News Blog

Chastain Arts Center has officially reopened!

Registration for the Fall 2021 Session 2 is Open! Dates: November 8th – December 17th

Chastain Arts Center (CAC) offers classes in drawing, printmaking, pottery, painting, jewelry making, framemaking and more. The CAC is located inside Chastain Park, in northwest Atlanta.

Click here for more information or give us a call at 404.252.2927

Chastain Announces Two-day Handbuilding & Sculptural Ceramic Workshop

Join Chastain Arts Center and Gallery for a two-day workshop, “Handbuilding Functional & Sculptural Ceramic with Slabs”, featuring Grace Tessein & Dennis Ritter.

Tessein and Ritter will share their approaches to slab building using soft and leather hard slabs to construct functional and representational sculptural forms using mid-range iron rich clays.

Participants will be introduced to various slab building techniques, drop and hump molds, and methods for developing surfaces using slips and underglazes.

Guest will also discuss the use of the clay extruder as a tool for creating components for functional forms and for sculptural embellishments.

This two-day workshop will be hosted Friday, June 14 from 10 AM – 5 PM and Saturday, June 15 from 10 AM – 2 PM. 

The registration fee is $85. All Levels Welcome!  For more information or to sign up, call 404-252-2927.

Chastain Announces Second Pop-up Workshop

Join Chastain Arts Center and Gallery for its second Pop-Up series, Fold-Forming Bangel Workshop featuring Robert McGinnis.

Learn the art of fold-forming sheet copper in this dual session workshop  on June 8 and June 15.

This workshop is great for the inquisitive beginner to the intermediate jeweler.

The registration fee for the workshop is $58 with a $10 supply fee. For more information or to sign up, call 404-252-2927.

Chastain Arts Center Hosts Pop-Up Ceramic Workshop on May 10

On Friday, May 10 from 10 AM to 4 PM, the Chastain Arts Center presents a Pop-Up Raku Workshop conducted by instructor Bob Peterson. In this one-day Raku workshop, Peterson will discuss the general history, philosophy and methods in firing ceramics in a raku kiln. Whether this is your first time Raku firing or you a seasoned artist, all levels are welcome to participate. For more information about the Pop-Up Workshop or to register, please call us at 404.252.2927. We hope you join us!

Chastain Prepares for 2019 Summer Camps and Workshops

What will your children be doing this summer?

Let your children explore their creative talents this summer with one of Chastain Arts Center and Gallery’s upcoming Summer Camps or Teen Workshops!

Registration starts Monday, February 18 for new students.

For returning 2018 campers, pre-registration opens Monday, February 11.

Look for Chastain’s 2019 Art à La Carte Summer Camp and Teen Workshop schedule coming soon!

Chastain Arts Center and Gallery Releases Winter Workshop Schedule

Fall is officially here, and the Chastain Arts Center and Gallery’s winter session is just around the corner. Registration for the center’s winter session opens on Monday, November 5. 
Choose from a series of mediums such as drawing, painting, collage and more. We also offer an open studio for ceramicist during our winter workshops. 
You can view our full workshop schedule online at Call us at 404-252-2927 to register! 
Make sure to register early because classes are filled on a first come, first serve, first serve basis.

OCA Newsletter :: May 2018


May Newsletter

The Atlanta Jazz Festival is Approaching


The Atlanta Jazz Festival (AJF) is regarded as one of the largest, FREE jazz festivals in the country. An annual celebration of the music, culture and art of jazz that lasts throughout May and culminates each Memorial Day weekend with an outdoor festival in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park, featuring jazz artists from all over the world.

The mission of the AJF is to expose and entertain a diverse audience of Jazz aficionados, young Jazz enthusiasts and aspiring musicians to the rich heritage and variety of Jazz as an authentic form of American music.

The festival is produced by the City of Atlanta – Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and is FREE and open to the public. It is made possible thanks to funding from corporate sponsors and Atlanta Jazz Festival, Inc., a non-profit entity dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Atlanta Jazz Festival. For more information, visit

The Bud Light Lounge

Late Night Jazz Jam

After enjoying the jazz outdoors in Piedmont Park, contemporary jazz lovers can walk over to Park Tavern and enjoy the highly anticipated Late Night Jazz Jam on Saturday, May 26, featuring Russell Gunn & The Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra. Tickets are $40.

