephora’s name has been synonymous with metal. But when the artist’s mother was died to cancer in 2017, Sephora wondered: Had she done everything she wanted to do? Sephora decided to “throw myself into my work in a new way. To really touch on my emotions, my intuition. I see [my new work] as a sort of storytelling, a form of meditation in the making.”
Formerly a designer with Musso Design Group, Daniel Zimmerman (an Atlanta artist and interior designer) and another former Musso colleague, Seth van den Bergh, recently launched their own design firm, the Drawing Room.
Forget paintbrushes. Artist Erica Doggett-Alphin, who goes by Erica Elle, wields a blowtorch to create her kaleidoscopic paintings. “I’m a scientist in a lab,” says the Memphis native. “I started playing around with resin and alcohol-based paints, and when I mixed in fire, it made a flame. When the flames went down, I noticed that it created really cool textures.”
"Five years ago, none of this was here,” artist Derek Donnelly says as we wander through the brick-paved alleyway that runs behind the 600 block of Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg. He’s not referring to the buildings, some of which date to the early 1900s, but to the arresting murals splashed across their backsides.
Following the tradition of cityscape artists like Edward Hopper, Ana Guzman often has a sketchbook in hand, ready to capture urban life in front of her. Passengers usually keep to themselves on MARTA, earbuds in place and eyes locked on their phones. But when Guzman pulls out her paint pens and starts drawing, fellow riders begin to interact.
When not working part-time at Pizza Hut, she would while away hours downtown at the library or the Five Points MARTA station, writing poetry or listening to a CD if she had batteries. It planted the seed for ChopArt, a nonprofit that Whitley, now 28, founded to help homeless children and teens find dignity, community, and opportunity through art.