News Blog

Gallery 72 Hosts Artist Talk with Street Photographer Ken West

Gallery 72 Hosts Artist Talk with Street Photographer Ken West

Image Courtesy of Ken West

The Beauty of Everyday Thangs Artist Talk
Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7 pm

Gallery 72, 72 Marietta St. NW, Atlanta, GA

About the Artist Talk:
Images are often time capsules to days long forgotten, but the keepers of memories and moments in history we oftentimes forget to appreciate. Ken West’s “The Beauty of Everyday Thangs” is an exhibition his documentary photographs that seek to illustrate the natural beauty and power of these everyday moments. West’s series of images capture life in its purest form, unstaged and free of social influences.

During his talk, West will discuss his artistic influences, the creative process behind his work and the journey that helped produce this exhibition.

To learn more about Ken West and his work, visit

Gallery 72 Presents Dual Exhibits from Photographer Ken West

Gallery 72 Presents Dual Exhibits from Photographer Ken West


Ken West  

“The Beauty of Everyday Thangs” 


A-side:  October 18 – November 16, 2018, at Gallery 72  

B-side:  October 18 – December 31, 2018, at The Mayor’s Gallery @ City Hall

Opening Reception – Thursday, Oct. 25, 6 p.m. at Gallery 72  


The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs is pleased to announce a dual exhibition by photographer Ken West at Gallery 72 and The Mayor’s Gallery @ City Hall.

“The Beauty of Everyday Thangs” is an exhibition of documentary photos that illustrate the natural beauty and power of normalcy.

This series of images seeks to display a sliver of the emotional truth and power of our world as it is. Shot almost entirely using film cameras and captured over the past decade, these images speak to the values of simplicity and beauty that exist in all of us.

The photos cast aside the stereotypes associated with marginalized members of our society. Instead, the exhibit encourages audiences to appreciate the intricate realities of who we are and how we choose to live. Each image is the product of West’s conscious awareness of the importance and beauty of Now.

This exhibition will be exhibited in two City’s galleries. Part one will display at Gallery 72 on 72 Marietta St. NW with an opening reception on Thursday, Oct. 25, 6 p.m., at Gallery 72.

Part two of the exhibition will be at The Mayor’s Gallery @ City Hall located on the second floor of Atlanta City Hall Annex in the Mayor’s Executive Suite Foyer. Both exhibits are free and open to the public.

Please contact Gallery Supervisor, Kevin Sipp, for more information at 404-546-3220 or [email protected]. 

Gallery 72 Hosts Panel Discussion with Renowned Artist Deanna Sirlin

Gallery 72 Hosts Panel Discussion with Renowned Artist Deanna Sirlin

Respected artist will discuss her latest exhibit on Thursday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.

Image courtesy of

On Color: A Panel Discussion
Thursday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.
Gallery 72, 72 Marietta St NW, Atlanta, GA
About the Panel Discussion:
The language and meaning of colors are central to the work of artists, scientists, chefs, musicians, and designers.
Designers use color to finding the right palette to bring life to their products. Musicians often think about the color of tonality and sound so they can produce body moving rhythms. Blending warm and cool tastes, Chefs use color relationships in creating their recipes. Pastry chefs, like chefs, use color as an element to sculpt their edible forms. Color is a crucial dimension of artistic expression; this can easily be seen in “Translucence,” an exhibition of new work by painter Deanna Sirlin.
This panel accompanies Sirlin’s exhibition by focusing on her primary concern as a colorist – the language of color. Speakers from a variety of fields will address what color means to them and how they use it or address it in their work.




  • Deanna Sirlin, artist
  • Euneika Rogers Sipp, multidisciplinary artist and designer, and founder of Destination Design School
  • Deborah VanTrece, chef of Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours
  • Daryl White, anthropologist, professor emeritus at Spelman College
  • Gregory Zinman, assistant professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology


Click here to RSVP for the panel discussion.


Gallery 72 Hosts Arts and Culture Podcast “Today Maybe Forever”

Gallery 72 Hosts Arts and Culture Podcast “Today Maybe Forever” 

Today Maybe Forever, a podcast hosted and produced by arts and cultural journalist Floyd Hall, will record a series of podcasts in Gallery 72 in the month of August, starting August XX

Featuring compelling ideas and discussion with extraordinary people, Today Maybe Forever discusses the importance of context and cultural memory in the arts, sciences, design and pop culture.

Subscribe and Listen to the newest episode on SoundCloud and iTunes.

Artist Deanna Sirlin to Exhibit New Artwork at Gallery 72

Artist Deanna Sirlin to Exhibit New Artwork at Gallery 72


The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Deanna Sirlin opening Thursday, August 16 at Gallery 72

This exhibition features 21 of Deanna Sirlin’s new works, including mixed media collages that incorporate both traditional art materials and pieces of her own works alongside elements of recycled and found objects. a site-specific large-scale window installation created exclusively for Gallery 72, and paintings on canvas.

Sirlin is well-known as a pioneer of using digitally printed transparent materials as a vehicle for her intensely colored abstract imagery. She has completed eight such installations around the world; this will be her first, new installation exhibited in Atlanta since 2006. Sirlin will also present a video work that she made in collaboration with New York artist Matthew Ostrowski.

As the artist herself states,

“My works employ collage because of a desire to hold a color in my hand and place the color into the composition.  The works are made by creating and finding color shapes that are cut into particular forms. My interest is in the interaction of color and shape; the structure is based on affinities and inclinations between and among the elements that are found, made, and rescued. Forms and shapes overlay each other–sections are embedded into the surface as a response. Elements conceal and reveal the underpinnings of the structure of map-like compositions that are also a kind of plan view. As I place each piece on each color in the composition, all is in response. I replay, reply and reaffirm with each piece in the individual conversation to create a place, a thought, and a pictorial idea.

I am repurposing my paintings and drawings into new works. With each piece of a former work that I hold in my hand and place within the new work, a new history is created that calls upon my past. I also create new pieces of color and add found images to this visual dialogue. Forms overlay, overlap, reveal and conceal as they are placed in the work.”

