Tag Archives: Prints

Looking at Atlanta’s Art with the “Creative Class”

On the subject of exploring for art in Atlanta, the first question is, What do you mean by Atlanta? Well that question is related to our identity at Atlanta Art Blog. On our “About” page we make reference to “metropolitan Atlanta.” That means we go outside the Atlanta city limits. We venture into Decatur. We sneak into Jonesboro. We’ve heard that there may be some art in Chamblee, hidden behind some antiques.

Poster by unknown artist. Private collection. Location: Sandy Springs, white couple 40-45 years old.

Poster by unknown artist. Private collection. Location: Sandy Springs, white couple 40-45 years old.

In the snow-induced apocalypse of January 28, 2014, it became very clear to the world that our “area,” that is, the “Atlanta area” is divided, as Maria Saporta reported. She’s talking about politics. It’s also true that we’re divided by race, and divided by socio-economic class.

Is the Atlanta area divided by art? Good question. In wealthier households you might expect to find higher-end art. The more interesting question would be, how does socio-economic class affect how a household views and uses the art that it has?

RA MIller, "Blow Oskar," image courtesy of ramiller.us/art.html. A version was observed in PIne Hills home, white couple 50-60 years old.

RA MIller, “Blow Oskar,” image courtesy of ramiller.us/art.html. A version was observed in PIne Hills home, white couple 50-60 years old.

Richard Florida has gained renown in recent years for his socio-economic studies, and his identification of something called the “creative class,” as distinguished from the “working class” and the “service class.” Florida defines the creative class as the people “who work in science and technology, business and management, arts, culture, media, and entertainment, law and healthcare professions.”

In a story last year, Florida used census data to show that in Atlanta, members of the creative class “make up 36.3 percent of the metro’s workers (above the national average of 32.6 percent). They average $73,272 in wages and salaries, better than the national average of $70,890, and over $25,000 more than the average wages ($46,442) for the metro.”

Al Jacobs, "Kosher" (detail). Private Collection. Location: PIne Hills home, white couple 45-55 years old.

Al Jacobs, “Kosher” (detail). Private Collection. Location: PIne Hills home, white couple 45-55 years old.

So where is this creative class? Answer: north. Florida mapped out, by census tract, where each of the classes resides in metro Atlanta. You can see the map here.

Of course it’s highly significant that the classes are somewhat separated from each other. The area directly southeast of downtown (around East Atlanta) is clearly a place of the creative class, but most of that class lives to the north of middle Atlanta, ranging from midtown Atlanta into a wide swath from Kennesaw to Suwanee and up into Alpharetta. Combining population density with this class-based map, the center of the creative class may be around Dunwoody or Sandy Springs. (In case you were wondering, Atlanta Art Blog’s offices are not in a creative part of town.)

It so happens that we checked out some of the art we saw in the homes of the creative class over the past several weeks. For the sake of having fodder for speculation, this post includes images that we observed.

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“Southern Stories: Print Big!” at Atlanta Printmakers Studio

In a village with many new people moving in, some old and new friends gathered to make something memorable. (Why printmaking is fun: parties form to make it happen.)

Woodblock carved by Atlanta Printmakers Studio, displayed at Print Big! April 13, 2013

Woodblock carved by Atlanta Printmakers Studio, displayed at Print Big! April 13, 2013

A visitor from far away helped with carving a block of wood. His name is Sean Starwars. He taught young artists how he works. (Why printmaking is fun: Two words: Sean Starwars.)

Sean Starwars carving a woodblock at Print Big! on April 13, 2013

Sean Starwars carving a woodblock at Print Big! on April 13, 2013

Other people formed groups to carve large and detailed woodblocks. Then ink was rolled on to the blocks while last-minute details were tended. (Why printmaking is fun: The aroma of the ink.)

Preparing a woodblock with ink, at Print Big! April 13, 2013

Preparing a woodblock with ink, at Print Big! April 13, 2013

After a white cloth was lain atop the inked woodblock, a big green visitor from a construction site rolled over it. (Why printmaking is fun: It involves mashing.)

Large print almost ready for pressing at Print Big! sponsored by Atlanta Printmakers Studio, April 13, 2013

Large print almost ready for pressing at Print Big! sponsored by Atlanta Printmakers Studio, April 13, 2013

The new print was then hung to dry and to be admired. (Why printmaking is fun: It causes the sun to shine and cast shadows.)

Freshly pressed print by a crew from Savannah College of Art and Design, at Print Big! sponsored by Atlanta Printmakers Studio, April 13, 2013

Freshly pressed print by a crew from Savannah College of Art and Design, at Print Big! sponsored by Atlanta Printmakers Studio, April 13, 2013

Thank you, Gina Reynoso of the Atlanta Printmakers Studio for anwering my questions!