The Atlanta Jazz Festival’s Late Night Jazz Jam is one of the festival’s most popular events. For more information, click here.


Partners of the Atlanta Jazz Festival will host jazz events every day leading up to the Atlanta Jazz Festival on Memorial Day weekend in Piedmont Park. 

From MARTA stations, museums, jazz clubs and restaurants, our 31 Days of Jazz series provides a little something for everyone.

Click here for the 31 Days of Jazz calendar.

Neighborhood Jazz Series


Join your local City of Atlanta council members each week during our Neighborhood Jazz Series.

Each weekend, we partner with a different council member to bring jazz and fun to different corners of Atlanta. Come and enjoy great music and great times while we highlight Atlanta’s unique and historic neighborhoods! Each Neighborhood Jazz Series starts at 4 p.m.

Neighborhood Jazz Series Dates:

May 6: Neighborhood Jazz Series at West Manor Park presented by Council President Felicia Moore and Council Member Andre Dickens with performances from Gritz and Jelly Butter and Wolfpack ATL. Watch promo video here.

May 12: Neighborhood Jazz Series at Washington Park presented by Council Member Ivory Lee Young, Jr., in conjunction with the Atlanta Beltline, with performances from Latrese Bush and Lil’ John Roberts and Friends. Watch promo video here.

May 13: Neighborhood Jazz Series at John A. White Park presented by Council Member Marci Collier Overstreet with performances from EQ and Brenda Nicole Moorer. Watch promo video here.

May 19: Neighborhood Jazz Series at Wilson Mill Park presented by Council Member Andrea L. Boone with performances from Groove Centric and Julie Dexter

May 20: Neighborhood Jazz Series at Grant Park presented by Council Member Carla Smith with performances from Mabu’s Ark Band and The Milk Shake Quintet.

MARTA Mondays

MARTA Mondays feature FREE, LIVE JAZZ at a different MARTA station every Monday in May, starting at 4 p.m. These two-hour jazz concerts are a preview to the upcoming Atlanta Jazz Festival in Piedmont Park on May 26 and 27.

2018 MARTA Mondays Schedule:

May 7Lindbergh Station, 4 p.m. featuring the Chris Burroughs Trio

May 14: Avondale Station, 4 p.m. featuring the Mike Walton Quartet

May 21Midtown Station, 4 p.m. featuring Grüt

Sights and Insights

Calling all artists in the Southeast! Don’t miss your chance to apply for the 2018 Southeastern Regional Art Exhibit: SIGHTS AND INSIGHTS, which will be held in the Chastain Gallery, June 18th through July 30th. Entry is open to all artists aged 18 and over who are residents of AL, FL, GA, NC, SC or TN. For more information and criteria for entry, click here. Deadline to enter is Friday, May 4th, 2018.

Summer Camp and Teen Workshops

Summer is almost here and our 2018 Art à la carte Summer Camp is a little more than a month away! Register your child or teen for our summer camp and teen workshop today. To view our Summer Camp and teen workshop schedule, please visit our website. Make sure your child or teen doesn’t miss out on all the fun! Call us today to register!

Artist Talk at Gallery 72 – Elyse Defoor
Thursday, May 17 at 7 p.m.

Our lives are meant to do something. To have a hopeful outcome is to experience joy. Some people experience life with sunken resentment. I use art to slog through the morass of obstacles set before me. Unbridled– joy, loss, rage, joy– is my treatise on the passage of womanhood from the 1950s to today. This work has moved me from collecting wedding dresses and the comments from the women who wore them, to the ongoing study of the black belt with all its meanings, to the shed skins of Exuvia and, back again, to present the empty dresses in a new way. With authentic reverence, the beauty of darkness and light holds the conflicts of joy, loss, rage and joy in the full circle of life.

