Atlanta was HOT, so was the Art!


We headed south last week. Pretty far south in fact; Atlanta. And it was HOT … the highs were above 100 every day we were in Georgia.  But hey, it is summer and we were in Hotlanta. And, to be sure Interstates 85, 75, and 20 were, as always, entertaining.

I was reminded pretty quickly about how wonderful a city it is … and not just because I was born there a “few” years ago.  We had really delicious meals with beautifully prepared dishes, local prepared beverages … graciously served at several restaurant and pubs. We enjoyed the rich mélange of old and new architecture and were excited to see such wonderful art in the cities galleries.

We were down on a working vacation. Even if we were only visiting for fun, we would have spent some time looking at art but that was the purpose of this trip. I was also hoping to meet an artist friend and colleague (more about Kevin Cole in a later post!) and looking at the galleries and art centers of the area.

In The Shadows, oil on tin 45×90, by Drew Galloway, at Marcia Woods Gallery

I expected that we would see quite a few landscape paintings. But landscapes in southern art are not always celebrations of the heroic or the pastoral. True, I did expect to see romanticized landscape … but also creepy, silly, and even un-seeable landscape. I figured to see the full range, running between folk, traditional, modern, and post-modern … with artists working the territories between these strategies … amalgamating interior visions with perceptual, scientific, and cultural imagery.

Atlanta’s galleries did not disappoint!

Trudging across hot sidewalks the first afternoon, we happened upon a painting exhibition by Drew Calloway. His show, of beautiful, single and multi-panel pieces painted on tin was wonderful find at Marcia Woods Gallery. While at first blush the work reads as photo-realism, the surfaces and layers of color and tonality are much more sumptuous. Not only was the work in the gallery exquisite, Marcia Woods herself graciously gave me some insights into Atlanta’s art scene.

FS 2137, Collage and acrylic on panel, 22 x 22, by Cecil Touchon, at Emily Amy Gallery

The first day we also stopped by two other west side/Castleberry area galleries, the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery and the Emily Amy Gallery.  At the Emily Amy Gallery there was a good show up but then I walked around a corner. There was a precious and harmonious work by Cecil Touchon. The simple shapes were a perfect balanced orchestration of complexity, suggestiveness, and calmness. It was like architecture. Perfectly put together.

Across the parking lot I was also blown away … but in a totally different manner.

Exploring the Michael J. Marshall photographs in the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery, I was astounded. Marshall prints his photograph on oriental paper (it looks like Kozo fiber paper to me) are then infused with wax and layered over images that are created on a wooden surface. His analytical and subjective images merge to create a symbiosis of ethereal beauty. I paint with similar tools and mine the translucency and space between scientific imagery, natural history, and the intuitive image for years. It was as if Marshall had read the images in my head and had leapt to a place I might have wished I had gone to myself. I have to explore his work more.

Ocean Point, Ink Jet Print on oriental paper, waxed and mounted over an image on wood, by Michael J. Marshall, at Jennifer Schwartz Gallery

We wrapped up the day at a local eatery and settled in for the night … the heat, the great food, and the visually exciting art left us tired and sated.

We were anticipating even more the next day; I planned the route to the east side galleries and the trip to see me friend south of town.

(to be continued…)

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3 Responses to “Atlanta was HOT, so was the Art!”

  1. jean sampson Says:

    More! More! And don’t make it so long between posts! 🙂

    • johnahancock Says:

      I know THREE more in the works already … they will come out as the week goes on. 1st a follow on to this one, then one about my Atlanta artist friend … then on about my current work. I will try to write faster, but I have to paint. PS sorry I missed the July group show (already making plans for the Nov-Dec show though) AND the opening too.

      • jean sampson Says:

        Wanna see your new work! I have a figure painting in the show that you won’t believe! Come see! It is not as far as Atlanta!

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