Opening Reception
Thursday, Aug. 16. from 6  p.m. to 9 p.m.

RSVP for the reception here.

Gallery 72 Hosts Panel Discussion on Development, Economics, and Race in Atlanta

Gallery 72 Hosts Panel Discussion on Development, Economics, and Race in Atlanta

The City of Atlanta’s Gallery 72 will present the panel discussion: Memory, Race, and Erasure in Urban Atlanta on Friday, July 6 from 7 pm to 9 pm.
The panel discussion, inspired by Gallery 72’s current exhibition, “The Compassionate Eye in Forgotten Atlanta,” will include panelists, Paul Crater, Maurice J. Hobson, Kelly Kristen Jones, C. Rose Smith and Mtamanika Youngblood, who will discuss concerns regarding development, economics, and race in Atlanta. 
Stop by Gallery 72 on July 6 for our artist talk and come see the current exhibit, showing until August 10.
About “The Compassionate Eye in Forgotten Atlanta” by Rusty Miller
Russell “Rusty” Stough Miller (1933-1992) grew up in Atlanta and decided he wanted to be a commercial photographer rather than work in the family printing business. Rusty Miller followed his personal passion on the weekends by documenting the people who lived in Old Fourth Ward, Vine City, Summerhill, Washington-Rawson and Buttermilk Bottoms, where there were unpaved streets, electricity was rare and life went on as usual, outside of the turmoil during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement activities in downtown Atlanta.

Gallery 72 Showcases “Forgotten Atlanta” in New Exhibit

Gallery 72 Showcases “Forgotten Atlanta” in New Exhibit

The City of Atlanta’s Gallery 72 is honored to present the first solo exhibition of Rusty Miller’s vintage and later photographs of Atlanta, circa 1960s to 1970s, in “The Compassionate Eye in Forgotten Atlanta.”  The exhibition, in collaboration with curator Susan Todd-Raque, features a selection of 50 photographs portraying the people in various communities now gone or changed forever.

Russell Stough Miller (1933-1992) grew up in Atlanta and decided he wanted to be a commercial photographer rather than work in the family printing business. Rusty Miller followed his personal passion on the weekends by documenting the residents of Old Fourth Ward, Vine City, Summerhill, Washington-Rawson and Buttermilk Bottoms, where there were unpaved streets, electricity was rare and life went on as usual, outside of the turmoil during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement activities in downtown Atlanta,

Stored away for more than 20 years by friends and then his daughter, Miller’s photographs now give visibility to those who were marginalized and invisible to the world at the time.  There is a simple connection to people, their spirit and their hearts, rarely seen in photography today.  Each image is a fresh experience captured.  Children laughing and giggling as they squish into a makeshift go-cart made from a fruit crate or as they roll old tires in a race down a hill.  Whether sitting on a porch or hanging near the local grocery store, men and women are making small talk on a hot summer day and watching people go by.  We see life in Atlanta’s neighborhoods soon to be destroyed or negatively affected by the building of the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.  The bus series from the 1970s shaped another setting for Miller to quietly study the moods of the passengers; some lost in thought and distant from Miller, others aware of his camera.

This is where we need YOU, the people of Atlanta!  Please come and help us identify who the people are and where the places were.  Their history is unfinished and we would like to give recognition to those who have been forgotten.

Panel Discussion: Memory, Race, and Erasure in Urban Atlanta.
July 6, 2018 from 7  p.m. to 9 p.m.

Panelist: Paul Crater, Maurice J. Hobson, Kelly Kristen Jones, and Mtaminika Youngblood

For more information please contact the gallery at 404.546.3220 or [email protected]

Upcoming Exhibition at Gallery 72 – Call and Response, 40 years of Atlanta Jazz Festival Art

Upcoming Exhibition at Gallery 72 – Call and Response, 40 years of Atlanta Jazz Festival Art

The exhibition will feature a selection of artworks that were used over the years to create posters for the Atlanta Jazz Festival. The exhibition will feature the artwork of notable artist such as Wadsworth Jarrell, Sam Middleton, Michael Bryan, Charly Palmer, Zachariah A. Anderson, Anthony Liggins, Latrelle Dubose, Corey Barksdale and others. The exhibition will open April 27TH with a reception to take place May 4th. The show will run until June 1st 2017.

Opening Reception at Gallery 72!

Opening Reception at Gallery 72!

Join us Thursday, February 16th, for the opening reception of our new exhibition- Southern Graphics Council International Conference Exhibition Featuring University of Georgia Alumni.

Gallery 72 to Host City of Atlanta Employee Arts Exhibit

Gallery 72 to Host City of Atlanta Employee Arts Exhibit


About OCA

The City of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) was established in 1974 to encourage and support Atlanta’s cultural resources. The initial mission was to solidify the role that arts and other cultural resources play in defining and enhancing the social fabric and quality of life of Atlanta citizens and visitors.

Today the OCA understands that the arts play an essential role in defining the cultural vitality of the city and is working to enhance Atlanta’s reputation as a cultural destination. The OCA aims to provide programs that contribute substantially to the city’s economy and quality of life.

The Office of Cultural Affairs’ programming is executed in four key areas:  Arts and Education Services, Contracts for Arts Services, Performing Arts, and Public Art.  The OCA also manages the Chastain Arts Center/City Gallery at Chastain and Gallery 72.  Our individual programs are:

The Cultural Experience Project (CEP), which aligns the City of Atlanta with the philanthropic arm of business organizations throughout the area, provides opportunities for over 30,000 Atlanta Public School (APS) students, Pre-K through 12th Grade, to experience the broad range of Atlanta’s premiere cultural venues and artistic programs at no cost to the student.

Contracts for Arts Services (CAS) and power2give/Atlanta annually contribute funding to arts organizations and individual artists for art projects and experiences in Atlanta. This allows us to support artistic efforts throughout the city and provide an opportunity for arts organizations to raise additional funds within the community through our online fundraising tool, power2give/Atlanta.