Call For Panelists for 2019 Grant Cycle

Buried Truths

The Alliance Theatre and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will co-produce a concert staging of the Tony Award-winning musical Candide in Symphony Hall. In this popular adaptation of Voltaire’s satirical novel, the naïve Candide is separated from his beloved and journeys around the world to find her while fiercely retaining his mentor’s belief that “this is the best of all possible worlds” in the face of ever-increasing catastrophes. Candide will feature a cast of actors, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Atlanta Symphony Chorus in this historic Alliance Theatre/Atlanta Symphony Orchestra co-production.  

Click here to RSVP and for more information. 





OCA Newsletter :: April 2018


April Newsletter



Highlights include Jon Batiste with The Dap-Kings, Dianne Reeves, The Bad Plus and Jazzmeia Horn, to name a few.

In a video announcement released Tuesday March 27, 2018, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms revealed the artist lineup for the 41st annual Atlanta Jazz Festival. The lineup includes a variety of jazz sounds and stylings presented on three stages: The Legends Stage, The Contemporary Stage and The Next Gen Stage. The country’s longest running free jazz festival will take place for two days over Memorial Day Weekend: Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27, in Piedmont Park. For the first time in the event’s history, Saturday will feature a special all-female jazz lineup.

Restoration of Homage to St. Eom’s Pasaquan

The Office of Cultural Affairs is pleased to announce the completion of the Homage to St. EOM’s Pasaquan artwork restoration. The artwork was created by the late Eddie Owens Martin as a part of Folk Art Park during the 1996 Olympics. The piece pays homage to the original work located in Buena Vista, Ga. The Homage to St EOM’s Pasaquan incorporated large cast-concrete totems painted in vibrant colors, surrounded by brightly-painted mandala designs that vaguely reference Pacific-Islander sculpture and aboriginal artwork. The City of Atlanta provides stewardship to the piece and was made possible through the generous help of the Community Foundation, GPC Renovations, and artists: Jan Riley, Addison Adams, and Adrian Barzaga. The site is expected to be open to the public Mid-April.

Emerging Artist’s Exhibition Opening Reception

April 12th, 2018 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs presents this year’s Emerging Artist Exhibition, the opening reception  of the exhibit will be held Thursday, April 12th from 6 – 8 PM at the Chastain Arts Center. This exhibit is designed to support practicing artists residing in the City of Atlanta. The public is invited to come meet this year’s recipients: Charlina Rose Smith, Bella Dorado, and Lauren Peterson. Come out and support these local artists!

Ernest G. Welch Fellows MFA Exhibitions

April 2nd – April 6th

Maryam Palizgir’s : “Folded Mystery”
Folded Mystery project is the metaphors for how we exchange knowledge, how perception widens our perspective, and how observation deepens our understanding of the reality in which we live. I seek works of art that activate once the viewer is involved. Folded Mystery is about challenging viewers’ perception and multi-perception embodiment through 2D and 3D drawings, sculptural paintings installations focusing on the interaction of geometric abstract forms, colors, reflective objects and layering grid-like materials in space. I intend to focus on the complexity of space by making sculptural installations that allow me to look into and through things. I also bring photography into this exchange. I am preoccupied with finding new ways of seeing through the experimental cross-fertilization of drawing, sculpture, and photography, which stimulated a philosophically oriented questioning of vision and perception.

Aaron Kagan Putt’s “Another Failed Attempt”

Aaron Kagan Putt was raised in the dry heat and saguaro speckled landscape of Tucson, Arizona, not far from the border with Mexico. He ventured often between these divided territories, developing an intense interest in travel and cultural hybridity. Much of his work investigates the intersection between culture and its material manifestations on the landscape.
The works in Another Failed Attempt explores the impulse to manipulate material and forms as a means to achieve personal and societal transformation. Adopting a hybrid and nomadic form, this series of sculptures and paintings probe themes of utopian architecture, self-improvement and the human desire to memorialize.
Putt has been awarded grants by the Minnesota State Arts Board and his work has been exhibited internationally. He lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia and is currently a Master of Fine Arts and Master of Art History candidate at the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design at Georgia State University.

