Tag Archives: street art

Going On Foot

We are a weak and vulnerable people, but we can walk a little, every once in awhile. Atlanta is not kind to pedestrians, in general, and yet there are some wonderfully walkable places here. Hark sidewalks and crosswalks, bike-ped advocates and young urban planners, we salute you!

A recent exhibit at Georgia State University's Welch School Gallery (partly reviewed at ArtsAtl.com) on Peachtree Center Avenue.

A recent exhibit at Georgia State University’s Welch School Gallery (partly reviewed at ArtsAtl.com) on Peachtree Center Avenue.

The GSU area is very walkable and bejeweled with all sorts of coffee, waffle, and burrito joints.

Seen near the corner of Edgewood and Boulevard, less than a mile from GSU's Welch School Gallery.

Seen near the corner of Edgewood and Boulevard, less than a mile from GSU’s Welch School Gallery.

Very walkably east of GSU is the Martin Luther King Memorial and Auburn Avenue historic area. For refreshment, consider a game of checkers or billiards with beer.

A set of fine follies near that same intersection of Edgewood and Boulevard. Martin Luther King's Memorial and the street car line are a block away.

A set of fine follies near that same intersection of Edgewood and Boulevard. Martin Luther King’s Memorial and the street car line are a block away.

A recent visit to Greenville, SC, reminded us that the folks who love art and love to make it their business, also love to walk around, to be on foot, to check out the scene from a more human point of view than the automobile provides. The up and coming Pendleton art district is bound to boom.

In the Pendleton art district of west Greenville, SC, Clemson University hosts a studio outpost.

In the Pendleton art district of west Greenville, SC, Clemson University hosts a studio outpost.

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The New Year is Clay. Let’s Make Something Good.

Where will you look for art in 2014? Sometimes we wonder if, in Atlanta, we only hear about a certain set of well marketed, media-anointed galleries, museums, and events. If so, we are allowing ourselves to be limited. We may even be allowing other people’s preferences to inhibit our own natural curiosity and wonder.

David Drake, "Jug," 1836, and "Jar," 1858. Collection of the High Museum of Art.

David Drake, “Jug,” 1836, and “Jar,” 1858. Collection of the High Museum of Art.

We were happy to see the ArtsATL website review an exhibit that is currently on view at the Hodge Podge Coffeehouse and Gallery in East Atlanta. Hodge Podge is an amazing place for its abundant natural light and its spaciousness. Over time, the quality of art there has been uneven. The ArtsATL review noted that Hodge Podge is not perfectly set up as a gallery. But then, it’s not supposed to be.

Atlanta Art Blog strives to find art in unexpected places. In 2013, for example, we fell for awhile under the influence of Free Art Friday. Our review reflected the open-mindedness that the Decatur event inspired.

David Drake, "Jar," 1858, detail. Collection of High Museum of Art

David Drake, “Jar,” 1858, detail. Collection of High Museum of Art

Lately the decorative arts have attracted us, especially ceramics. For example, we read the book Carolina Clay, by Leonard Todd (WW Norton & Co.: 2008). The book explores the life and times of the potter Dave Drake, who was a slave in Edgefield, South Carolina. The High Museum of Art exhibits work by Dave in its permanent collection.

But the term “decorative arts” seems a ridiculous term to use for the pottery that Dave created under the violent and volatile conditions of slavery. It’s not that the pottery Dave created lacks elegance or  Continue reading

Free Art Decatur: indulging our worst/best impulses

Atlanta Art Blog abandoned all objectivity last Saturday and indulged our deep and unholy greed by participating at the Free Art Decatur event. Free art would be hidden around Decatur. We would find it. And keep it.

The event was supposed to begin at 2:00 p.m., but we were scanning Twitter (#freeartdecatur) for clues immediately after our cheapskate lunch in the industrial workshop known as the cafeteria at DeKalb Farmers Market.

Death head by @DeadATL

Death head by @DeadATL

As we turned onto Church Street, we scored: Right in front of Java Monkey, a death’s head by @DeadATL. Awesome. This was just the beginning. By the end of the day we would most assuredly possess enough art to fill the bleak and barren break room.

Then suddenly there were no clues, and we were on foot next to Decatur’s strolling families, its students, its yuppies. We searched everywhere for art. Is that free art there?

Unknown artist, door behind Eddie's Attic

Unknown artist, door behind Eddie’s Attic

Is that free art over there?

priority whale, by Ghost, behind The Artisan building

priority whale, by Ghost, behind The Artisan building

We took a break in front of the Seen Gallery. It calmed us, just sitting on the bench outside its locked door.

Cycloptopi, by @larryholland1

Cycloptopi, by @larryholland1

Completely clueless, we strolled. We began to notice twenty-somethings snapping photos of strange corners. Was that an artist? We snooped into the back alley next to the dance studio on Decatur Square. And there in the alley, adjacent to a large mural by S. Parker, we found our second piece, a Cycloptopi by @Larryholland1. The Cycloptopi is the great symbol of Art Greed, with its all-seeing eye and its arms for grabbing.

Collector extraordinaire, Britney, holding a recent acquisition

Collector extraordinaire, Britney, holding a recent acquisition, believed to be by @evereman

Alas, all sorts of mental distractions soon interrupted our hunt. But not before we met the great art hunter known as Britney. The hour of Two O’clock had barely had enough time to stand up and yawn, and Britney had already found about six different pieces, was talking a mile a minute, and couldn’t contain her excitement for more. Her friends, Paris and Nate the bearded one, cruised closer to our speed than Britney did.

Funerary graffiti in Castleberry Hill

How does a concrete block wall double as a time machine?

Stencil on wall on Larkin Street

Stencil on wall on Larkin Street

This graffito at ankle-height in Castleberry Hill, on Larkin Street, may be easy to overlook. Since it’s across the street from the Carl Williams Funeral Home, your mind may turn to the fragility of modern life. But once you fall under that royal profile’s spell . . . Continue reading