The Atlanta Jazz Festival (AJF) welcomes thousands of residents and visitors to Piedmont Park for our annual free, multi-day jazz festival each Memorial Day Weekend. The Atlanta Jazz Festival, Incorporated , a 501(c)(3), supports AJF programming through donations and the support of its members, the 35 for 35 Society, a philanthropic group comprised of individuals dedicated to the preservation of jazz.

The Public Art Program (PAP) focuses on the conservation and maintenance of Atlanta’s Public Art Collection and also produces ELEVATE, an annual free Public Art festival featuring local, national and international artists throughout the city.  ELEVATE has been named one of the Top 50 Public Art Projects in the Country by Americans for the Arts and has also been nominated for the Livable Cities Award.  The PAP also manages City of Atlanta Public Art Audio Tours which focus on educating the residents and guests about Atlanta’s Public Art Collection located in the central downtown Atlanta area.

Chastain Arts Center (CAC) serves over 500 students, employs about 30 instructors and continues to maintain a steady stream of revenue from class enrollment, Art a la Carte summer camp, and the Shop at Chastain. The City Gallery at Chastain hosts exhibitions throughout the fiscal year, adding to Atlanta’s unique cultural landscape.

The Office of Cultural Affairs also interfaces with the international community by providing opportunities for cultural exchange. These exchanges are evident in our programming for the Atlanta Jazz Festival, ELEVATE, and workshops in our facilities by artists, primarily from Atlanta’s Sister Cities.   In addition, the OCA routinely works with the Airport Art Program and the Atlanta Beltline on their initiatives, including representation on artist selection panels, and oversight of their installations.



Friday, July 22, 2016

On July 22nd, 2016 the City of Atlanta- Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs introduced a new ELEVATE event called ELEVATE: Summer. This new event was the beginning of making ELEVATE a year-round public art experience with seasonal programming. ELEVATE: Summer took place on Broad St. SW from 3:00-11:00pm. This one day event featured performance art, dance, music, public art installations by nearby arts organizations, an artist market, and food trucks. The purpose of ELEVATE: Summer was to bring attention to the performing arts of Atlanta and the state of Georgia while also showcasing the arts organizations that have created an arts district in the Broad St. SW area. Atlanta artist and long-time contributor to the arts, Priscilla Smith, was the emcee for the day.

During ELEVATE: Summer event, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs announced its plans for the sixth annual ELEVATE public art festival, to occur later this year in October. The week-long ELEVATE public art festival will take place from October 13-21, 2016 along Broad Street SW in South Downtown. Included in this announcement was the unveiling of the ELEVATE curatorial team—comprised of Allie Bashuk, Monica Campana, Pastiche Lumumba and Mark DiNatale. This diverse curatorial team will help bring unique public art experiences through the festival theme “Microcosm.”

ELEVATE: Summer Programming:

For ELEVATE: Summer the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) partnered with Poetry Slam Inc. to bring Georgia poetry slam groups Java Monkey, Just N Thyme, Fountain City and Art Amok to the event. Additionally, OCA curated an artist market and commissioned the 5 arts organizations  (i.e. Mammal Gallery, Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery, Downtown Player’s Club, Murmur, and Broad Street Visitors Center) in South Downtown to create art installations for ELEVATE: Summer.

Fountain City Slam Poets

Fountain City Slam Poets

Artistic Director of the Natya Dhaara Performing Arts Center, Uma Palam Pulendran

Artistic Director of the Natya Dhaara Performing Arts Center, Uma Palam Pulendran

Ajmal " Mas Man" Millar's performance "We Are One"

Ajmal ” Mas Man” Millar’s performance “We Are One”

Mausiki Scales & the Common Ground Collective

Mausiki Scales & the Common Ground Collective

BOSCO and Speakerfoxxx

BOSCO and Speakerfoxxx

Brandon English's Black Lives Matter Photography Exhibit at Broad Street Visitors Center

Brandon English’s Black Lives Matter Photography Exhibit at Broad Street Visitors Center

Dream Collection Agency takes over Downtown Player's Club

Dream Collection Agency takes over Downtown Player’s Club

Precarious Bodies exhibition at Murmur

Precarious Bodies exhibition at Murmur

ELEVATE summer launch party web resolution files

William Kennedy’s 32 CRT TV wall installation in the entrance of Mammal Gallery.

Summer 8

Art On The Wall artist painting live


Paul Stephen Benjamin: Come Over

February 25th – April 7th, 2016

“Come Over,” an exhibition by award winning artist Paul Stephen Benjamin, focused on the politics of aesthetics, (mis) representation, and cultural assumption. Words and images, unhinged from their initial context and meaning, were re-mixed into critical confrontations that called into question our historical perceptions of ourselves and others. Benjamin used language and visuals to interrogate long established cultural narratives, and their casual acceptance by and effect on the American public.

“Come Over” is an invitation to closely look at black: the color, the people, and by his own merit, the culture of blackness. Through centuries of oppression, the black body has been left abused by the system, engendering feelings of inadequacy in the collective psyche. Benjamin’s work is an affirmation, a piecing together of the broken and bruised body to be made beautiful again.” –

About the Artist

Paul Stephen Benjamin received his BA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his MFA from Georgia State University. Benjamin is a recipient of the 2014 Artadia Award. Recently, he was featured in the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center exhibition “Coloring” and is currently on view at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta–his work titled “Black is the Color” is on view on the contemporary art floor.

He was also featured in the group exhibition Emerging Artist Award Winners 15th Year Retrospective Exhibition at The Swan Coach House. Among his awards to date are the Winnie B. Chandler Fellowship, Diasporal Rhythms Artists Recognition Award, Hambidge Fellowship, The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center Studio Program and the Forward Arts Emerging Artists Award.