Elyse Defoor “Unbridled” 
April 12th –June 7th 2018

On April 12th, 2018 Artist Elyse Defoor’s exhibition “Unbridled” opens at Gallery 72.   “Unbridled” features bodies of work in sculpture, photography, and other media, that explore the emotional dichotomies of the human experience through meditations on marriage, restraint, death, rebirth and unbounded freedom. Through the creative use of ceremonial and mundane materials Defoor brings the viewer into spaces of mythic resonance and lived memory.

Art & Urban Resilience Discussion Panel and Reception
April 18th , 2018 6:30 pm to  11 pm

Over the recent years, the global community established a political and social trajectory of development known as the sustainability movement. The sustainability approach to development integrates dimensions of economic growth, social cohesion, and resilience. They are captured under 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the global community at the United Nations in September, 2015. Among the specific goals are: Goal 3 – Good health and Well-being for People, Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities, Goal 12- Responsible Consumption and Production, Goal 13 – Climate Action. The goals among other embed universal ambition of preserving the world we live in for future generations.
Atlanta  is no stranger to these ambitions, in fact, it has recently joined the 100 Resilient Cities campaign and adopted a resilience strategy that pursues the vision of sustainable growth in Atlanta’s local context. What is unique about the vision is the very key role that art and culture occupy. Art and Culture become vehicles to achieve ambitions of resilience urban future of Atlanta, ready to absorb acute and chronic shocks and disasters – from environmental degradation to racial inequality, and urban sprawl. The role of art and culture in defining the progressive direction of Atlanta’s growth is very distinct from other urban centers. From civil rights movement and socio-political change to Captain Planet and the environmental movement, art held a key role in promoting grassroots driven behavioral and political change in Atlanta city context. This trend is still very much alive today among the existing artist community in Atlanta, who create public a (community) art within the local and global themes of social cohesion, development, and environmental protection.
Building on the historical contributions of art to change, the Urban Catalyst Lab and the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs is putting together a local and global expert panel to discuss the role and capacity of art to address the current global and local issues of development, and to initiate and facilitate social, behavioral and political change. Using concrete current and historic, local and global examples, the panel will explore the role of arts in building urban resilience and sustainability, and show the inherent link between art and sustainable urban growth.
The panel will include the recent local to global art community intervention in Johns Creek, a focus on the past and  current exhibitions at Gallery 72,  and the development of the upcoming art + urban resilience lab,

The panel will engage speakers from Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and Office Resilience, local and international artists to discuss how art, policy and change align to achieve sustainable urban future.

The panelists include: 
William Massey: Atlanta based artist, ColorATL
Hanif Kureshi: Indian artist, S+art Delhi Street art Festival
Kevin Sipp: Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs
Michelle Wiseman: Mayor’s Office of Resilience
Lynda Smith: Johns Creek Convention and Visitors Bureau
Ruxanda Renita & Ana Gabriele Sabancevaite: Urban Catalyst Lab

Virtual Reality Art by Jessica Anderson
Music by DJ Stan Zeff 

Contracts For Arts Services Application Workshops

Call For Panelists for 2019 Grant Cycle

Contract For Arts Services Emerging Artists Award Recipients

April 12th, 2018 6:30pm – 8:00pm

On Thursday, April 12th at the Chastain Art Center Gallery from 6:30pm to 8:00pm, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs will recognize three Emerging Artist Award recipients in the categories of Dance and Visual Arts. The artists will be honored with a reception and an exhibition of their work.

Each year, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs through the Contracts for Arts Services program recognizes rising stars in the arts through the Emerging Artist Award which promotes the work of professional artists of notable talent and ability living and creating are within the city of Atlanta.

This year’s recipients are:

Gabriella “Bella” Dorado
Bella Dorado is a choreographer, performing artist, educator, and producer. Her movement is characterized by a driving sinuous flow and explorations of vulnerability and the dark places full of risk and magic. Learn more about the artist by visiting her website.

Lauren Peterson
Lauren Peterson is an interdisciplinary artist who creates new systems for devalued objects, focusing on the potential ontological ramifications of a consumption-based society. Learn more about the artist by visiting her website.

