Changing The Way We All See Art.

Founded in 1973 as Nexus, a grassroots artists’ cooperative, Atlanta Contemporary has since become one of the southeast’s leading contemporary art centers. We play a vital role in Atlanta’s cultural landscape by presenting over 200 consequential artists and creatives from the local, national, and international art scenes through our various exhibition, project spaces, and programs each year. Atlanta Contemporary is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and is free admission, every day. We became free admission on September 1, 2015 to increase accessibility to the community of artists and arts enthusiasts in the metro-Atlanta area. 

We commission new works, paying particular attention to artists who have not had a significant exhibition in the Southeast. We organize over 125 programs annually including Contemporary Kids, Contemporary Cocktails, Contemporary Talks, and more! Atlanta Contemporary provides 13 on-site subsidized studio space to working artists through the Studio Artist Program.

By The Numbers | Demographics

Audiences: 62% Female, 33% Male, 5% Gender Non-Conforming; 38% Black/African American, 10% Asian, 11% LatinX, 1% Native American, and 35% White/Caucasian

Artists: 69% Female, 25% Male, 3% Gender Non-Conforming; 24% Black/African American, 3% Asian, 20% Native American, and 53% White/Caucasian

Curators: 67% Female, 33% Male; 25% Black/African American, 17% Native American, 17% LatinX and 42% White/Caucasian

Over the course of this year, Atlanta Contemporary has exceeded our projected attendance numbers which – though this sounds like a simple data point – means that individuals are choosing us, and for that we are grateful.

We choose you too. From our beginnings in 1973 to today, every decision we make puts our community center. Interestingly though – our community – is unique. It is complex and beautiful. When you decide to travel here, walk in the door, and look through the galleries, something extraordinary happens. Together, We Change The Way We All See Art.

There is this myth surrounding art making first heard in Art History class (I, myself, am guilty of perpetuating it as an instructor): the solitary artist, Michelangelo, isolated within the confines of the Sistine Chapel painting quietly and without interruption. Allow me to shatter this fallacy and instead focus on the fact that we – as artists, curators, patrons, audiences, and programmers – are not alone. Art brings us together. It acts as a binding agent through color, shape, line, texture and form; it transforms us. Art helps us understand our place in the world and as evidenced by your presence at Atlanta Contemporary: Art Is Essential.

Returns and You Are Heleswv (Medicine) sees the reappearance of ART PARTY. I invite everyone to Eat, Drink, and Be Merry. I am excited to come together, celebrate the works in this exhibition and inspire the difficult conversation that these artists and curators put forth. In the backdrop of our gala is a truly solemn and thought-provoking story of the space where we are all currently standing. Atlanta Contemporary occupies the land of the Mvskoke (Muscogee/Creek) Nation. These people were forcibly removed from their land and we reap the benefits of their turmoil. Our occupation of this land is an act of privilege. We acknowledge this land and their legacy.

Special thanks to the curators, Dr. Ashley Holland and Elisa Harkins; the artists Luzene Hill, Brenda Mallory, Kade Twist, Kalyn Barnoski, Kyle Bell, Jeremy Charles, Nate Cummings-Lambert, Patrick Freeland, Raven Halfmoon, Joy Harjo, and Cindi Wood; and our curatorial consultants, Miranda Kyle and John Haworth.

Sincerely,Veronica Kessenich

Executive Director

Our Studio Artist Program supports local working artists by providing subsidized studio space and by fostering a collaborative environment supportive of the creative process.

Learn more about the program.


Veronica (Kessenich) Hogan

Executive Director

[email protected]


Emma Blessing

Visitor Experience and Exhibitions Management

[email protected]


Ethan Cantrell

Events Manager

[email protected]


Makiko Maekawa

Contemporary Kids Instructor


Nyssa Goodroe

Membership Coordinator

[email protected]


Lynne Tanzer

SHOP Curator


Miranda Creagan

Welcome Desk Associate

[email protected]



Katina Asbell

Board Co-Chair

Associate Broker, The Asbell Golde Team | Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby's International Realty

Odessa M. Archibald

Board Co-Chair

Area Manager, Georgia Power

Tara Ghei

Founder + CEO / Advisor / Investor

Emily de Golian, MD

Board Certified Dermatologist and Fellowship Trained Mohs Surgeon at Dermatology Consultants, P.C.

Danielle Henry

Global Director, Integrated Marketing Instagram

Maria Rey-Marston

Accenture, Managing Director | SC Innovation Global Co-Lead | Global Beverages Leader

Andrew Rodbell

Co-founder Post Meridiem Spirit Company

Meghan Shakar

Leadership Coach & Startup Advisor Founder, Verandi LLC

Our Values

Our Core Values guide us in our work. Along with our Strategic Plan, our staff and board are committed to using our Core Values in the creation, presentation, and advancement of contemporary art.


We present experiences that are relevant to contemporary culture. We do this by inviting artists to create, introduce, and present artistic ideas.


We provide a community-focused environment that fosters inclusivity and respect.


We uphold the highest standards of artistic, programmatic, and organizational excellence in every interaction that we have.


We lead our field and receive peer recognition through flawless program execution and effective implementation of our plans. We are responsive to our audience and those who aspire to work in the field of contemporary art.


We embrace and work with a wide variety of organizations, neighbors, partners, and communities to reach common goals and provide access to contemporary art in a variety of forms.

Nexus Fund

Nexus Fund

Founded by artists for artists, Atlanta Contemporary was built upon the principles of engaging in experimentation and risk-taking through exhibitions, programming, and support of working artists. The Nexus Fund expands upon the ethos of these early days. By establishing the Nexus Fund, Atlanta Contemporary gives direct and necessary support to visual arts projects being done by Metro Atlanta’s ever-growing community of contemporary arts practitioners. By supporting new work or through the expansion of an existing project, the Nexus Fund sponsors dynamic and innovative individual artists or partnerships. The Nexus Fund: Emergency Relief in first year gave $1,000 to support 60 self-identifying visual artists. Learn more about the fund and how to apply at

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