Images/Video of the Come Over Exhibition



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Joni Younkins-Herzog

Artist Resume

Artist Email: [email protected]

Artist Website:

Medium: sculpture, metal, stone, fiberglass

Artist Statement

I grew up in the suburban sprawl outside of Atlanta, Georgia. After enjoying extended undergraduate studies in Athens, Georgia I moved to pursue my MFA in Sculpture from Indiana University. My work has been featured in exhibitions across the country, including New York, Fort Lauderdale, San Francisco, the “Art Prize” in Grand Rapids, Michigan; internationally in Pabianice, Poland; Cajabamba, Peru, and recently in Sang Arts Village, Ghana where I created large outdoor works. My sculptures combine beauty with absurdity often blurring the lines between reality and fantasy. Utilizing many mediums, I lure the viewer in with luscious colors and materials, to contemplate anxious content in close proximity.

My search for beauty and purpose manifests into forms that abstract femininity and vitality. Reshaping the body reflects a delight in making allegory; combined with grafting elements of the human form demonstrating my curiosity about science, medicine and the search for human perfection. My sculptures are hybrids, psychological mythologies, and manifestations of our bodies. Within my work the human body is displaced retaining ranges of recognizable features-but what remains behind is an interest in the dispersal and fertilization of the feminine mystique. I am exploring the metaphors of flowers with shifts in scale and material. I like to emphasize the physical strain and tension present in actual flower petals as they push to open and invite pollination. My objective is to ask the viewer to confront the interior and exterior space with an invitation to peek inside.





October 15, 2015 – November 12, 2015

When Rico Wade, Ray Murray and Pat “Sleepy” Brown formed Organized Noize in the early 1990s, hip-hop was in the midst of a vicious (and ultimately fatal) bi-coastal turf war.  While historically polarized between (North) East Coast rap artists and West Coast rap artists, Organized Noize completely changed the direction of hip-hop culture, its sounds and expression.

This exhibition traced the legacy of Organized Noize and their Dungeon Family Collective (which includes Outkast, Goodie Mob, Joi, Slimm Cutta Calhoun, Big Rube and more) from their dirt-floor basements to stages around the world. The exhibition featured archival items from Organized Noize and the Dungeon Family including photographs, artwork, studio equipment, notebooks, costumes and more.

This exhibition was a part of the ELEVATE 2015 Program. For more information, please visit our ELEVATE page.

Exhibition Press/Reviews

Creative Loafing

Rolling Out

Georgia State University: African American Studies

Ray Cornelius Blog

Tuc Magazine

Southern Spaces



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October 19-27, 2012


ELEVATE 2012 opened with a vivacious block party on South Broad Street.  View Creative Loafing’s Photo Gallery of the Opening Block Party here:

2012 ART 

South Broad St. Mural Paintings

ELEVATE 2012 brought four of the world’s most interesting street artists from around the world to Atlanta to create mural paintings on four South Broad Street building facades. These murals are still up on South Broad!

       Artists were:




Born- Atlanta, GA


Push- Los Angeles, CA


HENSE- Atlanta, GA

iPhone Images 065

TILT- Toulouse, France

Other ART Projects Included:

Roni Nicole, Lillian Blades, Linda Costa, Banho De Luz- “Banho De Luz”- Carnegie Education Pavilion

Mixed Media installation and interactive video event featuring the art of Lillian Blades, Linda Costa, and Roni Nicole Henderson.  A historical monument of the City of Atlanta located at John Portman Boulevard and Peachtree Street, the Carnegie Education Pavilion was the site for an ambitious interactive ELEVATE project. A quilt like drapery by Lillian Blades, laden with LED lights enclosed the existing structure transforming the pavilion into a softly glowing public space. Passerbys were invited into the monument where they become the subject of an art- piece by photographer Linda Costa, best known for light painting and long exposure artworks. Photographs were then projected for public viewing in real time within the plaza area by video artist Roni – Nicole.

Pierre Rigal Dance, Toulouse France

Jessica Caldas, Avien Reese, Back on My Feet


Randy Walker, Colorfalls Woodruff Park Fountain

Woodruff Park Fountain, a landmark of downtown scenery, was the site of a subtle installation by Minnesota artist Randy Walker. The installation piece subtly integrates colored fibers behind the water fall feature on the fountain. This artwork examines the impact of even a slight creative transformation to heighten the public’s awareness of their environment.

Adrian Barzaga, Save it or Pave it

Located at 143 Alabama street, this five story building, once serving as a thriving hub of activity for the Atlanta Constitution may potentially be removed upon the construction of Atlanta’s new Metro Modal Passenger Transport. Numerous activist groups are currently working to save and memorialize this building advocating for the structure’s importance and historical significance. Through this minimal contemporary facade design, the artist looks to illustrate the nervous human-like energy within the building as it currently knows not what the future holds in store.



The Imaginary Million- The artwork of 100 artists was on display at the 200 Peachtree Street Atrium. During the evening, each of the 100 artists bid on the work of his peers with $10,000 in “play” money. At the end of the night, artists took home the work they won, and no real money was exchanged.


See another promo video for ELEVATE 2012 here:


Elevate logo new


August 26 – October 29, 2011


2011 was the inaugural year for ELEVATE programming. For 66 days, almost 30 artists presented 19 temporary installations and 26 live performances in the heart of downtown Atlanta, breathing new life into vacant storefronts and activating nearby public places. Elevate: Art Above Underground attempted to transform and connect underused sites in Underground Atlanta into an open-air, living art gallery that attracted more than 10,000 visitors and set the stage for future art initiatives downtown.

The entertainment and retail complex known as Underground Atlanta, with its rich history that predates the Civil War and its prime central location, continues to be an area in transition. Its wide pedestrian plazas, surrounded by Georgia State University, the hub of MARTA’s rapid transit system and all major government complexes, make the area active with people day and night. Yet many have rarely visited a formal art gallery setting. Our goal was to present art that was accessible and inviting for downtown’s many populations, as well as Atlanta’s art community. The idea was to continue the conversation about contemporary, often experimental approaches to art in a public setting.

Art was placed in full-length storefront windows, painted on walls many stories high, installed along sidewalks and in unexpected places throughout the Underground Atlanta complex and spaces nearby. Due to high vacancy rates, availability of empty space was plentiful. However, working closely with building owners to identify and reserve easily accessible sites became an ongoing exercise in flexibility due to an ever-changing real estate market.