Charlina “Rose” Smith
Rose uses photography for activism, to discuss social issues that reflect the present time, and to tell the story of the black experience in America. Learn more about the artist by visiting her website.

OCA Selected as Winners of KaBOOM! Play Everywhere Challege

On Saturday, March 3rd , The Play Everywhere Tour, powered by KaBOOM! and Target, visited Atlanta, bringing families and kids together for FREE, fun-filled family play. As part of the Tour, the Play Everywhere Challenge winners were announced, awarding $720,000 in total grants for creative projects that encourage play in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Miami. The City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs has been selected a Play Everywhere Challenge winner. We have been awarded a $25,000 to help support our project “John Lewis’s Ride to Freedom.” The project includes incorporating a play space on the PATH Trail in Freedom Park near “The Bridge” artwork dedicated to Congressman John Lewis. The play space will focus on the 1961 Freedom Riders Route from Washington, DC to New Orleans, LA. An artist derived play-scape on the PATH trail would consist of outlines of states the Freedom Riders traveled incorporating games and activities for kids to follow the Freedom Riders path. The second element will be a bus play structure to represent the Freedom Rider’s bus. The bus will allow for several kids to play at a time, while also engaging them in facts about the Freedom Riders and significant events along the route. The families in the area, as well as other visitors, will have a place to play and exercise while also learning about one of the greatest civil rights leaders; Congressman John Lewis. KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play. The Play Everywhere Challenge and Tour are part of a broader effort led by KaBOOM! and Target focused on engaging communities to help families make active play a part of everyday life. By the end of the year, KaBOOM! and Target will bring more than 260 new playspaces to life, reaching more than a half-million kids across

Hooked on Books
Whiskey & Ribbons

The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and the Department of Human Resources hosted critically acclaimed author, Leesa Cross-Smith to introduce her first novel, Whiskey & Ribbons. Cross- Smith concluded her week in Atlanta by engaging with City of Atlanta employees in a brief conversation and book signing. She talked about the structure of the novel, how she has written it as “a fuge… a piece of music with three voices and three narrators. I’ve written the book for black women.” Whiskey & Ribbons is told in three intertwining, melodic voices: Evi in present day, as she’s snowed in with Dalton during a freak blizzard; Eamon before his murder, as he prepares for impending fatherhood and grapples with the danger of his profession; and Dalton, as he struggles to make sense of his life next to Eamon’s, and as he decides to track down the biological father he’s never known. If you missed Leesa Cross-Smith during her time in Atlanta, there is another opportunity to hear more about Whiskey & Ribbons and meet Leesa, at the Decatur Book Festival August 31 – September 2, 2018. Learn more about this wonderful author, her warm and bright spirit, and other works of fiction here.

Buried Truths

In 1948, three black farmers decided they’d had enough. They were going to vote in rural South Georgia, where white supremacists held power by suppressing the black vote. Pulitzer-Prize winning author, journalist and Emory University professor Hank Klibanoff explores the mysteries and injustices of history through civil rights cases that few have seen.  How far would white supremacists go — on the streets, in the courtrooms, in the legislatures — to preserve their racial dominance? And, most importantly, why? Who were we back then? The truth is restless, relevant and revealed.

Click here for more information. 





Chastain Arts Center Remembers Beloved Teacher and Friend, Ralph Ricketts

In lieu of flowers, Ralph's family has asked that donations be made to the American Cancer Society or the Alzheimer's Association.

The Office of Cultural Affairs and the Chastain Arts Center remembers Ralph Ricketts, a beloved teacher and friend. Ralph was an accomplished artist, having completed a degree from the Rhode Island School of Design after serving in the US Navy during the Second World War.

He worked in a variety of mediums that included oil paint, sculpture, film, and printmaking. He was a dedicated art instructor—with equally devoted students—and a member of the Chastain Arts Center community for more than a decade during which he taught countless classes in painting.

In lieu of flowers, Ralph’s family has asked that donations be made to the American Cancer Society or the Alzheimer’s Association.



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