Burnaway Review- Elevate / Art Above Underground Takes Art Outdoors and Downtown

Nathan Sharratt Performance via Burnaway

Burnaway Flikr Photo Gallery

Youtube Gallery

Map of the Artworks

Download a PDF detailing the 2011 projects


Artists from Spain, Chile, France, Argentina and Portugal showed their work side-by-side with artists from Atlanta (72 percent) as well as artists from Miami, New York and Washington State.



2 KIDS AND A DREAM is an inter-disciplinary group of many talented Atlanta artists working in dance, music, theater and social commentary. Their performance titled What cha’ Don’t Wanna Tap Into spoke directly to the down side of negative lifestyle choices like drugs an d physical violence that rob our community’s vitality. Instead, the upbeat choreography and amplified sounds offered positive alternatives.



LILLIAN BLADES of Atlanta produced a seating environment with four benches surrounding a central totem encrusted in the rich colors, shapes and textures of assemblage and mosaics. Memory Totem paid tribute to Underground Atlanta’s railroad history and its historic Zero Mile Post, marking the spot where the city limits and its railroad system began. Calling upon roots in her native Bahamas, Blades honors ancestral and matriarchal traditions of creating memory sculptures from cast off pieces of mirror, tile and every day objects. During several public workshops, participants were invited to sift through the artist’s collection of loose trinkets to add their own personal touches to the installation, changing it over time.



CHRIS CHAMBERS of Atlanta uses vintage television sets as his medium, stacked in various shapes. Each wall of TVs broadcast unexpected imagery and sounds that simultaneously ebb and flow to create one rhythmic kinetic painting. Chambers’ site-specific installation in a narrow storefront window used 32 televisions, placing the smallest sets up front. TV screens grew larger as they moved away from the window giving the illusion that every set was the same size when viewed from outside the window. An interactive component provided a box where anyone was invited to drop off videotapes that were integrated into the mix. Every 10 days, the TV walls were updated to incorporate images from donated tapes, adding another layer of random visuals to the finished product.



CARLOS EGUIGUREN, a photographer from Chile, spent two weeks in Atlanta to create his site-specific photo sculptures. The first week was for photographing the city and getting to know his surroundings. In the second week, he traveled between Atlanta and New York to perfect the technical aspects of Refections of Atlanta, two architectural images measuring eight feet, mounted on glass for a translucent effect. Each photograph was placed in a storefront window adjacent to the real location where the image was made. At night, the images glowed from back lighting to mimic surrounding lights reflecting on the downtown buildings featured in the photos.



SARAH EMERSON of Atlanta created site-specific window installations that used the actual full-length windows as her canvas. Working with colorful translucent vinyl, her piece titled Zero Mile referred to the historic post marking Atlanta’s first city limits, imagining how Atlanta was built up in the 1830s, burned to the ground in 1864 and rebuilt again and again. The artist was inspired by what the natural landscape might have looked like hundreds of years ago. By day, the whimsical cartoon-styled forest appeared opaque; at night, the landscape glowed like stained glass, echoing the sheen of the Georgia State Capitol Building’s gold dome nearby. Visit here for more images of the piece:



SIGNS FOR DIMES is a collaborative of muralists in Atlanta. Their project titled Window Shopping transformed vacant storefronts into an alternate shopping experience by offering things money just can’t buy. Using a nostalgic style of sign painting that recalled how downtown Atlanta’s retail shops looked in the 1940s, the artists created fantasy stores called Love Shop, Friend Emporium and Respect Store. The paintings became clever tricks of the eye that at frst glance appeared to be real shops. Using colorful graphics and humor, their work was a compelling statement on what’s really important in today’s commercialized world.



DOODLEDRAG was founded by Melissa Paternoster and street artist LNY who proudly use the tagline “Drawing is way cool.” This art collective from New York is known for engaging the public in drawing and gathering experiments on city streets and public transportation. During Elevate’s opening party, they led an interactive art piece called Chalk Mob where hundreds of drawings were created by Elevate participants. LNY also produced a mural on Pryor Street as part of the 2011 Living Walls conference that honors New York’s World Trade Center’s fallen towers. The figures in the mural are inspired by his two volunteer assistants throughout the project. The portraits show his appreciation of the collective efforts by many people required to bring his work to completion. Doodledrag led two drawing and painting forums for the public who contributed to a second mural also on Pryor Street.



ALICE LOVELACE AND LISA TUTTLE of Atlanta created Harriet Rising, a tribute to the heroic courage of former slave Harriet Tubman who led 70 slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad. The piece also honors eight courageous women working in Atlanta today on behalf of minorities and women including Grandmothers for Peace, SisterSong, Women of Color, Reproductive Health Collective and the Refugee Women’s Network. Eight towering columns featured a different story about Tubman and a portrait and statement from each local leader. All of the women are dressed in white in response to a recurring dream Tubman had in the years before her escape to freedom. Drawing parallels between Underground Atlanta’s historical significance in the Civil War and Atlanta’s role in the civil rights movement, the site was also used for poetry readings and performances led by poet Alice Lovelace.



FAHAMU PECOU is an internationally acclaimed painter in Atlanta who blends self portraiture with clever humor and false identities to tackle difficult issues in contemporary African American culture. In his work Rising Sons Lounge, he becomes the focal point of sensitive subjects such as black masculinity, using his art to address topics usually considered taboo and untouchable in public contexts, inviting the public into his space for candid discussion.



CORRINA MENSOFF, an Atlanta sculptor, presented three metal sculptures installed above Underground’s fountain plaza. Often using imagery of boats and ships as a metaphor, each piece was a variation of a rowboat being morphed into a bird’s body that seemed to fly over the water below. Mensoff owns Phoenix Metalworks specializing in sculpture, furniture and architectural work.



SAM3 of Spain is well known in his country as a street art legend for his powerful, large-scale public murals. Through a partnership with the 2011 Living Walls Conference and the City of Atlanta’s Offce of Cultural Affairs, Sam3 produced his frst mural in this country. It’s also arguably one of the tallest murals in the world. Covering over 15 stories, the image is intended to express a sense of hopefulness and a “full heart,” feelings the artist experienced while visiting Atlanta. Sam3’s murals are often painted in monochromatic tones and put emphasis on the negative space within each painting.



ALLISON RENTZ of Atlanta presented a provocative performance called Donorcycle. Based on a dream the artist had after the nuclear disaster in Japan, her performance brought attention to what she believes is the inherent danger of motorcycles. Both topics were addressed, as well as the importance of organ donation. Ten performers, dressed in full-body white hazardous materials suits, seemed to expand and contract following the artist’s cues, as if simulating breathing.



SUNDAY SOUTHERN ART REVIVAL is an Atlanta collective of five artists – George Long, Jesse Creegar, Michi Miko, Jon Tindel and Mario Schambon. Each one is a successful artist in their own right. Individual styles remain defined throughout their large-scale, collaborative public paintings on exterior storefront walls. By using vinyl imagery, stencils, paint and anything else they can find, the group produced a façade mural featuring a preacher holding a Bible in one hand; a gun in the other. The intricate and dynamic painting entices the viewer to look closely. The longer they look, more hidden layers are revealed.



NATHAN SHARRATT created a powerful performance piece titled Be My Blood Brother. The artist transformed a bleak, empty storefront to resemble a sleek yet nightmarish version of a doctor’s office. The public was invited to participate in several live performances, one at a time, where individuals sat across from Sharratt, looked him in the eye and trusted him by following his silent cues. Every blood brother left behind a fingerprint dipped in the artist’s fake blood. Each print was added to a new kind of family tree built by hundreds of people over the 66 days. Everyone was also photographed and images were posted on an interactive website where the artist encouraged comments and connections between his newly created brotherhood, a family that was both random and very deliberate.



DEANNA SIRLIN of Atlanta is well-known for her boldly colored installations on windows done in abstract painterly style. Her site-specific work titled C-Flow became a colorful carpet of cerulean, cobalt and ultramarine blues cascading over an otherwise blank concrete stairway in the center of Underground Atlanta, adding motion, texture and whimsy. Remi-niscent of cool water fowing over rocks, the striking image came even more alive when people interacted with it by walking and sitting on it.



VALERIA YAMAMOTO creates sculptures inspired by organic natural forms. In her site-specific wall installations titled Flying Away Composition IV, the artist worked with actual fight patterns of a flock of birds, then abstracted those patterns in cast hydro cal, a durable form of plaster.



ZYGOSIS is an artists’ collective at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s video and digital arts department. During Elevate’s opening night party, Zygosis presented a series of digital works titled Micro Macro. Storefront windows were transformed into back-lit projection screens that featured dioramas and digital face mapping with interactive videos that invited audience participation.



WONDERROOT was founded in 2004 in response to Atlanta’s need for a community arts center that unites art and advocacy. By blending two of its artistic disciplines – photography and their literary publication Loose Change magazine – the group presented On History and Condition.The project documented parts of downtown Atlanta in photographs that were enhanced by a written narrative intended to create new realities through storytelling. Believing that artists have the potential to change the world, WonderRoot supports more than 1,000 musicians, photographers, writers, flmmakers and visual artists in Atlanta by offering resources and support.



ESCIF is an internationally acclaimed street artist from Valencia, Spain known for his large-scale public murals. His work often draws connections between the image, the place around it and the actual surface where the mural is painted. In partnership with the 2011 Living Walls Conference, Escif was invited to Atlanta to produce his striking, six-story-tall mural especially for Elevate. The oversized red fire extinguisher with the caption “Emergency Only” brings color, unexpected scale and humor to the downtown environment.

F. GEOFFREY JOHNSON of Atlanta created Currents as an homage to moments in African American history blending old photographs, found objects and computer circuit boards. The artist views the circuit boards as a metaphor for currents of energy and struggles for freedom experienced by his ancestors dating back many generations. The circuits also represent the intelligence, strength and creative power shown by African Americans over time.

PRISCILLA SMITH AND EDWARD WENZER of Atlanta teamed up with video artist Neil Fried and dancer Taye Beasley to create a multi-media piece titled Reunion. Smith is a performance artist and Wenzer is a painter. All mediums came together in a video the group shot at the Five Points MARTA station in the heart of Underground. Several video clips were selected as still images that were painted on a wall near the train station. Digitally enhanced video clips were projected over the paintings to create an animated, living mural that was visible at night for one month during Elevate.

RUTH STANFORD of Atlanta presented a light installation titled Promise, a single vertical searchlight shooting upward into the night sky to mark Underground Atlanta’s location. Stanford reprogrammed the powerful beam, usually used for movie premieres and store openings, to be more subdued. The beam moved uncertainly – just enough to hint that something big might be happening.

OLA BAD is an Atlanta street artist who often uses smiles and dream catchers as visual symbols of hope and strength through optimism. The artist marked one mile of sidewalk in downtown Atlanta with the yellow letter “s.” Viewers were asked to begin at a spot on Peachtree Street and follow the winding path to experience their environment from a new perspective.

RICHARD ARNOLD of Atlanta created light boxes for storefront windows with hidden messages formed by hundreds of infrared LED lights. Messages, invisible to the naked eye, could only be read with a mobile phone or digital camera prompted by signs that led viewers to where each message was located. The artist’s intent was to make people think about how the tactile world can be perceived in many layers. By using technology to alter reality, Arnold was also making a statement on the future of the human experience.

THÉÂTRE DU RÊVE of Atlanta is the only French- speaking theater company in the U.S. For Elevate, they partnered with Derezo, a theater group from France to adapt an award-winning performance piece called Microfctions. Based on a novel by French writer Régis Jauffret, Microfctions features 500 very short stories that celebrate the diversity, fragility and commonalities of the human condition. Microfctions was performed in Paris in 2008 during a nine-hour event at the Théâtre du Rond-Point on the Champs Elysées. In Atlanta, eight site-specifc performances were adapted to Underground Atlanta’s urban landscape. Small groups were taken to hidden alleys and balconies they would probably not experience or even notice on their own. Performances included storytelling, puppetry and a live jazz concert by local and French musicians.



October 29, 2011

What an extravaganza it was! The nonstop energy of live performance in a carnival atmosphere crystallized the contribution Elevate brought to downtown Atlanta. Concentrated in two blocks in the center of Underground, more than 100 artful performers made the streets come alive by attracting about 1,000 people throughout the night. The action was presented in four themes beginning with a Halloween-styled celebration geared to kids and families. A creative costume contest was featured along with dance performances by Moving in the Spirit and the twirling neon hula hoops of HoopEssence. The energy ramped up as the program moved into a Carnival theme with fre eaters, stilt walkers and acrobats from The Imperial Opa Circus, Liquid Sky Aerial, Museé du Coeur, Howie the Great and the Thimble Rig Circus. Next was a dynamic two-hour segment called Disguise with performances by contemporary artists 2 Kids and a Dream, Lelavision, Allison Rentz and Medeology Collective.The finale took a Salon theme with unforgettable burlesque-style performances by the Syrens of the South.


Now thru December; Chastain Arts Center’s Annual Holiday Show & Sale

Now thru December 23rd, Chastain Arts Center’s Annual Holiday Show & Sale continues in the City Gallery at Chastain until 5:00 pm each day.

Each year, the Holiday Show & Sale features work skillfully crafted by Chastain Arts Center instructors and students and promises an incredible variety of jewelry, pottery, paintings, prints, scarves, garden art, photographs, and more! Support local artists and find one of a kind, handmade, and affordable gifts and fine art.

We guarantee there will be something to suit any taste and budget.

The arts center is located in Chastain Park.   Call 404.252.2927 for details.


Chastain News And Events – Archives





Join us at the Chastain Art Center’s Holiday Show and Sale!  One of our largest fundraisers, the Show and Sale offers instructors and students an opportunity to showcase their talents.

This marketplace event will feature items from across the disciplines that have been created at the center.

This year’s Show and Sale will run from Novmeber 7th to January 3rd.

An opening reception will be held on the 7th from 6-8pm.

Come do some holiday shopping and view the fantastic work being produced at Chastain!



Visit the Chastain Arts Center Gallery through September 20th to see THE SCHOOL. The exhibition consists of work by artists Bethany Collins, Carina D. Maye, Joe Lester, Michael Scoggins, Andrew Crawford and Paul Stephen Benjamin.  The exhibit showcases work inspired by objects you would see in a school with varied conceptual meanings.  From Andrew Crawford’s sculptural ruler to Michael Scoggins oversized report, this show puts a conceptual spin on school supplies.

August 15 – September 20, 2014

Chastain Arts Center Gallery   135 West Wieuca Rd. NW      Atlanta. GA 30342

Admission: FREE






*Dates Changed*

May 9 – May 30, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, May 9, 6:00pm-8:00pm





2014 OCA Emerging Artist Award Exhibition
Featuring Award recipients
Aubrey Longley-Cook & Jessica Caldas



March 17- April 17
Closing Reception –  April 16th, 6:30 – 8:00pm
135 W. Wieuca Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30342


Atlanta – The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs is proud to announce the recipients of the Emerging Artist Award, as part of the Contracts for Arts Services program. An exhibition, showcasing the work of this year’s recipients, will be on view at the Chastain Arts Center Gallery, 135 W. Wieuca Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30342, starting on the 17th of March.  The exhibition’s closing reception will take place at the Gallery on April 16th from 6:30-8:00pm.  For gallery hours, please call 404-252-2927.The 2014 Emerging Artist Award will be presented to Jessica Caldas, a visual artist, and Aubrey Longley-Cook, a media artist. Each artist will receive a $1,500 grant.  During the reception, Councilmember Natalyn Archibong will also present each artist with an official Proclamation on behalf of the Atlanta City Council.

“Atlanta is recognized as one of the top cities in which to make a living as an artist,” said Camille Russell Love, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “This award is one of the ways that we support professional artists living and working in the City of Atlanta.  As these two artists’ careers continue to flourish in the coming years, we look forward to seeing the positive impact they make in Atlanta’s creative community.”

Emerging Artist Award recipients are chosen by a community panel. Priority is given to artists 35 years of age or younger or with less than 5 years experience in their field.

About the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs
The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA), a division of the Mayor’s Executive Offices, was established in 1974 with the mission to encourage and support Atlanta’s cultural resources. The OCA continues to promote Atlanta as a cultural destination through a variety of events and educational programming, including the Emerging Artist Award.  For more information, please visit

About the Emerging Artist Award
The Emerging Artist Award, presented by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and the Contracts for Arts Services program, recognizes and rewards talented professional artists living and creating art in the City of Atlanta. By honoring these artists, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs aims to increase awareness of their work and further the careers and professional development of each individual.



Chastain Arts Center artist Marie Matthews and her iPhone Photography class were interviewed for a video on the CNN website.

Click below to watch her story (please be patient, the video takes a while to load).

You can also watch it on the CNN website by clicking here.

Joe C. Nicholson

Master of Fine Arts, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 1965
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Yale University, New Haven Connecticut, 1963
Bachelor of Arts, DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, 1962
Diploma, Bosse High School, Evansville, Indiana, 1958

Charles & Ray Eames Office, Venice, California, 1974-76

Public Artist, Alexandria Police Memorial Competition Finalist (on-going), 2010
Public Artist, University Circle Rapid Transit Station Finalist, Greater Cleveland Transit Authority (RTA), 2010
Public Artist, Indianapolis International Airport Public Art Entry-Way, Indianapolis, IN, 2007
Public Artist, LightPath on Pine, Long Beach, CA, 2006
Public Artist, San Luis Rey Wastewater Treatment Plant Public Art Project, City of Oceanside, CA, 2001-2004
Public Artist, Long Beach Passport Center (Pine Street) Project, Light Sculpture, Long Beach, CA, 2001-2004
Public Artist, Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, Washington, DC (Competition Finalist), 2000
Public Artist, City of Escondido East Valley Parkway (Competition), Escondido, CA, 1999
Public Artist, STart (Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority Artist Initiated Projects, Seattle, WA 1998
1998 Public Artist, Linear Park Phase III, Centre City Development Corporation, San Diego, CA, 1998
Environmental Designer & Public Artist, City of National City Public Right-Of-Way Improvement Program,
Community Development Commission, National City, CA, 1995
Environmental Designer & Public Artist, Martin Luther King, Jr. Extension Project, Center City Development
Commission (CCDC), San Diego, CA, 1994
Public Artist, Peace Memorial Competition, Washington DC, 1989 (Competition
Public Artist, Vietnam Memorial Competition, Washington DC, 1984 (Competition)
Public Mural Artist, Carnegie Museum of Art Mural Project, Pittsburgh, PA, 1970

California State Senate Certificate of Recognition for the public art project LightBridge, Long Beach, CA, 2004
California State Legislature Certificate of Appreciation for the public art project, LightBridge, Long Beach, CA, 2004
California State Legislature Certificate of Recognition for the public art project LightBridge, Long beach, CA, 2004
1992 Federal Design Achievement Award, from the National Endowment for the Arts, for the Environmental Graphics
Program, the Escondido Civic Center, Escondido, CA, 1992

One-Man Show, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1968
One-Man Show, Chatham College, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1967

Owensboro Museum of Fine Art Biennial, Owensboro, KY 2005
Salon, ArtsCollege International Exhibition, San Diego, CA, 2000
Group Show, Dimension Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, 1971
Associated Artists of Pittsburgh 61st Annual, Pittsburgh, PA, 1971
Board of Directors Show, Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 1971
Sixth Invitational Regional Painting & Sculpture Exhibition, Westmoreland County Museum of Art, Greensburg, PA, 1970
Associated Artists of Pittsburgh 60th Annual, Pittsburgh, PA, 1970
Invitational Exhibition of Painting & Sculpture by Pittsburgh Artists, Carlow College, Pitt., PA, 1969
Associated Artists of Pittsburgh 58th Annual, Pittsburgh, PA, 1968
Associated Artists of Pittsburgh Center Member’s Work, Harrisburg, PA, 1968
Art of Our Time, Pittsburgh Plan for Art, Pittsburgh, PA, 1967
Associated Artists of Pittsburgh 57th Annual, Pittsburgh, PA, 1967
Two-Man Show, Chatham College, Pittsburgh, PA, 1965
New Haven Arts Festival, New Haven, CT, 1965
Yale University Branford College Exhibition, New Haven, CT, 1965
Museum of Arts & Sciences Tri-State Exhibition, Evansville, IN, 1963
First Annual Indiana Salon of Collegiate Art, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 1962
Museum of Arts & Sciences Tri-State Exhibition, Evansville, IN, 1962

Professor of Design, New School of Architecture & Design, 1984 to Present
Assistant Professor of Environmental Graphics, San Diego State University, 1984-85
Visiting Lecturer of Architecture & Fine Arts, University of Oregon, 1971-72
Assistant Professor of Architecture, Carnegie-Mellon University, 1968-70
Instructor of Art/Painting/Design/Art History, Chatham College, 1965-68
Teaching Assistant Fine Arts, Yale University, 1964-65

Principal, Nicholson Design, San Diego, California, 1976 to Present
Art Director, Marsteller, Inc., Los Angeles, California, 1972-74

Board Member, Art In Public Places Advisory Committee (AIPP), Commission For Arts & Culture, Public Art
Program, City of San Diego, CA, 1994-1997
Board Member, The Architectural Foundation, San Diego, CA, 1994-96
President, Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 1969-71
Board Member, Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 1968-71
Board Member, Steering Committee for the Formulation of an Arts Council for Pittsburgh, PA, 1967-68
Member, Pittsburgh Council for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA, 1969-71
Member, Associated Artisits of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 1965-71
Member, Pittsburgh Plan for Art, Pittsburgh, PA, 1968-71
Exhibit Chairman, Arts & Crafts Center, Pittsburgh, PA, 1967-71

Patent #D-360-745, Therapeutic Shoulder Device, 1994

Annual Report

Dear Friends and Supporters:

I am delighted to share a copy of the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) fiscal year 2017 Annual Report with you.

The OCA is committed to enhancing the quality of life in Atlanta by promoting rich and diverse cultural experiences that preserve and protect Atlanta’s cultural heritage while enhancing its international reputation as a cultural destination.

We accomplish this goal by not only supporting and increasing the capacity of Atlanta’s nonprofit arts sector, as well as individual artists, but also providing a direct service to the community at large by programming world-class events and spaces that are free and open to the public.  As a supporter of arts education and audience development, through class offerings and through the Cultural Experience Project (our partnership program with Atlanta Public Schools), we send APS students from each grade level to one of Atlanta’s premiere cultural venues free of charge, furthering the students’ curriculum and exposure to creative industry.

The entire OCA team would like to thank Mayor Kasim Reed for his continued support of and confidence in the work that we do.  We would also like to thank the members of Mayor Reed’s administration and the Atlanta City Council.  OCA is proud to diligently continue our work of more than 40 years – to solidify the role that the arts and other cultural resources play not only in defining and enhancing the social fabric and quality of life for Atlanta’s citizens and visitors, but also in strengthening our local economy.

As the OCA forges its path towards the future, we reflect on the fruitful partnerships that allow us to do this meaningful work and we look forward to continued progress and success.

Yours in art and culture,

Camille Russell Love, Executive Director

Atlanta OCA Annual Report FY 2017


Previous Annual Reports

Atlanta OCA Annual Report 2016

Atlanta OCA Annual Report 2015

Atlanta OCA Annual Report 2014

Atlanta OCA Annual Report 2013

Atlanta OCA Annual Report 2012

Atlanta OCA Annual Report 2011

Atlanta OCA Annual Report 2010

Atlanta OCA Annual Report 2009